High School Spring Break
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Date/Time
Date(s) - 10/03/2018 - 18/03/2018
All Day

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The American Experience: New York City, Philadelphia, Gettysburg & Washington DC

MARCH 10-18, 2018

This high school and Essential History Expeditions have partnered to create an exciting student (and parent) trip for Spring Break 2018! On this intensive trip to New York City, Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Washington DC, students will explore the foundations of our country.

We will visit fascinating historical and cultural sites. The nature of history is the actual setting of time and place when and where events of great importance occurred. This tour will take the students to cities, great and small, to explore the fabric of interwoven lives and ideas that coincided to bring new vistas within reach. The fundamental lesson is that individuals matter; and, when individuals coalesce and aggregate their talents, their power is magnified tremendously. This expedition takes us to places filled with the power and energy of both the past and present, and ensures we view and experience the present through the knowledge we’ve gained from the past.

The American Experience: New York City, Philadelphia, Gettysburg & Washington DC

On The American Experience trip, high school students (and parents) will visit fascinating historical and cultural sites. The nature of history is the actual setting of time and place when and where events of great importance occurred. This tour will take the students to cities, great and small, to explore the fabric of interwoven lives and ideas that coincided to bring new vistas within reach. The fundamental lesson is that individuals matter; and, when individuals coalesce and aggregate their talents, their power is magnified tremendously. This expedition takes us to places filled with the power and energy of both the past and present, and ensures we view and experience the present through the knowledge we’ve gained from the past.

The American Experience expedition explores our society, its growth and challenges, and timeless lessons, from the establishment of the nation in the Revolution through the new birth of freedom that arose in the Civil War to the workings of our capital today.

We begin the adventure in New York City, one of the earliest colonial towns and by 1775 our most important port. We will explore this “capital city of the World” in all of its facets – from colonial and Revolutionary days through the Civil War, the Gilded Age, and its metamorphosis into the modern international metropolis. Home to some of the world’s greatest art and theater, we will also explore those aspects. It is a high-energy examination of immigration, colonization, revolution, civil rights, arts and leisure, economic growth and much more.

From Broadway we move to Philadelphia, where we will explore more of the origins of our nation, especially along the grounds of Independence Mall. From the iconic buildings that housed the first and second Continental Congresses to the homes of Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, from the signings of the Declaration and Constitution to the practicalities of being the first and third US capitals. As we depart Philadelphia, we will visit Valley Forge, where in the harsh winter of 1777-78 Washington rebuilt the defeated American Army and made it a force to contend evenly with the British.

Our next stop is the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle there in July 1863 was a titanic, three-day engagement and we will visit famed sites including McPherson’s Ridge, Oak Knoll, Barlow’s Knoll, Culp’s Hill, Big and Little Round Tops, the Wheatfield, the Peach Orchard, and Cemetery Hill. We will take two extended hikes – one with John Bell Hood’s division in James Longstreet’s attack on 2 July and the second with George Pickett’s division in Longstreet’s Assault on the afternoon of 3 July. We will complete our expedition in the National Cemetery where President Lincoln gave his dedication address that forever changed America.

Enroute to our nation’s capital we will visit Harpers Ferry National Historical Park at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, with its exhibits on the industrial revolution and the National Armory, westward expansion, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, the Storer College/WEB DuBois Niagara Movement, and John Brown’s Raid among others.

Our final destination is Washington DC, where we will explore both history and current events. Our nation’s capital in the springtime, with the promise of the cherry trees in full blossom, is the perfect setting to commemorate the wars and challenges that made America what it is today. We will visit George Washington’s Mount Vernon home and the streets of old Alexandria. In Washington, we will also have plenty of time to visit the treasures that our capital holds – from museums to art galleries to memorials. We will walk the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, and start our Mall walk from Lincoln’s Memorial. Ford’s Theatre Museum and the Petersen House are also stops on the way and we may see a stirring play in the very theater where the tragedy of Lincoln’s assassination occurred. From visits to the Capitol, Supreme Court and the White House, from the National Archives to Lafayette Square at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and so much more.

This expedition, “The American Experience,” is designed to take us from our roots to the present – from colonial New York through revolutionary Philadelphia to Civil War Gettysburg to the power in Washington today. Along the way, each site has modern aspects and lessons to share, as well. Throughout, we will hear the words of men and women who shaped the future of the nation. The end result will be an experience that high school students will appreciate for a lifetime. The knowledge that past is prologue; that what happens today is shaped, in some form, by the events and, more importantly, the people that went before us. That is the reflection that the students will ruminate upon for years to come.

The American Experience: New York City, Philadelphia, Gettysburg & Washington DC

NEW YORK CITY

Saturday, March 10

3pmCheck-in to hotel in mid-town, after arrival at NYC Airport
3 – 6:30 pmMid-Town TourGrand Central Terminal (Vanderbilts), Waldorf-Astoria (Astors) and Park Avenue, Rockefeller Center (Rockefellers), St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Nathan Hale at Yale Club (and remainder of Ivy League clubs on 43rd & 44th), New York Public Library & Bryant Park, Times Square
6:30pmDinnerNear Times Square
8:30pmVisit an Observation Deck to see the City at nightTop of the Rock at Rockefeller Center OR Empire State Building

Sunday, March 11

8am – 1pmThe Battery TourStatue of Liberty & Ellis Island, Fraunces Tavern (George Washington), Stone Street, Wall Street & Federal Hall, Trinity Church & Graveyard, St Paul’s Church, Freedom Tower & National 9/11 Memorial
** Those students wishing to visit NYU (New York University) will do so while the remainder of the group visits Liberty/Ellis islands; this will be an official campus information session and tour accompanied by an Essential History Expeditions guide
LunchDowntown
1 – 5:00 pmLower Manhattan TourSoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy, Astor Square – the Cooper Union, Greenwich Village
6pmDinnerIn famed Restaurant Row in Times Square/Broadway Theater District
7:30pmAttend a Broadway show/play (Les Mis, Phantom, etc)Will determine play based on student input; time may shift or matinee
Monday, March 12
8am – 4pmCentral Park and Manhattan North TourMorningside Heights: Grant’s Tomb, walk through Columbia University past Seminary Row, Morningside Park

Harlem: Harriett Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Apollo Theater

LunchHarlem Tavern
Central Park: so much to see, includingShakespeare’s Garden, Author’s Walk, free time in the world’s greatest art museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art
PHILADELPHIA & VALLEY FORGE
5 – 6:30pmTrain from New York to PhiladelphiaFrom Penn Station to 30th Street Station
Check-in to central Philadelphia hotelCity Tavern (founders’ favorite) near Independence Mall
7:30pmDinnerDowntown or Chinatown
Evening WalkIndependence Mall
Tuesday, March 13
8am – 3pmOur First Capital Tour, including Independence Mall SitesIndependence Hall, Liberty Bell, Carpenter’s Hall, Museum of the American Revolution, Franklin Court & Franklin Grave Site, Christ Church, Betsy Ross House, Jefferson’s Declaration House
LunchReading Market (on your own)
** Those students wishing to visit the University of Pennsylvania OR Temple University will do so while the remainder of the group visits Independence Mall; this will be an official campus information session and tour accompanied by an Essential History Expeditions guide
3 – 4:30pmVisit to Valley Forge National Historical ParkGeorge Washington and the Continental Army in the winter of 1777-78
GETTYSBURG
4:30 – 6pmBus from Philadelphia through Lancaster and York to Gettysburg
6:30pmCheck-in to central Gettysburg hotelDobbin 1776 House (oldest building in Gettysburg & on Underground Railroad)
7pmDinner
Evening WalkTour of the town
Wednesday, March 14
8am – 6pmThe Battle of Gettysburg – America’s Crucible of Freedom (box lunch on the battlefield)Day 1, July 1st    McPherson Ridge: Oak Knoll, Barlow Knoll, Culp’s Hill

Day 2, July 2nd Longstreet Tower: Longstreet’s Assault – Hood’s Attack Hike, Little Round Top & 20th Maine, Peach Orchard, 1st Minnesota, East Cemetery Hill

Day 3, July 3rd   North Carolina & Virginia Monuments: Longstreet’s Assault / Pickett’s Attack Hike, Copse of Trees / “High-water Mark”

National Cemetery & Lincoln’s Address

** Those students wishing to visit Gettysburg College will do so during a portion of the battlefield visit; this will be an official campus information session and tour accompanied by an Essential History Expeditions guide
7pmDinnerAppalachian Brewing Company
Evening WalkTour of the town
HARPERS FERRY
Thursday, March 15
8 – 9amDrive to Harpers Ferry
9 – 11:30amHarpers Ferry National Historical ParkEarly American industry – canal, railroad, armory, interchangeable parts; Lewis & Clark Expedition outfitted; John Brown’s 1859 Raid & 1862 Civil War Siege; Storer College & the Niagara Movement / NAACP
LunchLunch on own
WASHINGTON DC
11:30am– 12:45pmDrive to Arlington
12:45 – 2:45pmArlington National CemeteryChanging of the Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Kennedy Grave Sites, Medgar Evers Tombstone, Lee Mansion, Civil War Section & more
Iwo Jima Memorial
2:45 – 3:30pmDrive to Mount Vernon
3:30 – 5pmGeorge Washington’s Mount Vernon home
5:30pmDinnerAlexandria on King Street
Evening walkOld town Alexandria
9pmCheck-in to Washington DC hotel
Friday, March 16
8am – 12pmWalk the National Mall to visit these memorialsLincoln, Vietnam, Korea, World War Two, Washington, Jefferson, FDR, MLK
1 – 5pmLunch on the National MallOn own
Free Time to Visit Smithsonian & Other Museums of Choice (most museums are free; on own if select museum with fee)Museum of Native American History & Culture, National Gallery of Art, Air and Space Museum, Museum of American History, Museum of African American History and Culture, Holocaust Memorial, Museum of Natural History, Others
6pmDinner
Evening WalkWashington DC
** Those students wishing to visit George Washington University OR Georgetown University will do so during a portion of the time while the reminder of the group visits DC sites; this will be an official campus information session and tour accompanied by an Essential History Expeditions guide
Saturday, March 17
8am – 3:30Our National Government – a Walking TourCapitol Hill Grounds Tour (perhaps with McKinney’s member or a rep from their office), US Capitol, Library of Congress, Supreme Court
Pennsylvania Avenue from Capitol Hill (Legislative/Judicial) to White House (Executive)Numerous sites for discussion, National Archives and the founding documents exhibit, Lafayette Square, White House Tour
LunchOld Ebbitt Grill (famed political dining establishment across from the White House)
3:30 – 5:30pmNational Portrait Gallery
Petersen House MuseumLocation where President Lincoln died
5:30 – 7pmDinnerDowntown
7pmFord Theatre MuseumPossibly attend a play, program dependent

Sunday, March 18

8am – 12pmFree time to Walk the National Mall or Visit Smithsonian Museums
Early AfternoonReturn flight to DFW (Lunch at airport on own)
Final wrap-up discussion and end of the Expedition!
Essential History Expeditions Tours
Valley Forge
Gettysburg tours
history tours

THIS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE EXPEDITION INCLUDES

  • Flights (Dallas to New York, Washington DC to Dallas)
  • Hotels
  • Transportation – private bus, and train
  • Meals other than three lunches on own
  • Activities/Entry Fees
  • Guiding expertise of PhD historian
  • Guiding support of  full-time tour director
  • Guiding support high school teacher extraordinaire
  • One additional teacher for each 10 students (starting at 20 students)
Brian DeToy Sheryl Shafer Gettysburg guided tours

THIS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE EXPEDITION DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Three lunches
  • Subway tickets in NYC and DC
  • Transportation (subway, cab) for students wishing to visit universities
  • Souvenir and other purchases

READY TO DISCOVER HISTORY?

Pricing: $2,700 for eight nights and nine days of guided touring of the American Experience

Registration and Payment: Registration will occur through your teacher. Students can pay in full upon registration or adhere to the following payment schedule; Essential History Expeditions will send an invoice before due dates:

  • $1,000 deposit upon registration (exceptions possible)
  • $1,000 due November 15, 2017
  • $700 due February 1, 2018

Payment Options:

  • Check made out to Essential History Expeditions: Either deliver to your teacher or mail to Essential History Expeditions, 748 N. Downing Street, Denver, CO 80218.
  • Credit Card: Pay by credit card via PayPal. Essential History Expeditions will send an invoice for credit card payments. Payments by credit card will include a 2.9 percent PayPal fee. A PayPal account is not required to use the service.

Cancellations and Refunds: The following cancellation charges will apply:

  • For any cancellation made 90 days before the tour start date, EHE will refund all payments minus itemized sunk costs (airline tickets, for example) by EHE and a $50 per person administrative fee.
  • Cancellations received by EHE between 90 and 60 days of the tour start date result in forfeiture of the deposit.
  • For cancellations received by EHE between 30 and 60 days of tour start date, guests will be responsible for 50 percent of the tour cost to cover sunk costs.
  • For cancellations received by EHE less than 30 days of the tour start date, guests will be responsible for the total tour cost.

Travel Insurance: Essential History Expeditions offers students travel insurance through its partnership with Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. See the link at http://www.historyexp.com/join-us/ or contact sheryl@historyexp.com for more information and to register.

Photography Release: Unless explicitly requested in writing to sheryl@historyexp.com, parents and students agree that Essential History Expeditions may use student photos on this trip for marketing purposes.

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