150th anniversary of the Civil War brings unique opportunity to remember and to pay tribute to our past New York, NY April 11, 2011 – In concert with its ambitious four-year programming commitment to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, HISTORY is launching a massive educational and fund-raising initiative to enhance Civil War education nationwide, and to protect and preserve battlefields and other key sites from this pivotal period in American history, it was announced today by Nancy Dubuc, President and General Manager, HISTORY.
The GIVE 150 program invites Americans to make contributions – be it as much as $150 or as little as $1.50 – to a cause that will keep us from losing touch with our past. By protecting and maintaining these locations and landmarks, by insuring that they continue to have a physical presence, future generations will be able to have a tactile understanding of Civil War history. HISTORY is partnering with the Civil War Trust and the National Park Foundation for GIVE 150, and will direct donations to those respective organizations, so that an important and course-changing chapter in the story of our country can be kept alive in the consciousness of future generations. The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks, working directly with the National Park Service, which maintains over 70 historic places integral to the story of the Civil War. The Civil War Trust is America’s largest non-profit devoted to the preservation of our nation’s endangered battlefields.
“It is HISTORY’s mission to create and provide programming that is informative and entertaining – and to tie in a rich educational and public affairs component especially when we feel we can make a real difference. In the case of the Civil War, we relish the opportunity to do even more, to play a part in protecting endangered Civil War sites and contributing to their stewardship for the future,” Ms. Dubuc said. “We owe it to our national memory, we owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our children’s children’s children. This is integral to what we do.”
U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Kenneth Salazar said, “Our National Parks and classrooms help tell the full story of the Civil War and draw the larger arc from Civil War to Civil Rights,"said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "HISTORY's partnership with the Civil War Trust and the National Park Foundation provides students the opportunity to fully understand the significance of this monumental chapter in our history and will help inspire a new generation to pursue a more perfect union.”
James Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Trust, said, “We are deeply grateful to HISTORY for helping us mark this sesquicentennial period in such a meaningful way. There can be no more fitting or lasting legacy for the Civil War's 150th anniversary commemoration than setting aside the battlefields where that conflict was decided. By giving future generations of Americans the opportunity to walk those hallowed grounds and follow in the footsteps of heroes, we are ensuring that the causes, costs and consequences of this tumultuous conflict will never be forgotten.”
Neil Mulholland, President, National Park Foundation, said, “With over 70 national park units commemorating the Civil War, we are excited to welcome HISTORY’s support,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Preserving our American history in the places where it happened, our national parks are time capsules -- forever teaching us the important lessons of our past.”
Dr. Libby O’Connell, Chief Historian for HISTORY said, “HISTORY is proud to partner with the Civil War Trust and the National Park Foundation in the Give 150 Campaign, to preserve Civil War sites and heritage. These two groups provide the added bonus of being committed to educational outreach and service. Together we can have an important impact during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.” Public service announcements and a VIP press lunch to be held in April also will direct viewers to online giving and service opportunities as part of the GIVE 150 initiative. To learn more go to: www.give150.com. In conjunction with the CIVIL WAR programming and GIVE 150, HISTORY will launch a national educational campaign tied to the Civil War to serve schools for years to come, with the following initiatives: Civil War Educator’s Manual with content in multiple subject areas including History, English, Drama, Science, and Math (publication date- April 2011). HISTORY Classroom email communications about GIVE 150 and Civil War week: 160,000 emails to be disseminated each week. Original short-form video with nationally recognized historians on Civil War topics on History Classroom and History.com. Gettysburg: Their Sacrifice Made America poster mailed to 34,000 middle and high schools nationwide, with 8 panel full color teacher’s guide and reproducible activity sheets on the back (mails in April 2011). Newspaper in Education Civil War supplement: Will reach 4MM students and families, and all members of Congress (print date: April 11, 2011). Electronic field trip (webcast) organized with the National Park Foundation (date TBD). National History Day Educators guide (mails in June- includes tips for using Civil War content in National History Day projects). Co-sponsor of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Civil War “Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student” Civil War-themed vodcast program – students will embark on training to write, act and shoot their own Civil War film. HISTORY has also launched a dedicated website, Civil War 150, to launch on April 12, bringing consumers – from history enthusiasts to those with a casual interest in the War – an immersive, in-depth look at one of America’s most important, tragic and fascinating events. Hosted on History.com, the site identifies the 150 people, places, events and technology that defined America’s greatest conflict, using cutting-edge design to create a multi-media online experience. History.com worked with a variety of 16 prominent Civil War experts and historians to create an authoritative list for the Civil War 150, asking them to cast their votes for what they thought were the most important people, places, events and technology to highlight. Users can check out what the experts picked, vote for their own choices and share with friends via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The distinguished experts and historians that contributed to the content of the Civil War 150 include: Garry Adelman, Director of History and Education, Civil War Preservation Trust; Edward Ayers, President, University of Richmond; William Blair, Professor, The Pennsylvania State University; Charles Bryan, Jr., President Emeritus, Virginia Historical Society; Spencer Crew, Professor, African American History, George Mason University; Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University; Gary Gallagher, Professor, History of the American Civil War, University of Virginia; Harold Holzer, Chairman, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation; James O. Horton, Professor, American Studies and History, George Washington University; Bob Kirby, Superintendent, Gettysburg National Military Park; Bruce Levine, Professor of History, University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign); Edna Greene Medford, Professor & Chairperson, Department of History, Howard University; James McPherson, Emeritus Professor, Princeton University; Matthew Pinsker, Associate Professor of History, Dickinson College; Dwight Pitcaithley, Professor, New Mexico State University; and Nina Sibler, Professor, Department of History, Boston University. As well, as part of GIVE 150 and the broad scope educational initiative, HISTORY also recently announced THE NATIONAL CIVIL WAR STUDENT CHALLENGE, a trivia competition launched by HISTORY and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The Challenge – which will award a total of $35,000 in college scholarships, including a $15,000 scholarship to the grand prize winner – and began on April 7. During the CHALLENGE, high school students who excel in Civil War history will have the opportunity to turn their knowledge into college scholarships In addition, HISTORY has joined with the Library of Congress, with whom the network has a longstanding relationship, as a key corporate sponsor of their upcoming exhibit, “The Last Full Measure: Civil War Photographs from the Liljenquist Family Collection”. The exhibit will be free and open to the public from April 12 to August 13, 2011, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, in the second-floor South Gallery of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition commemorates the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, which started on April 12, 1861, and will serve as a memorial to those who gave their lives during the devastating conflict by displaying images of 360 Union soldiers—one for every 1,000 who died—and 52 Confederate soldiers—one for every 5,000. HISTORY’s previously announced four year commitment to Civil War-themed programming, beginning this Spring, will explore all facets of a war that pitted American brother against American brother, a conflict that nearly tore a nation apart. One highlight of the of network’s programming is Gettysburg, a two-hour feature documentary executive-produced by acclaimed filmmaker brothers, Tony (Unstoppable; Man on Fire; Top Gun) and Ridley (Gladiator; Black Hawk Down; American Gangster) Scott. Organizations HISTORY is working with: The Civil War Trust, the National Park Service, the Library of Congress, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership and National History Day. About HISTORY® HISTORY® and HISTORY HD® are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network's program offerings are hit series such as American Pickers, Ax Men, Brad Meltzer’s Decoded, Ice Road Truckers, Top Gear, Pawn Stars and Top Shot, as well as acclaimed specials including America the Story of Us, WWII in HD, 102 Minutes That Changed America, The President’s Book of Secrets and Life After People. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy® Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History® campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network's signature initiative connecting America's schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY website, located at www.history.com, is the leading online resource for all things history, featuring over 20,000 videos, images, audio clips, articles and interactive features that allow visitors to dig deeper into a broad range of thousands of historical topics. For more information go to www.historypressroom.com . About the Civil War Trust The Civil War Trust is America's largest non-profit organization (501-(C) 3) devoted to the preservation of our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields. The Trust also promotes educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to inform the public of the war's history and the fundamental conflicts that sparked it. With each square foot of battlefield land that is consumed, whole chapters of America’s history are being ripped out of the book of our national memory, and an irreplaceable piece of our important heritage is lost forever. The Civil War Trust needs your help today! About the National Park Foundation From the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone, Gettysburg to Golden Gate, the National Park Foundation works to strengthen and preserve America’s most treasured places. There are 84 million acres of cherished landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites in America’s nearly 400 national parks – and they all belong to you. Join the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, in supporting these iconic places so they may be enjoyed today and for generations to come.
David French, National Park Foundation
(202)354-1899, [email protected]