Road Trip Week 3: Armchair Explorer
This is a busy week on the road as we head farther south and explore Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas! Here are just a few places you can virtually explore from the comfort of your own home. Don't forget to do some more exploring on your own - there's much more to see, do, and learn about these states!
Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama and was an instrumental part of the Civil Rights Movement when she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, helping to spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The Trail of Tears passes through many historic sites in Arkansas, including Fort Smith National Historic Park. You can learn more about the Trail of Tears, which extends into 8 others states, through the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
You can learn more about the Little Rock Nine and desegregation at Little Rock Central High School. The high school is now part of the National Parks system, but still remains an operating school. The NPS even offers tours during the middle of the school day!
Florida is home to Everglades National Park, which is the inspiration behind our "local field trip" this week. You can virtually explore the park on their website, as well as learn about all the animals and plants that call this park home.
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is located in Key West. Here you can learn more about Hemingway's life and, more importantly, the 60 cats (!!) that call the place home. Looking to learn more about Hemingway? You can borrow the new Hemingway documentary by Ken Burns from the library!
Georgia may not be the state that comes to mind when you think of Western art, but the largest permanent exhibition space for Western art can be found at The Booth Museum in Cartersville, GA. You can take a virtual tour of both their temporary exhibits and their permanent exhibits on their website.
Atlanta has many important places worth exploring to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement. Check out Martin Luther King Jr. National Park, which includes The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the birth home of Martin Luther King, Jr. Also in Atlanta is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which includes a virtual tour and educational resources.
There are many places in Kentucky celebrating President Lincoln - you can take a virtual tour of them through the Lincoln Heritage Trail.
When you think of Kentucky, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is the Kentucky Derby. Explore the Kentucky Derby Museum to learn all about the annual race.
The National WWII Museum is located in New Orleans. You can learn about their exhibits on their website, as well as explore photographs, artifacts, profiles, articles, and oral histories about WWII.
The FW Woolworth department store, where the Woolworth sit-ins took place, has been transformed into The International Civil Rights Center and Museum. You can get an overview of the museum, tour some of their special exhibits, and (for a fee) watch a virtual tour of the museum led by one of their docents.
You can learn about the beginning of the Civil War at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historic Park. You can get an overview of the fort through the videos on their website, as well as learn about the history and people connected to each fort.
Did you know 2021 is the bicentennial of the Cherokee Syllabary? At the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, you can learn about Sequoyah and the Cherokee writing system he created. There's another museum dedicated to Sequoyah in Oklahoma that's also worth virtually exploring - Sequoyah's Cabin Museum.
The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is located in Oklahoma City. Check out highlights from their collection online, take a virtual tour of their exhibits, read their museum blog, and more.
In San Antonio, you can visit the Alamo and learn about it's 300 year-long history.
Check out the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco to learn about the history of the Texas Ranger, explore their exhibits and artifacts (including the Lone Ranger's mask!), try some activity sheets, and learn about the individuals recognized in the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame.
Admit it - at some point in your life, you've probably said the iconic movie quote: "Houston, we have a problem!" The "Houston" that astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) is talking to is the Johnson Space Center, which is the home of mission control and astronaut training. You can learn more about the Space Program through all the great exhibits at the Space Center in Houston. And if you're a big space fan, the Johnson Space Center YouTube channel, as well as the NASA YouTube channel, are well worth checking out!