Tuesday, December 29, 2009

National Park Service Awards Grant

More than 139 years after its construction, the Cherokee National Capitol still stands and operates as a symbolic landmark for the Cherokee people. Now, through a unique grant sponsored by the National Park Service, Cherokee Nation has received $150,000 to help preserve the 1870-built Capitol for future generations. The building is Cherokee Nation’s only National Historic Landmark.

Awarded by a cooperative municipal program named, Save America’s Treasures, the federal money will go toward restoring the building’s roof and foundation, which has significantly deteriorated due to water infiltration. The funds will also aid in the installation of an appropriate drainage system.

The Cherokee National Capitol preservation project is scheduled to begin in 2010. The building currently houses the judicial branch of the Cherokee Nation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The Cherokee National Capitol is a source of great pride for the Cherokee people with its rich history, symbolism and continued functionality within today’s tribal government,” said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “Moving onward with the restoration, we look forward to sharing and educating the public on the historical significance of this building.”

The Cherokee National Capitol is one of 41 projects throughout the United States recognized in the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures $9.5 million grant award program for 2009. According to the National Park Service, the funds will assist the organizations and agencies to conserve significant United States cultural and historic treasures, which illustrate, interpret and are associated with the great events, ideas, and individuals that contribute to our nation’s history and culture.

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis congratulated the recipients of the Save America’s Treasures awards saying, “The recipients of these grants deserve great credit for their commitment to the preservation of our nation’s history and culture. The historic properties and collections protected by Save America's Treasures grants for the last 10 years benefit all Americans, today and in the future. The National Park Service is proud of our role in administering this exceptional program with our partners.”

Since Cherokee Nation reunified its government in Indian Territory in 1839, the grounds on which the Capitol was built have been witness to much history. In 1843, the site played host to one of the most significant tribal gatherings in American history when more than 17 tribes from across the United States came to Tahlequah, Indian Territory, for the International Indian Council to renew ancient customs and strengthen tribal alliances. This historic convention is depicted in John Mix Stanley’s painting “International Indian Council,” which is displayed at Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Built in 1870, the Cherokee National Capitol was completed shortly after the American Civil War, a period in which the Cherokee Nation overcame turmoil and inter-tribal dissension to reunite and build its government seat. Over the years the building has survived numerous damages including fire. Today, the national landmark stands as a reminder of the progressive government and social system the Cherokee Nation established once it arrived in Indian Territory.

The Cherokee Nation’s commitment to preservation features four key projects including the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum and Ross Cemetery, which are currently underway, and the Cherokee National Capitol and Cherokee National Jail, which are scheduled for 2010.

Sikes Abernathie Architects in Tulsa, Okla., completed the assessment of the existing physical condition of the Cherokee National Capitol and provided a prioritized list of projects to be completed in the restoration of the property.

Additional information on the Save America’s Treasures program can be found on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities web site at http://www.pcah.gov and/or the National Park Service web site at http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/treasures/.

About Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism DepartmentThe Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Department is managed by Cherokee Nation Entertainment and was created in 2007 to promote the story of the Cherokee people. Efforts by the Cherokee Nation include developing guided community and educational tours, creating tourism partnerships and programs throughout northeastern Oklahoma, and launching a new Cherokee tourism-specific web site. For more information, please visit http://www.cherokeetourismok.com.

About Cherokee Nation Entertainment
Cherokee Nation Entertainment is the gaming, hospitality, retail and tourism entity of the Cherokee Nation. Cherokee Nation Entertainment owns and operates the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, five Cherokee Casinos, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, three hotels, two golf courses and many other retail operations in northeastern Oklahoma. For more information, please visit http://www.cherokeestarrewards.com.

About Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation is the sovereign operating government of the Cherokee people. It is a federally recognized tribe of more than 280,000 Cherokee citizens, with its capitol located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Employing more than 6,500 people, Cherokee Nation’s annual economic impact in Oklahoma and surrounding areas is more than $1 billion dollars. To learn more, please visit http://www.cherokee.org.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ancient Rome & America Exhibit at The Constitution Center--A Must See!

The National Constitution Center announced today that it will host the world debut of Ancient Rome & America – a multi-million dollar, artifact-rich exhibition showcasing the cultural, political, and social connections between the lost world of ancient Rome and modern America – from February 19 through August 1, 2010.

The National Constitution Center has worked for three years to develop the exhibition, which features a unique and unprecedented collection of rare artifacts and artwork, in partnership with Contemporanea Progetti of Florence, Italy , in collaboration with the Ministero per i Beni e Le Attività Culturali, Rome , Italy .

Rome, like the United States , overcame a monarchy to become a republic. Long after the fall of ancient Rome , its heroes and legends have continued to influence future generations. From the battlefields of the revolution to the chambers of Congress, Rome became a part of America ’s foundation. Through marble sculptures, paintings, jewelry, coins, and ceramics, Ancient Rome & America draws striking comparisons between Roman and American culture, from theories of government to slavery and civil war, to continental expansion and worldwide influence.

“The connections between these two cultures separated by millennia and continents are startling and captivating,” said National Constitution Center President and CEO David Eisner. “Visitors will never think of either the lost world of ancient Rome or the founding values of America in the same way.”

Covering over 8,000 square feet, Ancient Rome & America is organized into five galleries: Introduction, Building a Republic, A Classical Revival, Expansion and Empire, and Epilogue.

The exhibition features more than 300 artifacts from Italy 's leading archaeological collections in Florence , Naples , and Rome , paired with objects from over 40 lending institutions in the United States . Highlights include:

•Two eagles depicting this classic symbol shared by ancient Rome and America . The American eagle is carved from gilt wood. It was made in 1804 by Samuel McIntire, an important early American architect. Of the Roman eagle, only the bronze head remains. It likely originated from the top of a Roman army military standard.

•Roman busts of Scipio Africanus, Julius Caesar, and Cicero. American busts of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, each portrayed in togas.
•Gladiator/Football helmets. Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Harold Carmichael’s helmet will be on display with a gladiator helmet and four original pieces from the gladiator barracks of an amphitheater in Pompeii – a “greave” (shin guard), two spearheads, and a dagger.

•Excavated remnants from Pompeii , including silverware, a preserved piece of a wall fresco, and the cast of a man who did not escape the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius .

•A selection of classical works belonging to the Founding Fathers that helped shape their political thought during the early years of the American republic. John Adams’ personal copy of Plutarch’s Lives, John Dickenson’s personal copy of the works of Roman historian Tacitus, and John Quincy Adams’ personal copy of Cicero’s De Oratore.

•Two letters from August 1776 exchanged between John and Abigail Adams. In them, Abigail signs her name “Portia” after the wife of the Roman Senator Brutus. The letters are filled with classical references and ideas of republican virtue.

•Slave collars from ancient Rome and the United States . Both ancient Rome and America prior to 1865 were slave societies. Made in the early 1800s, the slave collar from the U.S. is a rare artifact that can be tied to one man’s quest for freedom. Ben, a slave who worked on a farm in Pennsylvania , tried to escape three times, and after the third time, his owner had an iron collar made for him.
The exhibition concludes with a video presentation about Rome ’s legacy. Though the Roman Empire declined and fell, it remains a powerful influence on the western world. As visitors depart the exhibition, they will be left to ponder the lessons ancient Rome teaches us about our nation’s future.

“The profound and pervasive legacy of ancient Rome is deeply embedded in the western culture of today; the lasting effects of Roman domination can be found almost anywhere,” said Linda Carioni of Contemporanea Progetti. “They can be seen in our judiciary and monetary systems, in our art and architectural patrimony, in the modern Romance languages, in our alphabet of 26 letters, as well as the calendar of Julius Caesar.”

To augment the exhibition, the Center’s public programming staff in the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach is developing a variety of special programs and family activities. Also in keeping with the Center’s mission to foster discussion and citizen engagement, evening programs about current and historical topics related to the exhibition are planned. In addition, the Center is offering a special iPod audio tour in conjunction with the exhibition.

Admission to Ancient Rome & America is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors ages 65 and up, and $12 for children ages 4-12. Active military personnel and children ages 3 and under are free. Group rates are also available. Admission to the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including the award-winning theater production “Freedom Rising,” is included. iPod audio tours cost an additional $5. For ticket information, call 215.409.6700 or visit www.constitutioncenter.org.

CBS 3 and The CW Philly are the official media partners of Ancient Rome & America. CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and The CW Philly 57 (WPSG-TV) are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation.

The National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch St. on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the ideas and values it represents. The Center serves as a museum, an education center, and a forum for debate on constitutional issues. The museum dramatically tells the story of the Constitution from Revolutionary times to the present through more than 100 interactive, multimedia exhibits, film, photographs, text, sculpture and artifacts, and features a powerful, award-winning theatrical performance, “Freedom Rising.” The Center also houses the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach, which serves as the hub for national constitutional education. Also, as a nonpartisan forum for constitutional discourse, the Center presents – without endorsement – programs that contain diverse viewpoints on a broad range of issues. For more information, call 215.409.6700 or visit www.constitutioncenter.org.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sailors Saluted on Postage Stamps

Four members of the U.S. Navy will be immortalized on stamps: William S. Sims, Arleigh A. Burke, John McCloy and Doris Miller. The First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony for the four 44-cent First-Class collectible "Distinguished Sailors" stamps takes place in Washington, DC, Feb. 4, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. in the Arleigh and Roberta Burke Theater of the United States Navy Memorial www.navymemorial.org at 701 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. The event is free and open to the public.

Commander of U.S. naval forces in European waters during World War I, William S. Sims (1858-1936) was an outspoken reformer and innovator who helped shape the Navy into a modern fighting force.
Sims was born in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada, where his father, an American citizen, was a railroad engineer. The family moved to Vermont when Sims was about twelve and soon thereafter settled in Pennsylvania.
Sims attended the Naval Academy from 1876 to 1880. He then spent nearly two decades at sea, interrupted by a year (1889) in Paris studying French. From 1897 to 1900, he served as naval attaché to the U.S. embassy in France and to the ministry in Russia. During this time, he studied and made reports on European naval developments, which he found to be far more advanced than those in America. (While in France, he met his future wife, Anne Hitchcock, daughter of the U.S. Minister to Russia.)
In 1901, at great risk to his career, Sims circumvented his immediate superiors and wrote directly to President Theodore Roosevelt about “the extreme danger of the present very inefficient condition of the Navy,” emphasizing the glaring deficiencies of American battleships and the need for more accurate firepower. Roosevelt thanked Sims for the letter and encouraged him to continue offering suggestions. Sims was able to implement some of his ideas for reform, especially in the area of gunnery, while serving as inspector of target practice in the Navy’s Bureau of Navigation from 1902 to 1909. He trained officers and gun crews in a new gun control method called “continuous aim firing,” adapting the techniques of British officer Percy Scott and achieving significant improvements in firing speed and accuracy. He also served as President Roosevelt’s naval aide from 1907 to 1909.
Shortly before the United States entered World War I, Sims, by this time a rear admiral, was sent on a secret mission to gather information on wartime conditions and to confer with the British Royal Navy. Soon after America entered the war, he was appointed commander of U.S. naval forces operating near Europe. To counter the German strategy of unrestricted warfare by U-boats, Sims advocated various antisubmarine measures. He played a critical role in promoting and coordinating a system of convoys—using destroyers and other warships to escort merchant ships and transports through danger zones—that achieved dramatic reductions in Allied shipping losses. To the extent that the defeat of German submarine warfare was “the critical naval campaign of the war, essential to victory over the Central Powers,” as historian David Trask has written, Sims’s contribution to the Allied victory in World War I was profound.
After the war, Sims returned to the same position he had held previously at the Naval War College, serving as president until his retirement in 1922. He sparked a congressional investigation in 1920 of the wartime conduct of the Navy Department, leading to extensive hearings on the subject. He also wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the war, Victory at Sea (1920).
Sims continued to write and lecture about naval reform until his death in 1936, at which time the New York Herald Tribune declared that he had “influenced our naval course more than any man who ever wore the uniform.” The Navy has named three destroyers after Sims. The most recent, USS W. S. Sims (DE-1059), was commissioned in 1970 and was decommissioned in 1991.

After serving as one of the top destroyer squadron commanders of World War II, Arleigh A. Burke (1901-1996) had an equally distinguished postwar career in which he played a major role in modernizing the Navy and guiding its response to the Cold War.
Born and raised on a farm near Boulder, Colorado, Burke secured an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1919 and graduated in 1923. After serving for five years in the battleship USS Arizona, he pursued postgraduate work in ordnance at the United States Naval Postgraduate School and then earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1931. During the 1930s, Burke served in various capacities in a heavy cruiser and a destroyer before being given command of USS Mugford, which under Burke won the Destroyer Gunnery Trophy for 1939-1940.
At the outset of World War II, Burke was an inspector at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington. His repeated requests for sea duty went unheeded until he was given command in early 1943 of a destroyer division in the South Pacific. He soon gained a reputation for brilliance and innovation, especially after taking command that fall of Destroyer Squadron 23. Under Burke the squadron became known as “the Little Beavers” and fought in 22 separate actions in a four-month period, sinking or helping to sink 9 Japanese destroyers and downing some 30 of their airplanes. His exploits and his own nickname, “31-Knot Burke,” became widely known, and his performance in battle earned him an appointment in March 1944 as chief of staff to Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher in the famed Fast Carrier Task Force. According to the Dictionary of American Military Biography, in this post Burke “coordinated the operations of the largest naval striking force in history in the battles of the Philippine Sea, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa.”
With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Burke was sent to Japan to serve as deputy chief of staff to the commander of U.S. naval forces in the Far East. In 1951, he briefly served as commander of Cruiser Division Five before being designated a member of the United Nations Truce Delegation, which sought to negotiate an armistice in Korea. In late 1951, Burke was summoned to Washington for a two-year tour as director of the Navy’s Strategic Plans Division. In 1955, while still a rear admiral, he reached the pinnacle of his profession when President Eisenhower appointed him Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), promoting him ahead of nearly 100 more senior officers. During an unprecedented three terms as CNO, Burke sped up the construction of nuclear-powered submarines and initiated the Polaris Ballistic Missile Program.
Burke retired from the Navy in 1961 after nearly forty years of service. (He remained an influential figure and was at the forefront of efforts to establish the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, which was dedicated in 1987.) In 1977, Burke was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Navy honored him by naming a new class of guided missile destroyers after him. On July 4, 1991, the first of these, USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), was commissioned in a ceremony attended by Burke and his wife Roberta.
When Burke died in 1996, he was hailed as a “sailor’s sailor” who defined what it meant to be a naval officer: “relentless in combat, resourceful in command, and revered by his crews.”

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Historic Preservation Group now on Facebook!

PreservationDirectory.com, a leading online resource for historic preservation and cultural resource management, has launched a companion page on Facebook.

The focus of the Facebook page will be to disseminate historic preservation-related news and policy alerts, job postings for museum/architecture/organizations, and photos of historic places and structures. The goal will be to use the networking expertise of Facebook to keep members aware of preservation news, job information, and policy alerts.

According to Tim Cannan, President of PreservationDirectory.com, "the new Facebook page will allow us to reach members instantly with late-breaking historic preservation news. We are also very excited to be able alert our members to job listings as soon as they are added to PreservationDirectory.com."

To view the new PreservationDirectory.com Facebook page, go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/PreservationDirectorycom/182062916596.

To celebrate the launch of the new companion group page on Facebook, PreservationDirectory.com has added hundreds of photos from their personal achives to the new group page. The photos are some of their favorite shots of buildings, roadside attractions, and other cultural sites from travels across North America.

Collaboration is also a big part of PreservationDirectory.com - in that spirit, they are looking for photos from the public to add to the architectural photo gallery. To submit photos and to receive historic preservation-related alerts, join the Facebook historic preservation group at http://www.facebook.com/pages/PreservationDirectorycom/182062916596.

In addition to regular updates to the architectural photo gallery, look for job postings in the fields of historic preservation, cultural resources and architecture, and policy alerts with links to new and archived documents.

About PreservationDirectory.com:
PreservationDirectory.com is a primary online resource for historic preservation, building restoration and cultural resource management in the United States & Canada. Our goal is to foster the preservation of historic buildings, historic downtowns and neighborhoods, cultural resources and to promote heritage tourism by facilitating communication among historic preservation professionals and the general public. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, PreservationDirectory.com has continually expanded and evolved to cover a comprehensive array of topics and resources of most interest to the historic and cultural resource community.


Tim Cannan, President
7017 N. Alma Ave
Portland, OR 97203