Tauck Doubling Washington, DC Civil War Events With Filmmaker Ken Burns

Tauck-Exclusive Experiences To Again Include An Evening With Ken Burns, Themed Modular Sightseeing, And Private Access To Historic Sites 

NORWALK, CT (February 15, 2012)  After selling out its inaugural Washington, DC-based Civil War event in just 10 days last year, Tauck has announced that it is repeating the event this spring and adding a second date in the fall.  This year’s events will begin on May 20 and October 14, and like last year’s event, they will feature an itinerary crafted in cooperation with Ken Burns.  The acclaimed filmmaker will once again present the events’ keynote address, and attending guests will have the chance to personally meet Burns that same evening.

Burns’s groundbreaking film, “The Civil War,” has been honored with more than 40 major film and television awards.  It remains the highest rated and the most celebrated documentary in the history of public television.

Coinciding with the ongoing 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Tauck/Ken Burns events will be highlighted by Tauck-exclusive experiences, including private access at a number of historic venues.  Each full day of the event will examine a different facet of the Civil War, with attendees splitting into groups of just 15 to 30 to experience a series of private, interactive guided sightseeing modules related to that day’s theme.  Themes to be explored on selected days include “The Meaning of Freedom,” which probes the role of slavery leading up to and through the Civil War in special visits to the Frederick Douglass House and the African-American Museum of the Civil War, and on a walking tour of historic U. Street. 

Other themes include “Lincoln’s War,” which examines the 16th president’s remarkable leadership, complex personality and enduring legacy in private tours of Ford’s Theatre, the Library of Congress, and Lincoln’s newly-opened “summer cottage,” the personal retreat he frequented during his presidency.  “The People’s War” ventures outside of Washington for a guided tour of the Manassas battlefield in Virginia.  Like Burns’s films, each day’s theme will be explored “from the ground up,” emphasizing the human drama and deeply personal experiences of the people, from common foot soldiers to national figures, whose lives were impacted by the Civil War.

The event will also be highlighted by three exclusive “after-hours” evening events, each hosted in a different historic building after it has closed to the public for the day.  On the evening of Day 1, attendees will enjoy a cocktail reception, dinner and live period dancing in the stunning National Building Museum, which originally served as the pension building for Civil War veterans.  Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, author of more than 36 books on the Civil War, will share his perspectives in a special presentation that same evening.  The event’s farewell dinner will be held in the National Portrait Gallery & Smithsonian Museum of Art, in the same hall that hosted Lincoln’s second inaugural ball.  The former Patent Office Building, it also served as a hospital for wounded Union soldiers during the Civil War.


The premier gathering for many guests, however, will be the interactive evening with Ken Burns inside the National Archives.  The evening will include a keynote address on the Civil War and its legacy from Burns, an opportunity for guests to meet and chat with the filmmaker, and private after-hours viewing of the Rotunda.  Following a cocktail reception, attendees will conclude the evening with a memorable nighttime visit to the Lincoln Memorial.

For filmmaker Burns, Washington, DC, wasn’t just the optimal place to hold a five-day event exploring the Civil War, it was essentially the only place.  “The Civil War was the central event in America’s history, and as we noted in our film, it was literally fought in ten thousand places from Vermont to New Mexico,” said Burns.  “But as far-flung as the war’s physical geography was, the center of the action before, during and after the war was our nation’s capital.  There’s simply nowhere else you can so thoroughly and so efficiently explore the places, the people and the events that shaped the Civil War.”

Mahar added that the Tauck/Ken Burns event isn’t intended to cover the entire history of the war in detail.  “You can’t possibly cover the entire four-year war over the course of five days, but you can certainly gain a rich understanding of many of its key themes,” said Mahar.  “In particular, when you have Ken Burns, Harold Holzer and others sharing their insights and perspectives, and when you’re enjoying exclusive access to so many incredibly historic places with deep ties to the Civil War, you can count on an amazingly engaging and rewarding experience.  This is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Pricing for the two events is from $3,990 per-person, double occupancy, plus air.  Included in the price are airport transfers, most meals, admission to all sites and attractions, local guides, ground transportation, all evening programs and entertainment, taxes, luggage handling and more.  Guests can select lodging from three historic five-star hotel properties in Washington, DC, including the Willard Intercontinental, which hosted both Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant in the 1860s.  One hundred years later, Martin Luther King, Jr., completed his “March On Washington” (“I Have A Dream”) speech in the Willard the day before his historic rally on the National Mall.  Other choices for accommodations include the St. Regis and the Hay-Adams.

Availability for the Tauck/Ken Burns Civil War event is limited.  Those interested can visit their local travel professional, call Tauck at 800 468 2825, or go to www.tauck.com.

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