ASC professors and K-12 teachers tour D.C. Area

(06-27-2008)

Adams State College History Professors Rich Loosbrock and Ed Crowther conducted a ten-day long tour (June 16-June 25) of historic sites in and around Washington, D. C., for twenty-one k-12 teachers hailing from Colorado and New Mexico. Joining them for a two-day long tour of Civil War Battlefields around Richmond, Virg., was Gary W. Gallagher (Adams State graduate of ’72), the John L. Nau III Professor of Civil War and Military History at the University of Virginia. The trip was funded by two Teaching American History grants, which are designed to improve the content area knowledge of public school teachers in United States History.

The packed itinerary included viewing the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights at the National Archives, visits to the Lincoln, FDR, and Jefferson Memorials, a trip to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, the battlefields of the Overland Campaign from the Civil War, the Tredegar Ironworks and the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, and an intensive workshop at Colonial Williamsburg. Participant Ellie Springfield of Los Alamos, N.M., said, "Going to Williamsburg was going back in time. I understand so much better the context of the American Revolution."

A somber walk through Arlington National Cemetery is another feature of this trip, scene of twenty-seven military funerals each day. En route to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Loosbrock took the group to the grave of his Uncle Jack Loosbrock, a career Air Force Officer. Loosbrock says that "he's the reason why we're here." Loosbrock's many early visits to the D. C. area to visit his uncle helped him to develop the trip itinerary.

Gallagher, who is immensely popular with K-12 teachers, summed up the importance of the battlefield tours. "You can't understand United States History without coming to terms with the Civil War. And you can't understand the outcome of the Civil War without understanding what happened on these battlefields."

Crowther, the chair of Adams State's history department, said, "We want to provide opportunities for all our students - those who teach in our major universities, in secondary and elementary schools, who serve in government or practice law - the fullest understanding of history."