After 8 years of conflict, a new, independent nation is born. Like any new child, this nation experiences growing pains and expansion. Travel from St. Louis to the Alamo as our young nation grows up:
32. Washington, D.C. – Formed by the signing of the Residence Act in July 1790, Washington D.C. is home to the capital of the US. There is too much history in the city to try to fit it into a historic timeline, so D.C. finds its home at the founding of our country. There is so much to be seen in the city, that it is a destination on its own. Some of the biggest historic sites and attractions include: The Smithsonian, The U.S. Capitol Building, the National Mall, the National Cathedral, Arlington National Cemetery, Ford’s Theatre, and much more.
33. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial – St. Louis, Missouri – When the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, the territory to the west was open for expansion. Americans began to leave the original lands and move west for their chance at the “American Dream.” St. Louis was the embarkation point for a large majority of those headed west, and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial commemorates the pioneer spirit of the westward expansion. The Memorial grounds include the landmark St. Louis Gateway Arch and St. Louis’s Old Courthouse(Location of the Dred Scott Case).
34. Fort McHenry – Baltimore, Maryland – Fort McHenry is best known for successfully defending Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British Navy in September 1814. During the battle, a storm flag was flown over the fort, but was replaced by a larger garrison flag on the morning of September 14, 1814 to signal the American Victory. The sight of the new flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became known as the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem. You can find more info here. Not able to visit Fort McHenry soon? Check out the live webcam of the flag over the fort at this link.
35. Chalmette Battlefield – 5 miles Southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana – The final major battle of the War of 1812 was the Battle of New Orleans, fought in January 1815. Th Treaty of Ghent had been signed the previous month, but fighting continued until the British forces retreated on January 18th. The battlefield now has a visitor center with films and exhibits. There is a national cemetary nearby, and a living history day once a year.
36. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial – Put-In-Bay, Ohio – Established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, the memorial also celebrates long-lasting peace between Britain, Canada, and the US. The Memorial, rising 352 feat over Lake Erie, is situated 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world.
37. The Alamo – San Antonio, Texas – Originally a Spanish Mission in Mexican Texas, the Alamo was the site of a 13-day siege and a pivotal event during the Texas Revolution. All Texian defenders of the fort died in the siege from February 23 – March 6, 1836. The cruelty of the Mexican troops inspired the cry, “Remember the Alamo” and the desire for revenge. Six weeks after the siege, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto. This battle led to the independence of Texas from Mexico. Texas remained a sovereign nation from 1836 to 1846 when it was annexed and awarded statehood by the United States. Today, you can visit the site and tour the church, courtyard, barrack, and more. Find more info on the Battle of the Alamo here, and the Battle of San Jacinto here.
38. Oregon National Historic Trail – Trail winds through Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming – More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along this historic trail connecting the original portions of the US to the Frontier. After several journeys from Missouri to the west, wagons finally began to make the trip to Oregon in 1836. Today, you can camp, hike, horseback ride, and visit museums along different segments of the trail.
39. Chimney Rock – Near Bayard, Nebraska – One of the most recognizable landmarks to pioneer travelers, this spire rises 325 feet from the base at the edge of North Platte River Valley. There is a modern visitor center nearby, but most of the area looks exactly like it did when the pioneers entered the area.
40. Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, Louisiana – Built in 1837, the Oak Alley Plantation is known for the alley of Southern Live Oak that runs about 800 feet between the home and the Mississippi River. The home has been designated a National Historic Landmark for its architecture and landscape. A visit includes a look back at southern life and history in Louisiana.
41.Trail of Tears National Historic Trail – Trail winds through AL, AR, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, OK, and TN – From 1838-1839 the Cherokee People were forcefully removed from their homelands and made to travel by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. The Trail commemorates the painful journey they took, and invites you to experience a small part of what they endured.
42. Fort Scott National Historic Site – Kansas – Established in 1842, Fort Scott stood at the border of the “Indian Frontier.” Soldiers kept the peace between settlers and native tribes. Fort Scott also was a part of the Mexican American War from 1846-1848. Today, you can visit eleven historic buildings with furnished rooms, museum areas, and more exhibits.
43. California State Mining and Mineral Museum – Mariposa, California – The history of California was drastically changed by the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1848. The gold rush that grew that year and over the next several shaped the future of the state into the California we see today. The museum contains a collection of mining artifacts, specimens of crystalline gold, and gem specimens. Mariposa is also located on the way into one of the entrances to Yosemite National Park.
44. Castle Clinton National Monument – Battery Park, New York City, New York – A circular sandstone fort now located in Battery Park, Castle Clinton is best remembered as America’s first immigration station. More than eight million people arrived in the US from 1855 to 1890 through this station.
45. Mark Twain Cave – Hannibal, Missouri – Visit the inspiration behind some of America’s best known Pre-Civil War literature. Visit the cave behind the fictional one in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, then experience other aspects of Pre-Civil War Mississippi live like the Mark Twain Home and Museum and the Mark Twain Riverboat.
As citizens recognize the pain of slavery, new conflicts arise between the states. In 1961, those conflicts boil over into the Civil War. The first shot was at Fort Sumter, and the struggle went on for four years until Robert E. Lee surrendered. Travel the battlefields and experience the pain of a nation torn apart:
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