July 7, 2011; Fredericksburg, VA
Contact: Washington Foreign Press Center Media Officer Alison Mann
Telephone: 202-504-6362; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Foreign Press Center accompanied journalists from Australia, China, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Turkey to Fredericksburg, VA, on a tour highlighting preservation and interpretation of Civil War battlefields, and how history centric tourism bolsters local economies. The journalists met with the Superintendent of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Park, who explained how the 2011 interpretation of the battle is inclusive of African Americans, women, and civilian histories, in juxtaposition to the 1961 events, which focused singularly on military maneuvers. A Park historian then gave the journalists an overview of that portion of the battle, pointing out how little of the actual battlefield land survived residential and commercial development. A representative from the Fredericksburg Economic and Tourism Bureau briefed the journalists in the old Town Hall on how the Civil War tourism industry has contributed to the economic health of the city, and the steps taken in conjunction with developers to retain its historic character. The tour concluded with a visit to Slaughter Pen Farm, a 208 acre historically significant site purchased for preservation by the Civil War Battlefield Trust. A representative from the Trust explained how the non-profit organization works with donors to preserve and conserve lands from development.