Anyway, most of the trips I take with the magazine’s travel partner, MWT Associates, focus on astronomy — eclipses, transits, and dark-sky observing. But now I’ve been asked to lead and speak on a Mississippi riverboat cruise next spring focusing on Civil War history, and I invite you to join me for what will be a great week of fun.
“Steamboatin’ the Mississippi River” will take place April 7–15, 2013, on the American Queen steamboat and will feature Civil War lectures by me as we visit Memphis, Helena, Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. It will be a magnificent trip focused on one of the greatest dramas in American history (and Melita Thorpe of MWT tells me that many astronomers have signed up already, so we may have riverboat deck stargazes, too!).
We’ll spend time touring Vicksburg National Battlefield, where U. S. Grant’s siege captured the river stronghold and cut the Confederacy in two just a day after Lee retreated south from Gettysburg. We’ll enjoy some blues music in Helena, stately antebellum plantations in Natchez (the Yankees didn’t burn them all!), fantastic gardens in rural Louisiana, mansions and museums in Baton Rouge, and Oak Alley Plantation, one of the most picturesque of the Old South. And, of course, we’ll party in New Orleans in the French Quarter and all about town.
So consider coming along for a taste of the Old South and Civil War history (and maybe a little river stargazing, too). To learn more, visit the MWT Associates website at www.melitatrips.com. And if you would like to order a signed copy of my one-volume history of the Civil War, The Longest Night, email me at email@example.com for details.
Smart not to come down South in May through September, unless you like humid heat, even at 5 A.M. (Humid air cools very slowly.) They just designated the now being widened, Huey P. Long ( A former governor of Louisiana during the Great Depression, known as 'The Kingfish' who was assassinated inside the State Capitol Building) Bridge as some kind of world engineering landmark. You can't miss it from on the River. Long was a populist who promised us 'a chicken in every pot' and to 'share the wealth'. (You KNOW he had to go!) He almost had a war with the old - money power structure in New Orleans. He had his own mini-army who carried Thompson machine guns - really, he did ! They took out his assassin. No clumsy trial was needed. Although it wouldn't have lasted too long, had one been necessary. He had a genius I.Q. too. I would like to list the politicians from here that have recently been sent to jail by the US Attorney, but it would overload the Internet. Now they are saying it will rain for most of the next 4 days. How nice.