11/6/2012

Topeka Civil Rights sites offer a history by cell phone tour

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site News Release

For Immediate Release
Contacts: David Smith, (785) 354-4273
              Grant M. Glen, (785) 235-5330


Topeka Civil Rights sites offer new ways to explore history with cell phones

TOPEKA, KS – A variety of local historical societies and tourism groups have partnered with the National Park Service to bring the fight for civil rights alive in downtown Topeka.

Beginning Wednesday, October 3, historical sites throughout Topeka will begin using free cell phone audio tours highlighting local stories.

Partners will have a press conference at 10 a.m., at Constitution Hall, 429 S. Kansas Ave., to discuss the new project. This is the first phase of a three-part strategy that will also include the publication of driving guides and interpretive signage at the historical sites. The historical alliance hopes that this will lead to an increased focus on historical tourism that capitalizes on Topeka’s rich history.

As part of the new cell phone tours, Monday marked the unveiling of a new sign on a north-facing billboard located at 423 Kansas Avenue, directly across from the post office building, site of the original court house used in the Brown v. Board of Education case, highlighting the tours.

Other sites in town being interpreted in the cell phone tour include the Historic Ritchie House, Brown v. Board of Education, the Kansas State House, the Topeka Cemetery, Constitution Hall and many others. All of the sites that are part of From Brown to Brown: Topeka’s Civil Rights Story are tied to the story of the struggle for freedom.

Guides for the audio tour are being finalized now and will be available free to the public. In the meantime, listeners can sign on to the audio tours by calling (785) 338-4041 and listening to information about the current list of sites. Additional sites will be added once the brochure goes to print.

“Topeka has been on the forefront of important struggles for freedom, as well as being an important part of the Freedom Frontier National Heritage Area. The Brown to Brown tour will emphasize the importance of these sites and will be a significant means to encourage all Topekans to promote historic tourism in our community,” said David Smith, park superintendent.

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site tells the story of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended legal segregation in public schools.

The site is located at 1515 SE Monroe Street in Topeka, Kansas, and is open free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the exceptions of Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1. For more information call (785) 354-4273 or visit www.nps.gov/brvb and www.facebook.com/brownvboardnps.

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