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Volume 2, Issue 1, January 14, 2017
Happy New Year
Our nation is preparing for two major events in mid-January: one honors the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the other marks the end of Barack Obama's presidency. Out of the two historic sites featured in this issue, one relates directly to Dr. King, and the other was recently proclaimed a national monument by President Obama.
Cynthia Collins
Cynthia Collins 

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is a group of buildings in Atlanta, GA, where the future civil rights leader and Baptist minister spent his boyhood. There is a museum about the American Civil Rights Movement, an exhibit in an 1894 fire station that chronicles desegregation, and memorials to other social justice activists.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthplaceKing's birthplace is a two-story 1895 home that was purchased in 1909 by King's grandfather, Rev. Williams, when he was the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. After Williams' daughter married, she and her husband, Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., moved into her family home. This was where the civil rights leader and his two siblings were born and where the family lived until he was 12 years old. Following his assassination in 1968, the house was restored as a historic museum.
Historic Ebenezer Baptist ChurchAlso part of the historic site is the Ebenezer Baptist Church. This building was constructed in 1922 but the church was founded in 1886. King's grandfather, Rev. Adam Daniel Williams, became senior pastor in 1894. He encouraged the African-American community in civil rights including home and business ownership. His son-in-law, Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., served as the assistant pastor before taking on the senior duties after Williams' death in 1931. The Rev. Dr. King, Jr., became his father's co-pastor in 1960. Following King's assassination, his younger brother took the position of co-pastor until his death. Rev. King, Sr., outlived both of his sons and retired in 1975 after 44 years of service. 

Bears Ears National Monument
Bears Ears is one of our newest national monuments even though its history spans thousands of years. It is made up of 1.35 million acres in the Four Corners region of southeastern Utah. President Obama declared it a national monument on Dec. 28, 2016, by presidential proclamation under the Antiquities Act of 1906. Its cultural, historic, and scientific significance includes archaeological sites of ancestral Native Americans, its role in several episodes of American history, and the natural habitat of the area.
Bears Ears National MonumentNamed for the twin buttes that stand 8,700 feet high, Bears Ears is sacred land to the Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute, Hopi, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Navajo Nation. During the Long Walk of the Navajo, thousands were forced by the U.S. Army to walk to the Bosque Redondo Reservation in New Mexico beginning in 1863. They faced starvation and other hardships along the way, but some eluded capture by hiding in the canyons at Bears Ears. 

Visible examples of history and culture at Bears Ears National Monument include ancient cave dwellings, drawings, and petroglyphs or rock carvings. The area was the site of 19th-century wagon trains during the Westward Movement as prospectors and ranchers traveled in search of a better life. Outlaws and cattle rustlers passed through the site, hiding in canyons as they attempted to dodge law enforcement. Among the outlaws who took advantage of area canyons were Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Visible abundance of desert foliage and wildlife exist in harmony with fossils dating back to the age of dinosaurs amid natural rock formations. This leaves observers in awe of how old this land is and how much it has to teach us.

Note: The Bosque Redondo Memorial was featured in my Aug. 17, 2016 newsletter.

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The Unicorn Tree
The Unicorn Tree by Cynthia Collins

A teenage girl whose brother is lost at sea –

The diary of a nineteenth-century woman –

And the special place that binds them…

For reviews, excerpts, and summary, see

The Unicorn Tree is listed on the 2016 Winter Reading List of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators  (SCBWI) under grades 9-12.

Ghost story and maritime adventure...
Available at
Photo credit: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., birthplace and Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church: courtesy of Gary Tarleton, HFC, NPS. Bears Ears National Monument: courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.

All articles in this newsletter are by Cynthia Collins. The featured historic site section contains general information. The other articles may not be reprinted without written permission. Subscriber lists are not sold or given to any third parties and historic sites are not charged for being featured. To suggest historic sites for future issues, request article reprint permission, or any comments/questions regarding this newsletter, please contact Cynthia Collins.
Copyright © 2017 Cynthia Collins, All rights reserved.

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