Students recount Presidential trip

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 1, 2004

Author George Santana once said, "Those who are ignorant of the past are bound to repeat it."

Ohio became the 17th state in the union during 1803. Two hundred years later, Ohio University Southern honored the bicentennial with a trip to the homes of Ohio's presidents to allow the students to pursue historical knowledge and learn valuable lessons from the past.

Last year's trip allowed Ohio University Southern to reflect on the historically rich connection between Ohio and the U.S. Presidential office. Ohio claims eight U.S. Presidents, seven of whom were actually born in Ohio.

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The Education on Wheels trip was made possible by OUS instructors Steve Call and Robert Leith.

Highlights of the trip included the William McKinley Memorial and Museum, James Garfield's Memorial and home, the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Warren Harding's home, William Taft's National Historic Site birthplace, William Henry Harrison's Memorial and the boyhood home and schoolhouse of Ulysses S. Grant.

The travelers spanned a variety of ages and backgrounds, but each person shared the common desire to learn and celebrate his or her American history.

"These trips are beneficial and fun," said Dale Royse, a history teacher at Green High School who has taken part in four other history on location trips. "(The trips) help make history more personal."

Call, the travel and tourism director at OUS, carried out enormous behind-the-scenes planning and arrangements to produce an informative traveling classroom at a cost efficient price.

"The trip was nicely packaged, and all the more appealing with its relatively inexpensiveness," said Mike McClintock, an Ohio University Athens student.

Leith provided the students with in-depth historical knowledge through lectures and discussions.

Some of the more distinguished participants included State Rep. Dr. Clyde Evans (D-87th), along with his wife Rosemary, and two of their grandchildren, Owen Moore and Evans Smalley.

Dr. Evans said trips like this can "give a different dimension" to the learning experience and "cover all ways in which people learn."

The Evans family said they enjoyed taking their grandchildren on historical trips because, "You can relive the experience.

It gives you a better appreciation of what our forefathers had to endure," Rosemary said.

The university has more adventures planned for this year.

Many students just returned today from a Civil War trip in Virginia.

Upcoming trips include a visit to New York City from June 12-15, another Presidents' trip in June 25-27 and a visit to Washington and Baltimore in October.

Anyone who is interested may contact Travel World at 740-533-4630 or 1-800-210-3350 or e-mail your questions, contact