By William Hageman, Tribune Newspapers
8:28 PM EDT, June 25, 2013
When you're planning a vacation with kids, Doris Kearns Goodwin suggests mixing in a little history.
"Something rubs off," said the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian. "People say maybe the kids are grumpy and such, but you often hear about a father taking a kid to Civil War battlefields, and the kid grows up loving history. … You give a child an avocation for life."
She recalled childhood visits to President Theodore Roosevelt's home in Sagamore Hill, N.Y., and President Franklin Roosevelt's Hyde Park, N.Y., home. The trips made an impression — among her works are "No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II" and "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism," due in October.
Washington, D.C., is obvious and perfect, but Goodwin listed other possible vacation destinations:
Springfield, Ill.: Much of Lincoln's history is compressed in an easy-to-visit location — his home, his law office, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum ("one of the great presidential libraries," she said), and the statehouse, where he gave his "House Divided" speech.
Concord, Mass.: It's more than Goodwin's hometown; it's also the location of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, which started the American Revolution. Concord also has a rich literary history — Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were all residents — that can be explored. "There's so much history in this town. A parent coming here with kids would have a wonderful time," Goodwin said.
Cooperstown, N.Y.: Baseball is Goodwin's true passion, she said, so a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is obvious. "Just because baseball is so linked to the history of our country, and it's in such a beautiful place, and the museum is so extraordinary."
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