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News & Press: Public

Business Meeting Summary, Feb. 14, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017  
Posted by: Jackie Frend
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Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC

Business Meeting at the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


February is Black History Month and the Business Meeting was held at the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum (AACWMM) with 97 Guild members and invited guests attending.  The Board thanks 1st Vice President, Sandra Moore, for securing the meeting location and speakers Dr. Frank Smith and Dr. Juanita Patience Moss. Many thanks to Guild member Jane Khoury for introducing the Guild to Mr. Ben King of the Mindful Memorial Day Foundation.

Dr. Frank Smith, Executive Director, AACWMM

Dr. Frank Smith, Executive Director of AACWMM, announced that the museum will be expanding in the near future. The current museum is 5,000 square feet but expansion plans include rehabilitating and reusing the Grimke School Building next to the AACWMM.  Total square footage will be 15,000 once the expansion is complete. Three new exhibits will be added, along with a multitude of new artifacts and a state of the art theater to enhance the visitor experience. One of the new exhibits, “From Slavery to the White House: The USCT Heritage of First Lady Michelle Obama,” will explore the story of two of the former First Lady’s ancestors, Jerry Sutton/Sutter 55th USCT and Ceaser Cohen, 128th USCT, both of whom are listed with their respective Regiments on the African American Civil War Memorial Wall of Honor. These men are but two of the 209,145 USCT soldiers who served our nation in the Civil War. Groundbreaking is expected to begin in the Fall of 2017 with a tentative completion date of late 2018 or early 2019. 

For more information about the AACWMM, check out

Dr. Juanita Patience Moss, Author

The title of Dr. Moss’ presentation was “Observing Gravesites of Black Civil War Soldiers.”

Dr. Moss highlighted several of her books, including “Forgotten Black Soldiers Who Served in White Regiments During the Civil War” which explored the reasons why it is so difficult to locate service records and details of individual USCT soldiers.  Dr. Moss spoke about Northern Blacks who enlisted in the Union Army in regiments such as the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, 55th Massachusetts Infantry,

5th Massachusetts Cavalry, and 29th Connecticut Infantry. She also explained the differences in USCT troops’ burial procedures and segregated sections of cemeteries, including off-site plots.

Dr. Moss has written several books which can be purchased online.  For more information about Dr. Moss and her books about Black Civil War soldiers, visit:

Ben King, Mindful Memorial Day Foundation

Iraq War Veteran Ben King introduced Guild members to the Mindful Memorial Day Foundation.  For the past 3 years, the foundation has organized an event at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) at Arlington National Cemetery to display the Fallen Warrior Ribbon Memorial, yellow ribbons with the names of U.S. soldiers who have died in battle since 9/11/01. To date, that number is 6,868 and growing.  Volunteers greet visitors at WIMSA during Memorial Day weekend and ask them to participate in remembering fallen service members by accepting a yellow ribbon with the name of a soldier attached and agree to spend a moment, mindfully remembering that person and his/her sacrifice.  Mr. King requests that Guides bring their tour groups to WIMSA during Memorial Day weekend to participate in the remembrance. In 2016, 76% of the fallen soldiers were honored; the goal in 2017 is to honor 100%. With the Guild’s help, this goal can be accomplished.

For more information about the Mindful Memorial Day Foundation, visit:

Joe Steinbock and Maricar Donato, The Road to Iran: Highlights of the WFTGA Conference

Joe Steinbock and Maricar Donato presented a brief slide show of their recent trip to Iran for the WFGTA Conference.  To learn more, plan to attend the Guild Education Event on Tuesday, February 28, from 1:00-2:30 pm at the Historical Society of Washington, DC, 801 K Street, NW, Washington, DC.  The event is titled “The Road to Iran: Highlights of the WFTGA Conference.” Register online by accessing the Calendar section of the Guild’s website at:

Highlights of Officer and Committee Reports:

1.     Board Decisions, past Guild events, and a listing of current Affiliates are attached;

2.     Shirley Timashev has volunteered to produce the Capital Guide E-Newsletter in collaboration with the Board of Directors; the first issue will be ready in a couple weeks;

3.     You must register online no later than March 7 if you plan to attend the March 14 Business Meeting at the U.S. Institute of Peace;

4.     You will be notified by ANC when your ANC Security Access Pass is ready for pickup;

5.     Bus Parking spaces at Pentagon City Mall has changed. Four bus parking spaces were taken away from S. Hayes Street; bus parking spaces were added to 15th Street near Costco.

6.     Upgrades will be made to the Guild’s website but not until later in the year, after the busy tour season.



Jackie Frend, President

Sandra Moore, 1st Vice President

Mary Beth Lane, 2nd Vice President