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Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area to be Showcased in New Partnership

By June 3, 2013General

Visitors to the Mississippi River will be able to experience the rich heritage and culture of the region through stories and images.

Thousands of visitors enjoy a steamboat cruise on the Mississippi River each year.

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA) has been selected by the American Queen Steamboat Company and National Trust for Historic Preservation to be a focus of a new partnership that will help raise awareness of the rich heritage and culture of the region for the thousands of visitors to the Mississippi River each year.

“Travelers on the American Queen are an ideal audience to reach in sharing the stories of the Mississippi Delta,” said Luther Brown, manager of the MDNHA. “We are very pleased with this new partnership and are looking forward to welcoming these visitors to the Delta and showing them all we have to offer.”

In 2012, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated the MDNHA as a National Treasure in recognition of the Delta’s impact on the nation – as the land where the blues was born, the Civil Rights movement overturned segregation, the introduction of high tech farming sparked the Great Migration, the siege of Vicksburg marked a turning point in the Civil War and literary greats such as Tennessee Williams and Eudora Welty told the world about the Delta through their writing.

Beginning June 30, American Queen travelers will have the opportunity to learn more about the MDNHA during their cruises and on shore excursions into the region. Travelers will learn about the region’s history and the MDNHA’s current efforts to preserve and protect historic resources that are vital links to tell the stories of the past and contribute to sustainable development in the future.

“We are proud to partner with the American Queen Steamboat Company to bring increased awareness to America’s National Treasures,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust. “This partnership reminds all of us of the importance of preserving the irreplaceable places – such as the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area – that tell America’s stories.”

As a key feature of the partnership, the American Queen Steamboat Company will make a corporate donation of $5 to the National Trust for every river cruise booking and will give guests the opportunity to match the donation. Funds raised will support the work of the National Trust and its National Treasures campaign which currently encompasses 32 historic places across the country including the MDNHA.

“Thousands of guests onboard the American Queen have rediscovered the treasures the U.S. heartland has to offer over the past year,” said Ted Sykes, president and COO of the American Queen Steamboat Company. “We are honored to play a role in the preservation of these sites with the National Trust.”

For information on cruises on the Mississippi River, contact National Trust Tours at 866-225-2008.

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, as authorized by Congress in 2009, includes 18 counties – Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo. The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University in Cleveland is the program manager for the management planning phase. The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area is governed by a board of directors representing agencies and organizations defined in the Congressional legislation. For more information, visit

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area has contracted with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to work with partners throughout the region to develop a management plan for the heritage area that will address stewardship of resources, interpreting the region’s history and reaching new visitor audiences. To find out more, visit

The American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) is the owner and operator of the U.S. flagged American Queen, the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world.  Longer than a football field, towering six decks in height and laced with fanciful gingerbread trim, she is a marvel of modern engineering. Her journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective on America’s history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from some of America’s most iconic river port cities including Memphis, Vicksburg, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and St. Paul. Learn more at