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- 2000 - 2001
- 1995 - 1999
Largest Organized Motorcycle Ride in History
Ride Attendance was huge, over 150,000 Motorcycles with approximately 200,000, or more in the
town of Waterloo. The best method of determining the size of this ride is to
take part in the ride, because it is BIG. When you are in the middle of the festivities you can
see why it is "the largest organized motorcycle ride in the world."
The scholarships were increased to $30,000 for Alabama students and $30,000
for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Space Camp donated a scholarship to their program for a Native American student.
"Ride to Remember" Trail of Tears riders recall the past by
providing for the future. For Chelsea
Chamblee, it’s an experience she’ll never forget.
the final hours of 2005 undergoing astronaut training and was chosen to be a
Mission Commander. Her mother, Kasey Chamblee, was selected to be the pilot of
their shuttle mission, and flew sitting next to her daughter. Together they
built and launched model rockets, studied the history of the manned space flight
program, and successfully carried out a simulated shuttle mission into Earth
the 2005 Alabama-Tennessee Trail of Tears Corridor Association’s Space Camp®
essay contest. Her prize: an all expenses paid trip for her and her mother to
attend the Parent/Child Space Camp® program at the U.S. Space &
Rocket Center® in Huntsville, Alabama.
It all began
a dozen years ago with 8 motorcycle riders and an idea. They would make the trip
across North Alabama to retrace the approximate route by which many thousands of
Native Americans were brutally forced from their homes, stripped of their
belongings, and herded westward to reservations. More than 4,000 died of
starvation, disease and exposure along the way. History remembers it as the
Trail of Tears.
earnest beginnings in 1994 to becoming the largest and most important motorcycle
ride in the nation, the annual Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle ride
seeks to not only exalt the memory of those lost, but to improve the future for
Native American children by raising money for scholarships and other educational
more than 120,000 bikers took part in the ride, creating a chain of motorcycles
two-wide stretching almost 60 miles in length. Their 230-mile route was lined
with supporters waving them on, while thousands more awaited the arrival of the
bikers in Waterloo, Alabama, for an evening of music and festivities. Among them
was eight-year-old Chelsea, a proud Cherokee Indian and member of the United
Cherokee Ani-Yun-Wiya Nation.
Camp, Chelsea and her Mom not only took part in a simulated shuttle mission.
They experienced NASA-designed astronaut trainers including the Multi-Axis
Trainer; created to demonstrate how it would feel if a space capsule began to
tumble out of control during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. They also
experienced the 1/6th Gravity Trainer, designed to show astronauts
what it would feel like to walk on the moon.
to earning their Space Camp Astronaut Wings upon graduation, their Gemini team
also won the Most Outstanding Team Award, the Outstanding Mission Award and the
Best Team Patch Award.
proud of our alliance with the Alabama-Tennessee Trail of Tears Corridor
says U.S. Space & Rocket Center CEO Larry Capps. Their efforts
will make a tremendous difference in the lives and careers of many Native
American children. We want this to last a very long time, he added.
Space & Rocket Center congratulates Chelsea for her winning essay, and we
encourage her to continue to set high goals for herself. We also offer our
heart-felt appreciation to the Alabama-Tennessee Trail of Tears Corridor
Association for their remarkable efforts to help a nation remember the
injustices suffered by Native Americans by providing for the future of their
are already working with the Association in their efforts to secure additional
educational opportunities to a deserving young Native American as part of the
Trail of Tears Commemorate Motorcycle Ride.
Click here For Scholarship information
(NOTE: The contact for this release is Al
Whitaker, Media Relations Manager, U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville
Alabama. 256-721-7160. Email:
The CIRCL a non-profit Native American preservation group in Chattanooga;
The American Indian Museum in Huntsville;
and The Mowa Choctaw Cultural Center in Mt. Vernon, AL.
A historic marker was placed in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
The first phase of the Trail of Tears River Walk Project was completed. The River Walk includes
engraved brick surrounding the historic marker at the end of Main Street overlooking the