Madison named state's first Trail of Tears chapter site
The city of Madison has been designated as the official site for The National Trail of Tears Association's first Alabama chapter.
The organizations first meeting was held at Holiday Inn on June 8 with national and state members of the Trail of Tears Association attending.
The association is recognized by the National Park Service, and is involved in recognizing sites, routes and the history of the Trail of Tears.
The Trail of Tears commemorates the route of about 17,000 Indians who were forced from their homes in the Southeast by the U.S. government in 1838-39. At least 4,000 Indians died along the trail as they moved to reservations in the West.
The ninth annual Trail of Tears motorcycle ride will take place on Sept. 21. More than 100,000 bikers are expected to ride through Huntsville and Madison en route from Chattanooga, Tenn. to Waterloo in Lauderdale County. The event raises awareness of the treatment of American Indians forced from their homes and raises money for college scholarships for Indians.
This year's festivities include an American Indian Festival and concert on Sept. 20 at the Madison Aquatic Park on Lime Quarry Road.