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About the Author
Gary McKechnie

Gary McKechnie
  • Entertaining Media Guest
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    Philadelphia | Chattanooga
  • Featured in USA Today, Southern Living, Orlando Sentinel, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, Dallas Morning Herald, Southwest Airlines, Lake & Sumter Style, Orlando magazine, Road Trip, CNN, CBS radio and newspapers and magazines across America.
  • Two-time Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award Winner
  • Benjamin Franklin Award Winner
  • Cunard Line (Queen Mary 2) Insights Series Speaker
  • Booklist Selected Author
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An Entertaining Presenter

Having followed in the footsteps of Charles Kuralt, Gary's own epic travels have given him an unparalleled education in our nation's history, culture, and pastimes. Visit AEI Speakers to arrange for Gary to share with your group fascinating stories of American humor, heroism, and inspiration.

READ: Gary's Road Trips

Prairie Hog
Vacationing for a Living

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Mid-Atlantic

Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C. West Virginia

Mid-Atlantic Highlights

Mount Vernon at Alexandria, Virginia
MOUNT VERNON
Alexandria, Virginia

Anyone’s who has traveled long and far always carries with them one thing – and that’s a longing to get home. George Washington was no different. Time and again he stepped forward to serve his country and each time he did he looked forward to just one day. The day he could return to Mount Vernon.

Williamsburg, Virginia
COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG
Virginia

Thanks to the vision of one determined reverend and the fortune of one passionate Rockefeller, what existed in Williamsburg, Virginia, in the 1700s is still here today. Within the historic district the past is reflected in the buildings and in the people living and working here. What it lacks in flash, it makes up for in content. Not only does Colonial Williamsburg reveal how far we’ve come as a nation, it reminds us that the challenges our ancestors faced in nurturing a democracy are the same ones we face today.

Army-Navy Football Game
ARMY-NAVY FOOTBALL GAME
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As football becomes increasingly high-tech and marketing-heavy, it’s nice to recall old-fashioned gridiron classics when the game was more sport and less commercial entertainment. Taking place on the first Saturday in December, the showdown between the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy demonstrates this when the teams engage in a rivalry that’s been going on since the fall of ‘90.

1890.

Little League World Series
LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES
Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Of all the things I’ve seen in America, few are as wonderful as the Little League World Series. The summer sight of the kids on the field, the fans in the stands, and families on blankets spread out beyond the outfield, is pure Americana. Sure, every community in America has a Little League team, but this is where the best of the best kids from across the nation and around the world are playing baseball because -- well, just because they love to play baseball. Come to Williamsport in August and you can watch it live.

Valley Forge
VALLEY FORGE
Pennsylvania

In 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. observed that “...If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.” He could have been referring to the situation at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777 and 1778 when about 12,500 volunteers in the Continental Army proved that they were willing to die for something.

America’s liberty.

Valley Forge
COLONIAL PHILADELPHIA
Pennsylania

Based on memories of elementary school films you may picture Philadelphia as a colonial community where carriages whirl past and people write with quill pens. Well, that Philadelphia is now wrapped in a cloak of more than two centuries and about 1.5 million people. To its credit, Philadelphia has never forgotten the role it played in the founding of the nation which makes this an essential stop for those interested in preserving what remains of our democracy.

Congress - Washington D.C.
WASHINGTON D.C.

It may take some effort, but don’t let who’s in Washington detract you from appreciating what’s in Washington. The first time you stand at the Capitol at dusk and look down the Mall and see the slender Washington Monument and the outline of the Lincoln Memorial framed in the glow of the setting sun, you’ll see not just American icons, but the promise of America.

Lincoln Memorial
GETTYSBURG
Pennsylvania

I’m not sure if the soldiers at Gettysburg had any idea that their individual efforts; fighting for a hill, killing someone to capture a few yards, firing a cannonball powerful enough to rip dozens of men to shreds, would mean that this nation, so conceived and so dedicated, could long endure... but it has because of what happened here.

Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania
WASHINGTON CROSSING
Pennsylvania

If your perception of George Washington crossing the Delaware is based on the famous and improbable image of Emanuel Leutze’s 1851 painting, wait until you hear what really happened that night.

Arlington National Cemetary, Virginia
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Virginia

Mapped like a perfectly planted orchard more than 300,000 headstones cross 624 acres at Arlington National Cemetery. Every day, caretakers honor the memory, service, and sacrifice of the men and women laid to rest here, but one event truly symbolizes their level of devotion. It takes place on the final Monday in May. Memorial Day.

Hershey Kiss street lamp
HERSHEY
Pennsylvania

Milton Hershey, by all accounts, was a very sweet man. The character trait seems fitting considering that his breakthroughs as a chocolatier helped finance the creation of an entire candy community in the graceful hills of south central Pennsylvania.

Amish Country - Working in the Fields
AMISH COUNTRY
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Few of us mind letting technology enhance our lives. We no longer churn butter, we buy it. We don’t hang wash on the line, machines dry it. The Amish do it differently. If a new I-product sells on eBay hours after it’s released, the Amish don’t care. They’re content to stay put, and have been staying put for centuries. It demonstrates the Amish possess a force more powerful than the pressures of the outside world.

Their inner faith.

Groundhog Day
GROUNDHOG DAY
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

Take an old German tradition, a frozen west Pennsylvania winter, add a groundhog to the mix, and what do you have?

The foundation of what has become the silliest holiday on the American calendar.