The Group Travel Leader

MAY 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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BILTMORE'S FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS Courtesy 1 7 GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E set the stage for the presidency of Gerald Ford, an unlikely leader who took over under difficult circum- stances. The Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, introduces visitors to Gerald and Betty Ford and gives them an overview of his significant role in leading America through the mid '70s in the wake of presidential scandal. ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: The architecture of the 1970s is often viewed disapprovingly by modern critics, but that doesn't mean the decade was without its achievements. One of the most renowned projects of the time is the Kahn Building at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Opened in 1972, the smooth, concrete-vaulted surfaces of the building are considered quintessential examples of modern architecture. POP PHENOMENON: Elvis Presley had dominated the worlds of music and film for decades before his untimely death in 1977. In Memphis, Tennessee, his Graceland Estate is preserved much as he left it when he died, showcasing the opulence of his lifestyle and the design sensibilities of the era. T H E 19 8 0 s : GREED IS GOOD Shaking off the doldrums of the 1970s, Generation X seized American culture in the 1980s and embraced the pursuit of immense wealth and a luxurious lifestyle. The relative peace and economic stability of the decade allowed people to focus on more self-centered pursuits. HISTORIC HAPPENINGS: Natural disaster grabbed headlines at the beginning of the decade with the unex- pected eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state in 1980. The eruption killed 57 people and per- manently changed the landscape, and today the area is preserved as a national monument, where visitors can admire the area's beauty and learn about the seismic activity that triggered the eruption. PRESIDENTS AND POLITICS: For many people, the politics of the 1980s are synonymous with Ronald Reagan, the actor-turned-president who is credited with ending the Cold War and ushering in the era of modern American peace. The Reagan Presidential Foundation in Simi Valley, California, offers guests a look at Reagan's remarkable life and the issues and challenges that defined his presidency and, with it, the decade. ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: Opened in 1983, the 135,000-square-foot building designed by Richard Meier to house the High Museum of Art in Atlanta is considered one of the most beautiful buildings of the Courtesy Watergate Hotel

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