. . . the Walt
Disney Company had been effectively portrayed
as an enemy of American history and a plunderer
of sacred ground. . . .
Eisner, Chairman of the Walt Disney Company
Work in Progress, (New York: Random House), page 337
Chotank became protected Bald Eagle habitat in 2001
Disney Documents þLUS
-- concerning the canceled Disney's America --
that Disney CEO planned in Prince William County, Virginia
on Legacy Foote/Foot Land
his Random House book, Work in Progress,
Michael Eisner writes
that of all projects during his first decade as head of Disney,
he was the most passionate about Disney's America,
personally making, reviewing, and approving theme park plans
and site selection. In his book, he remembers walking the legacy Foote/Foot property and finding personal items that had belonged to previous residents of Waverley Plantation. On 28 September 1994, Michael Eisner announced that Disney was cancelling it's plans to build Disney's America after a bruising national media fight with Protect Historic America and aggressive local opposition in Virginia from Protect Prince William and other citizen groups.
The Battle [by Protect Historic America] to Stop Disney's America
by Nick Kotz (of Broad Run, Virginia) and Rudy Abramson (of Florence, Alabama before attending University of Mississippi, Oxford). Kotz spoke at Carter Library, Atlanta, and at the Miller Center, University of Virginia in February 2005. Bob Woodward, The Washington Post, has called Nick Kotz "one of the greatest, most serious writers of our time". Abramson's family owned earlier in the decade Abramson Antiques on Court Street in Florence just one block south of the University of North Alabama campus. Abramson headed Protect Historic America after retiring from the Washington Bureau of The Los Angeles Times.
Rudy Abramson passed away 13 February 2008. His rural roots in North Alabama are remembered with this link. The Daily Yonder headline reads "Rudy Abramson: Child of North Alabama and Friend to Rural America". Dr. Foote's remembrance with references to Ole Miss, where Rudy was on the Journalism Advisory Panel and Foote had been Professor of Radio/TV, is a part of the online Daily Yonder memorials. The Newseum, Washington, held a memorial service for Rudy before his burial in the Abramson plot at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, northwest of Florence. Please close the new browser window honoring Rudy to
return to our main Disney's America page.
Richard Moe, president, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, puts "Journey through Hallowed Ground" on 2005-2006 list of America's most threatened historic sites
. "Hallowed Ground" includes the Disney's America location on legacy Foote/Foot land
Read news story and find the book, Hallowed Ground by Rudy Abramson with photographers Kenneth Garrett, who lives in Broad Run, and Jack Kotz. Garrett is a National Geographic Society photographer. Jack Kotz has worked on books with the director of the National Park Service. Hallowed Ground includes the Virginia Route 15 site of Waverley Mansion House, that Eisner selected for Disney's America history theme park in 1993. The book has a chapter on Disney's America with several paragraphs devoted to the historic Brent Town (Brenttown or Brenton) tract along Broad Run in Prince William County, Virginia, that was a settlement belonging to George Brent, Richard Foote/Foot, Nicholas Hayward, and Richard Bristow. The Smithsonian, May 2006, magazine contains an article,"Hallowed Highway" on pages 86 to 90, with a full page map of highway 15's route from Gettysburg to Charlottesville. The Route to Yesteryear passes the failed Disney's America location on legacy Foote/Foot land that had once belonged to Shelby's and Horton's family, just north of Haymarket, Virginia. Foote/Foot Note: Letter of 7 October 2008 from The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership shows both Nick Kotz and Mary Lynn Kotz, Protect Historic America, the parents of Jack Kotz, on the Partnership's Advisory Council.
What was gained by defeating Disney? It's been many years -- The Washington Post in November 24, 2003 story asked what did bumping the Disney theme park from nearby Virginia's Prince William County accomplish?
Click here to conduct archive search for "Disney's Defeat Didn't Stop Growth -- Or End Debate -- in Prince William" by Steven Ginsberg in the A Section. (Post requires free registration for current news/features and payment for archive access).
If you follow this link to The Washington Post article, please close new browser window after jumping to Post for
return to this page.
FAX Page with other content updated in 2005 to Horton Foote/Foot from his cousin Eddie Foote/Foot, Chotank.com producer,
about location that Michael Eisner personally selected for Disney's theme park in Virginia
President Clinton's December 20, 2000 remarks about Oscar-winner Horton Foote/Foot are here with other Foote/Foot Notes about Horton and Shelby Foote/Foot's Windsor Castle roots. Shelby, who died Monday night (27 June 2005), was the most famous national historian to oppose Michael Eisner's plans. See Horton's and Shelby's cousin Eddie at UNA in fall 2007 with his students, who proclaim their affection for Chotank.
The Washington Post
names former Bush Cabinet member Colin Powell. By presenting the story, Chotank helps reveal involvement of ABC correspondents in Disney's America controversy run-up before Disney purchased the network
Read heated conversation about Disney from Sam Donaldson, Ted Koppel, Brit Hume, Colin Powell -- Retired US Secretary of State, Mary
Matalin -- Vice President Cheney's adviser, James Carville from Clinton White House who is Matalin's husband and Jody Powell, White House Press Secretary for President Carter and admirer of Shelby Foote [see his photo],
key spokesperson for Protect Historic America and Protect Prince William. "EEEEK! A MOUSE! STEP ON IT!" commanded The Washington Post.
Historian's Letter to Michael Eisner, Disney
This is link to letter that Northern Virginia Association for History, Inc., Fairfax, sent to Michael Eisner, Disney CEO, two months after "EEEEK! A MOUSE! STEP ON IT!" had been published by the The Washington Post. NVAH also sent copies to Representatives and Senators, the Director of the National Park Service, Avon Edward Foote at the University of North Alabama and Members of Prince William Historical Commission.
Disney Offers on Waverley (site of Disney's
America) -- Unpublished excerpts from Disney filings with County of Prince William.
Archaeological Survey at Waverley Farms and
Squire Tract -- Disney-sponsored report officially recognizes the Shelby Foote/Horton Foote family connections to Waverley, Eisner's proposed site for Disney's America.
Disney and Michael Eisner
Invade Virginia -- OLD Disney Blog discussion from 1994 has comments from historians reacting to AP story.
Two University Academic Papers on Disney's America -- Read first a 1995 report with outstanding Washington Post source footnotes. Click here.
Joe Black's pages featuring artists' conceptions
of Disney's America theme areas
These mirror pages at Chotank.com present sketches of the planned theme areas in Disney's America park.
Statement to Protect Prince William supporting goals of Protect Historic America by Betty Rankin, President and Co-Founder, "Save the Battlefield Coalition" -- She quotes Jody Powell, President Carter's former press secretary and self-professed admirer of Shelby Foote, on the need for Manassas Civil War battlefield protection.
Ken Burns, TV producer, Opposes Disney's Plans
Burns is the documentary filmmaker who gave public television viewers a flawed Empire of the Air, that trashed Alabama's Lee de Forest, and the superb Civil War series with Shelby Foote. In March 2008 PBS and CPB announced a new 10 year agreement with Burns for documentary specials. Burns newest PBS series required five years to shoot and edit his take on National Park magnificence and variety. After car sales tanked GM announced end to its long-term underwriting association with Burns. The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation, University of Maryland, announced soon after GM's announcement honors for Katie Couric,
Ken Burns and other recipents at 2009 Giants of Broadcasting event in Grand Hyatt, New York. The Library at College Park is home to the Avon Edward and Dorothy Gargis Foote Gulf War Video Collection of over 500 original and edited professional Betacam tapes of the 1991 war. In an interview with Harry Jessell published in Spring 2009 Airwaves, LAB President Don West explained, "I would also like the Library to be the archivist for TV news, network and local."
$3,000,000 Buys Disney's Virginia Headquarters -- While this real estate listing is quite old, it is an interesting part of the history of Disney's America.
Avon Edward Foote's Letter to Disney Concerning Waverley -- with 2004 press report from MSNBC that says a Washington Post reporter believes that Eisner is haunted by failure to turn Foote/Foot land in Prince William County into Disneyfied history theme park.
Letter to Annie Snyder from Betty Rankin, President and Co-Founder, "Save the Battlefield Coalition" -- Rankin acknowledges her family ties to Shelby and Horton Foote/Foot family.
Original 1993 Disney Press Release on Disney's
America, with its planned 1998 opening announced by Michael
Eisner -- This archived Disney source from Thornwood Publishers in Florence, Alabama, is used by Patricia A. Sullivan and Steven R. Goldzwig in New Approaches to Rhetoric, (Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2004), p. 32. The book lists Chotank.com in the references section of the edited compilation on page 327. The Press Institute of India quoted Avon Edward Foote, University of North Alabama, in on-line and print publication after Disney announced two new Disney channels for India in 2004, and Michael Eisner, Disney CEO, traveled to India to promote Mickey's channels. Beginning in college term of fall 2003 when Harry A. Jessell was editor, Broadcasting & Cable (B&C) provided Dr. Foote more than $25,000 [cover prices] in publications for use in his Internet / Radio-TV-Film / Broadcast Journalism classes at University of North Alabama. Foote and Jessell arranged the B&C support while seated together at the Broadcasting & Cable table with Don West and wife, Carroll Virginia West, during a 2003 Broadcasting Awards Ceremony in New York. The issues helped professor and students track effects and aftermath of 2004 Comcast offer to merge with Disney. Jessell is member of the 2007-09 Peabody Awards Board, Grady College, University of Georgia. The 25 free student subscriptions, that were sent to Foote by Airborne Priority during first year, ended on 1 January 2008. Jessell wrote Foote, 6 November 2003, saying "Those were about the nicest thank you notes I've ever received. You and your class are most welcome. I hope the magazine helps launch many successful TV careers out of Florence."
Martin Kaplan on Eisner and Comcast -- Jump to "Marketplace" (2004). When Comcast was attempting to take over Disney, Kaplan was with the University of Southern California and director of the Norman Lear Center.
Michael Eisner's Remarks of January 4, 1996 to
Disney stockholders -- This was the first annual stockholders meeting to follow the decision by Eisner to abandon the Virginia park plans for legacy Foote/Foot land.
Work in Progress
(Lessons Learned -- an excerpt)
"Disney's America" chapter by Michael Eisner with Tony Schwartz,
published in late 1998 by Random House.
If you follow this link to Random House please close new browser window to
return to this page.
Federal, state, and private organizations are investing $1,500,000 in the Bald Eagle habitat project, preserving Horton Foote/Foot's and Shelby Foote/Foot's ancestral seat on Chotank Creek in King George County, Virginia. Please read
The Washington Post story in
August 4, 2001 METRO section:
Heeding the Call of the Wild on Northern Neck.
The Washington Post on-line archive requires free registration and payment for internet archive stories over two weeks old. Without registration, take the following link to a different article with several excellent pictures of the protected land along Chotank Creek from the
The Trust for Public Land.
Buttons above in THORNWOOD logo are Clickable
Disneyfication in the New Media Chunnel: When Image Myth Takes Over
July 2001 academic paper presented at the University of London with
introduction to disneyfication and filtering of broadband net
and implications for global Freedom of Expression of
the Internet's Hourglass Architecture
When using the above link, user accepts Chotank.com notice that British Film Institute (BFI) Conference paper is Copyright (c) 2001 and revisions Copyright (c) 2004 by Avon Edward Foote,
University of North Alabama, Huntsville - Decatur - Florence, Alabama DMA (TV Market)
including revisions made in 2002, recommended by Dr. Susan P. Mains, coordinator of the Inaugural International Media Conference, held at the University of London, Institute of Education. After completion of first round of revisions in 2002, four copies of the manuscript were sent to the BFI as requested by Dr. Mains,
who had joined the University of the West Indies -- Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica.
Dr. Mains has written: "After graduating from the Masters program in Geography at SDSU, I undertook a PhD in the Geography Department at the University of Kentucky. I completed my Ph.D. addressing activism and representations of undocumented immigration and the US-Mexico border in May 2000, and then took up a position as Research Officer in the Knowledge Section, Education Department, at the British Film Institute in London, UK. While at the BFI I undertook research exploring media images of race, immigration and nationalism, and was the Director for the Inaugural International Media Conference."
Click for on-line conference announcement.