HARTFORD, Conn. -- The movie "Amistad" is expected to lead to a
rush of visitors to Connecticut, and the state's Tourism Hot Line
The film portrays the struggle of African Americans who rebelled
aboard the Spanish boat Amistad in waters just off the coast here
in the early 19th century. The Steven Spielberg epic also details
the ensuing trial, and many of the scenes were shot on location in
State tourism officials anticipate the film may lead to hundreds
of thousands of visits. Among the interesting sites in the state is
the Freedom Trail, which includes New Haven, Hartford, Farmington
and New London -- cities that played a role in the Amistad
Another area of interest is Mystic Seaport, itself a Freedom
Trail site and the movie's stand-in for 19th century New Haven.
Building of a reconstructed Amistad schooner there will begin
Organizations in Connecticut have pooled resources to create a
cornucopia of events, exhibits, forums, books, video and audio
tapes, Web sites and CD-ROMs to help satiate the growing Amistad
Besides auto tour tapes for individuals, three local tourism
offices -- the New Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greater
Hartford Tourism District and Connecticut's Mystic & More --
have coordinated a group tour itinerary based on the Amistad case.
Highlights of the itineraries include major exhibits and
re-enactments, dining and accommodations.
Motorcoach operators, schools and associations are urged to
contact Suzette Benitez at the Greater New Haven CVB at (800) 3321
STAY or (203) 777-8550 for full details.
For further information on the state, call the hot line at (800)
282-6863 or the state Office of Tourism at (860) 270-8080.
The office's fax line is (860) 270-8077; its Web site is
Amistad-related activities planned are:On the Internet, "Exploring Amistad: Race and the Boundaries of
Slavery in Antebellum Maritime America," accessible at
amistad.mysticseaport.orgThrough February, "Speaking for Ourselves: African Americans in
Farmington," exhibit at the Farmington Library.Through Feb. 28, The Amistad Affair exhibit at Sterling Library
at Yale University in New Haven.Through March, "Setting the Record Straight, courtroom
reenactments at the Old State House in Hartford.