Happy New Year, everyone! This year begins our 19th year of passionate and dedicated service in writing/righting the stories of tens of thousands of ordinary people, so that they win a place in history.
The momentum from the 100th anniversary in 2015 carried into 2016, and we have plans for 2017 to continue the upward trajectory. So let's first review the high points of last year, and then we can share what you may expect for 2017.
Highlights of 2016
We had the first known national TV appearance as we discussed the George Halas brush with fate in the Eastland disaster. The feature program aired for 5-minutes before ESPN's Monday Night Football on Halloween night, with an audience of over one million viewers from coast to coast.
The national phone service released several new series of toll-free phone numbers including 844, 833, and 822 numbers. With 844 victims in the Eastland disaster on 7/24/1915, EDHS acquired the new "vanity" office toll-free number of 844-724-1915.
We built much needed additional capacity into EDHS in terms of its human resources. We hired our first full-time employee, we doubled the size of our Board of Trustees, and we engaged six new volunteers working on special projects plus four new contracted specialists working on other special projects.
For the first time ever, we prepared a meaningful and actionable strategic plan for the present and future years. The strategic plan will be proposed to our Board in February. Sneak peek: The image that accompanies this news post -- the drop of water -- is a key part of the new framework of the strategic plan.
Our new strategic plan will drive most everything that we do this year. We will highlight but four undertakings below.
We have approximately one-third of the musical score transcribed from Eastland: A New Musical (premiered Lookingglass Theatre, 2012). Once the musical score is completely transcribed, EDHS will become the licensing agent for theaters across the country.
EDHS’s process for managing our artifact collection will be updated to current museum standards, with all artifacts being scanned, photographed, and/or video recorded. Our complete artifact collection and historical records archive will be online and available in the new Members Only section of our website.
After not being updated at all in 2016, our website will have numerous sections of new historical content added to it (e.g., the undertakers and funeral professionals as well as the pastors and priests who worked with the families to provide final services for the victims).
Our work during 2016 with American Taxi will be implemented in January, with over 800 taxicabs being updated to include information about the Eastland disaster displayed on their backseat monitors. Our branded history slides will be displayed for the two million annual passengers of American Taxi cabs.
Thank you for your past support, we look to continue to earn it in 2017. Please help us continue to win a place in history for your family members and the tens of thousands who were affected by the Eastland disaster. One simple way to help is by encouraging your immediate and extended family members to join our mailing list, Like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.