Civil War history seen through iPod tour

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Twenty-nine Kansas counties are in line to receive up to $10 million in federal money to help people relive history with an iPod.

It's all about freedom.

From its inception, Kansas was about struggles for freedom and survival -- those of American Indians, black Americans, women and states.

To recognize that, Congress has designated 29 counties in eastern Kansas and 12 in Missouri a National Heritage Area, creating the second largest historic area in the nation.

Planning is under way for the area, which will be overseen by the National Park Service and is eligible for up to $10 million in federal funding to preserve existing historic sites and trails and to promote the area.

The Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area's organizers, a grassroots group that pushed for the designation, are planning a new type of museum.

Rather than constructing a multimillion-dollar museum building -- the kind that is attracting fewer visitors these days -- organizers are planning to allow visitors to download stories on their iPods and computers for self- guided tours of Kansas. Planning is expected to take three years.

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