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Marshall, Texas is called “the Birthplace of Boogie Woogie” because Marshall is at the center of the geographical area where one of the most revolutionary and influential developments in American music took place.In the 1930’s historians compiled oral histories and interviews indicating that Boogie Woogie piano originated in the Piney Woods of northeast Texas. Research first published in 2004 by Dr. John Tennison shows that the music emerged in the 1870′s, in close proximity to the Texas & Pacific Railroad, which established its headquarters in Marshall in 1872.

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Panola College is a comprehensive public community college serving the citizens of Harrison, Marion, Panola and Shelby Counties. Founded in 1947 Panola College has a rich tradition of helping students achieve their academic and personal goals. Panola College offers courses through its main Campus in Carthage and its center in Marshall.

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TSTC offers 24 certificate and degree programs. The college has a reputation for providing instruction formed by industry expectations and customized workforce training. TSTC offers continuing education courses via the Internet and in the classroom. Day and evening classes are conducted in state-of-the-art facilities, while dual credit courses are available free of charge to high school students.

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Wiley College is a four year, privately-supported, historically black college/university (HBCU) located on the west side of Marshall. Wiley College was founded in 1873 by the Methodist Episcopal Church and has the distinction of being the oldest accredited historically black institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River. The school was brought into the national spotlight in 2007 with the release of the film “The Great Debaters,” a drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College, portrayed by Denzel Washington.

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The Lale trail is driving, or partial walking, tour through historic downtown Marshall. It includes buildings designated as Marshall Historic Landmarks, Recorded Texas Historical Markers, and National Register of Historic Places. Pick up the trail guide at the Visitors Center.

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This driving tour, named in honor of Rebecca D. Buard, an educator and local historian, profides an overview of Marshalls’s history, focusing on important sites in African-American history, such as Wiley College, New Town and the Old Powder Mill Cemetery. The Old Powder Mill Cemetery serves as the resting site for two famous World War II pilots, Tuskegee Airmen. Interpretive markers identify each stop on the Buard History Trail. Pick up the trail guide or educational DVD at the Visitors Center.

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New Town is a prestigious professional community centered around historic Wiley College. It has been home to many prominent individuals in Texas and U.S. history such as James Farmer, Sr. and James Farmer, Jr., a civil rights activist who helped found the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) in 1942. Within the neighborhood is Wiley College, the oldest accredited black college west of the Mississippi River. Driving maps are available at the Marshall Visitors Center at 211. N Washington Ave.

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Just north of downtown across the tracks from the Ginocchio Restaurant sits the Texas & Pacific Depot, constructed in 1912. Today, the depot serves as an active Amtrak station that receives cross-country passenger trains daily and houses a railroad museum and gift shop. Come and experience the exhibits and interactive displays which are a delight for adults and children alike. Tues-Sat: 10 am – 4 pm

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