Five-year commemoration to observe American Civil War’s most famous battle
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – January 12, 2011
The site of the American Civil War’s most famous battle is kicking off its five-year commemoration on April 29 and 30, 2011.
Through 2015, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – the scene of more than 50,000 casualties in just three days in 1863 – will remember this important period in history with re-enactments, living history, solemn remembrances and the opening of a new museum housed in one of the most historic buildings in America.
“Gettysburg is iconic and the most revered of all the Civil War battle sites,” said Norris Flowers, President of the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. “During this five-year commemoration, millions of visitors from around the world will take part in this memorable observance of America’s crucial test.”
Gettysburg – the only major battle fought on Union soil – is most remembered as being the turning point of the American Civil War. Two years into the war, thousands of soldiers lost their lives in Gettysburg, which ultimately led President Abraham Lincoln to stand on its hallowed ground and deliver what would later be known as the Gettysburg Address, one of the most remembered speeches in world history.
“The 150th anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on this nation’s past – particularly this seminal event that shaped who America is today,” said J. David Petruzzi, a renowned historian and author of the Civil War. “We have the opportunity to look back to learn from the past, celebrate the dedication of all those who served, and be thankful that America is a united country.”
One of the highlights of Gettysburg’s five-year commemoration will be the opening of the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary’s Schmucker Hall, a building that played a major role in the Battle of Gettysburg, specifically as a Union lookout on July 1 and a Civil War field hospital throughout the three-day fight.
In 2013, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, that building will open to the public as a museum to tell the story of the battle’s first day, andfaith and medicine in the Civil War.
Gettysburg’s April kick-off is part of a four-week series of events held in Pennsylvania that outline Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s invasion of northern territory.
The event in Gettysburg will include a march by Union and Confederate troops into Gettysburg, living history encampments at historic locations throughout the town of Gettysburg, re-enacted skirmishes, and capped off with 150 cannon shots along with the playing of “Taps.”
“This kick-off is just the beginning,” said Flowers. “Over the next five years, we expect many more events, special observances, expanded programs and tours, andlarge battle re-enactments – a commemoration few will forget.”
For a list of events planned for Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary commemoration, call (800) 337-5015 or visit www.gettysburgcivilwar150.com.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is located on the East Coast of the United States, about two hours from both Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, and four hours from New York City.
The Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, the official tourism promotion agency, markets Gettysburg – Adams County as a premier travel destination, producing a positive economic impact.