I’m probably breaking some rule by, after a week or so focused on Stones River, to post something about Gettysburg. But it is time to start planning out the 2013 sesquicentennial campaigns. Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site posted their long range event calendar to the park website. Included are, as one would guess, are a full slate of sesquicentennial events.
Starting early, every weekend through January, February, and March the park hosts speakers for the Winter Lecture Series. These focus on the Civil War in 1863 – even some western theater topics – along with topics related to Gettysburg.
On March 14-16, and in conjunction with Gettysburg College, the park sponsors the Gettysburg Sesquicentennial Seminar, “The Future of Civil War History: Looking Beyond the 150th.” See the Civil War Institute website for more details.
Starting on June 8 and running through August 18, the park offers daily walks and interpretive programs. These include walks, tours, campfire programs, living history displays, children’s programs, and battle walks. I’m looking forward to more detailed schedules for these events, and will post more details later.
On June 16 the park opens an exhibit titled “Treasures of the Civil War” in the park museum. The exhibit includes artifacts associated Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Meade, Frederick Douglass, and Clara Barton. This exhibit continues through 2015.
The park and the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College host their Summer Civil War Seminar from June 21-25. Again check the institute site for details.
Starting up what will be a busy week, June 29-30 the Sacred Trust Talks include authors, NPS rangers, and historians to offer perspectives of Gettysburg. This is a free event sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation and the park. The Sacred Trust Talks resume the following weekend, July 5-7.
The 150th observances start on June 30 with “Gettysburg: A New Birth of Freedom” Commemorative Ceremony. This includes music, keynote address, readings of eyewitness accounts, and ends with a luminary at the national cemetery.
July 1-4… the really big stuff you probably want to take off work for …. The park breaks down the 150th events into several categories, offering something for about every audience group: Living history camps, key moment programs, overview hikes, battlefield experience programs, voices of the battle, kids and family activities – including a special junior ranger patch program, along with programs at the museum and visitor center. Get your hiking boots out and stock up on bug spray.
No doubt the park will need recuperation time through the rest of the summer. But 150th related events resume in October with the Gettysburg National Military Park Seminar. The program will include field programs in addition to presentations.
Closing out the sesquicentennial events, November features the Remembrance Day Parade, cemetery illumination, and 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
More details will follow. I’d suggest that unless you have a bunk within commuting distance of the park (as I do!), you need to start thinking about reservations. Gettysburg, for better or worse, will be the major destination for many thinking sesquicentennial this year.