150 years later, America’s Civil War continues to teach us lessons.
Gettysburg has been in the news a lot lately and there’s a good reason for it. Through 2015, this hallowed ground is the focal point of an international commemoration of the most famous battle on American soil and one of the most famous speeches in world history, the Gettysburg Address. Throughout this time, there will be battle re-enactments, living history, special events, tours, and exhibits. And if you’re not a Civil War buff? Well, there’s plenty for you too, from antiquing to wine-tasting to ghost-hunting and more.
After President Lincoln delivered his now-famous address, the Patriot and Union newspaper called his words “silly remarks” that deserved “a veil of oblivion” dropping over them. This past November, the Patriot News, as it is now called, apologized for its remarks and withdrew its criticism.
Not to miss:
241 Steinwehr Ave.
At this popular exhibit, you can see the entire battlefield in 3-D miniature as you hear the story of the three-day battle and how it progressed. More than 20,000 hand-painted miniatures bring the Battle of Gettysburg “up close and personal” with a sound and light show describing the bloody events. Miniature vignettes surrounding the Diorama show details of the Generals’ headquarters and specific battles.
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
1195 Baltimore Pike
Just a short distance from major points on the Battlefield, the 139,000-square-foot Museum and Visitor Center features 11 exhibit galleries, with some of the popular items from the collection such as weaponry and uniforms, along with state-of-the-art galleries that display an even greater variety of objects and artifacts that offer perspective and a greater appreciation for the sacrifices of those who became a part of the greatest battle ever fought in North America. At the Visitor Center, you can also arrange to meet a Licensed Battlefield Guide, and catch the shuttle to the
Eisenhower National Historic Site
Battlefield Driving Tours
Gettysburg “Long Remember” is a comprehensive, self-guided driving tour of the Battlefield. It includes all three days of the conflict, with many human interest stories about the participants and citizens of the town of Gettysburg. The tour ends with a moving stroll through the Soldiers’ National Cemetery where, on Nov. 19, 1863, during the dedication ceremony, President Abraham Lincoln spoke the memorable words now known as the Gettysburg Address.
Ghostly Images of Gettysburg
777 Baltimore Street
717-334-6296 (call for times and locations)
This nightly 90-minute ghost walking tour ends inside a haunted house (no worries—the ghosts will let you leave). Weekly special events include the Midnight House Tour, Ghostly Encounter, and Haunted Bus Tour.
Eisenhower National Historic Site
1195 Baltimore Pike Suite 100
Shuttle Service Only
Eisenhower National Historic Site is the home and farm of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Located next to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the farm served the President as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders. Its peaceful setting and view of South Mountain made it a much-needed respite from Washington and a backdrop for efforts to reduce Cold War tensions. You can tour the home, enjoy a self-guided walk around the farm, or join a park ranger for an exploration of 1950s Secret Service operations or a look back at WWII. Children from 7-12 may become Junior Secret Service agents by doing activities in the Junior Secret Service Training Manual. Cell phone audio tours are also available; just dial 717-253-9265 from your cell phone to select one of many stories about the Eisenhowers, their family, and features about their home and farm. Story topics and stop numbers are listed on the Eisenhower NHS website at www.nps.gov/eise/planyourvisit/cell-phone-tour.htm. The tour is free, but normal cell phone minute charges apply.
UTZ Quality Foods, Inc.
900 High Street
Need a break from the Civil War? Take a factory tour to see how the popular UTZ potato chip got its start and how the chips and other UTZ snacks are made. The 600,000-square-foot facility in Hanover is just 20 minutes from Gettysburg. After the tour, you’ll probably be craving some chips. What luck--the UTZ Outlet Store is located just 2 blocks from the main plant at 861 Carlisle Street.
A Musical Experience at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
Saturday, Feb. 8
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Calvert Arms Fife and Drum Corps performs original fife and drum songs of the Civil War on Lincoln Plaza, located at the front entrance of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor. This event is free and open to the public.
Sweet Sundays in February
Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23
Adams Farm Winery & Wine Shop at 25C
251 Peach Tree Road
Every Sunday in February, and on Saturday, Feb. 15, visit Adams County Winery to enjoy a decadent dessert with your special sweetheart, served with a glass of wine to accompany your dessert selection.
Ride the Rails with Lincoln and Washington
Steam into history with Lincoln and Washington over Presidents Day Weekend. Ride the William H. Simpson, York #17, steam engine from New Freedom, Pa., to Glen Rock for a one-hour ride, or take the 2 ½ hour ride to Hanover Junction. Each run will also have a narrator in period attire who will relate the history of the area during the 1860s. Presidents Lincoln and Washington will be on hand to answer questions and talk about their lives and challenges as former presidents. On Saturday evening, “Abraham Lincoln” will entertain guests with a concert complete with period music and more. Riders who show a ticket for one of the excursions that week-end will receive $5.00 off the admission to the concert. Joining Mr. Lincoln will be George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt and other friends.