Grand Opening Celebration of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center

Date: September 26, 2008 - September 28, 2008

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
1195 Baltimore Pike

Gettysburg, PA 17325


One of only five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address will be on display in the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park as part of the three-day Grand Opening celebration September 26-28.

This version, on loan from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfiled, Ill., is known as the "Everett Copy" because it was requested of President Lincoln by Edward Everett, who was the main orator at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery on November 19, 1863.

The Grand Opening also marks the debut of the massive Gettysburg Cyclorama painting, following a five-year conservation campaign that has not only halted deterioration of the country’s only National Historic Object, but also resulted in the recreation of 12 feet of sky and other lost canvas, a three-dimensional diorama and canopy. These features, which have been lost for more than a century, will once again enable viewers to feel as if they are standing in the midst of Pickett’s Charge, just as viewers would have 124 years ago. It is one of only two Cyclorama paintings on display in the U.S., and the largest painting in the country. A new sound and light program helps bring the painting to life.

In addition to the debut of the conserved Gettysburg Cyclorama painting and display of the Gettysburg Address, the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park plans a number of special events and programs throughout the three days.

The public is invited to the ceremonial ribbon cutting, at 11 a.m. Friday, September 26. The program will include 19th-century music, a vignette from a Brodway play featuring actor Stephen Lang, a children’s choir and a reading of the Gettysburg Address.

Visit the Gettysburg Foundation's Web site for a full schedule of the weekend's events.


The Pew Charitable Trusts provided support for the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation’s Campaign to Preserve Gettysburg, which funded not only the design and construction of the new Museum and Visitor Center, but also the restoration of the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting, preservation of the park's extensive collection of Civil War-era artifacts and archives, and the return of portions of the battlefield, as closely as possible, to their 1863 appearance.

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