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Jun 19 2013

Philadelphia Commemorates Pivotal Battle Of Gettysburg

150th Anniversary Of Civil War Battle Launches Events & Exhibitions That Demonstrate Region’s Role In War Effort

This summer marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and Philadelphia—a major arsenal, shipbuilding and hospital center during the Civil War and home to Gettysburg general George G. Meade—is marking the anniversary with special events and exhibitions at historical sites and attractions throughout the region:


  • Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library – The Gettysburg Trial of the Philadelphia Brigade presentation brings historian David Trout to remember the Philadelphia Brigade, which suffered a casualty rate of 64% over the course of the war, and recount its tribulations during the Battle of Gettysburg. July 20, 2014. 4278 Griscom Street, (215) 289-6484,
  • Fort Mifflin – Built in 1771, this Revolutionary-era fort-turned Civil War prison’s bowels were dungeon-like even during the 1860s. On Civil War Saturday, visitors to the prison, now a National Historic Landmark, learn to drill with a wooden musket, cook over an open hearth and participate in a scavenger hunt. Guided tours highlight the Casemates, once used as prison quarters. July 20, 2014. Fort Mifflin & Hog Island Road, (215) 685-4167,


  • Mercer Museum – The more than 300 artifacts and interactive stations that form the exhibit Turning Points: Civil War, 1863-1864 examine the military, social and political issues that confronted local citizens as the war reached its climax. Visitors spin a draft lottery wheel, listen to the voices of local citizens and soldiers in eight audio stations, explore a camp tent and cast a vote in the 1864 Lincoln-McClellan election. Through August 25, 2014. 84 S. Pine Street, Doylestown, (215) 345-0210,
  • Chester County Historical Society – On the Edge of Battle: Chester County and the Civil War delves into the county’s deep division over the war and the choices citizens made regarding the military effort. Visitors can digest these weighty questions while reviewing newspapers, letters and telegrams from the battlefront; photographs; medicine and doctors’ log books; interactive kids’ stations; and artifacts from Galusha Pennypacker (the youngest American brevet major general in history). A database searches county records for ancestors who fought in the war or served as abolitionists. Through September 28, 2014. 225 N. High Street, West Chester, (610) 692-4800,
  • Rosenbach Museum & Library – Letters and other dispatches give voice to Voices of 1863: Witnesses to the Civil War, an exhibition that pierces the events of 1863 with Lincoln’s handwritten notes and speeches about race and slavery and U.S. Grant’s personal letters to his family. Through January 5, 2014. In addition, the Sleuths & Spies hands-on tour includes an album belonging to a female Civil War spy. July 5, 2013. 2008 Delancey Place, (215) 732-1600,
  • The Heritage Center of The Union League of Philadelphia – Established as a pro-Lincoln Republican club in 1862, this private club opens its heritage center to the public twice a week. Philadelphia 1863: Turning the Tide shows off the podium that Lincoln stood behind when he gave the Gettysburg Address and the desk and chair General Meade used for his council of War on the eve of the battle. Through March 1, 2014. 140 S. Broad Street, (215) 587-6455,
  • Laurel Hill Cemetery – As the final resting place for General Meade, along with more than 40 other Civil War generals and countless volunteer nurses and surgeons, this historic cemetery hosts A House Divided: The Citizens, the Celebrated and the Seditious of Civil War Philadelphia. The exhibit includes a rotating installation at the cemetery gatehouse that spotlights the “Elite Eleven,” a group of military figures and citizens whose contributions to the war effort epitomize the people who lived during the war era. Through May 2014. 3822 Ridge Avenue, (215) 228-8200,
  • National Constitution Center – One of the only surviving signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation hangs in the center for two months. In addition, this fall the Constitution Center is boosting its Civil War treatment, which now contains interactive exhibits on the Constitutional amendments governing slavery and its abolition, to include content that focuses on the Battle of Gettysburg and other events of 1863. July 25-September 22, 2014. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700,

Permanent Collections:

  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia – The museum’s permanent exhibition—Audacious Freedom: African Americans In Philadelphia 1776-1876—details the journey toward freedom undertaken by African Americans in Philadelphia and chronicles the stories of the Underground Railroad and black soldiers in the Civil War. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380,
  • Bucks County Civil War Round Table Library and Museum – The museum overflows with objects and books from Doylestown’s contributions to the war effort, including weapons, musical instruments, photos, a Lincoln Life Mask, a tome written by Jefferson Davis and CDs of the Internet radio show “Civil War Talk Radio.” 32 N. Broad Street, Doylestown, (215) 340-7164,
  • Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library – The museum houses Grand Army of the Republic artifacts, books and memorabilia such as a blood-stained strip of pillowcase on which Lincoln lay dying, handcuffs (intended to use to kidnap the president) found in John Wilkes Booth’s suitcase, Confederate shoes worn at Gettysburg and the preserved head of Old Baldy, Meade’s beloved horse. 4278 Griscom Street, (215) 289-6484,
  • Meade Equestrian Monument – Alexander Milne Calder, the grandfather of the mobile artist Sandy Calder and the sculptor of many of the works on Philadelphia’s City Hall, made a huge statue of Meade atop his horse in 1887. It’s located near Memorial Hall in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, which Meade played a large role in designing. 43 S. Concourse Drive, (215) 686-1776
  • National Museum of American Jewish History – The museum’s Civil War collection aims to show that Jews experienced the war just like other Americans. Topics and items illustrate Jewish fighting on both sides of the conflict, Jewish soldiers practicing their faith during the war, Grant’s infamous Orders No. 11 that expelled Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri and the commission for the first official Jewish chaplain. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811,
  • The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent – The museum holds a presentation sword awarded to Meade for his victory at the Battle of Gettysburg, portraits of former slaves who purchased their freedom and became abolitionists and armaments belonging to John Brown from his raid on Harper’s Ferry. 15 S. 7th Street, (215) 685-4830,

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

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Related Releases

Apr 21 2017

New–Lots New–This Summer In Philadelphia

Philly Debuts And News Include The Museum Of The American Revolution, Longwood Gardens’ Fountains, An Andrew Wyeth Retrospective, Hall & Oates Festival, So Much More

Philadelphia’s summer is jam-packed with things to do, thanks to new attractions, limited-time displays, major exhibitions and the seasonal happenings that locals and visitors cherish. Highlights: just-opened Museum of the American Revolution and the nation’s most playful LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, an indoor snow playground called Winter: Exclusively at Philadelphia Zoo, a high-tech, $19 million renovation of Longwood Gardens’ main fountains and a concert and festival curated and headlined by Philly’s own Hall & Oates.

Just Opened:

  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center – Millions of LEGO bricks build the foundation for this creative and fun destination. Perfect for ages 3
Jun 4 2015

Now Playing In Philadelphia: Big Events & Openings

Tall Ships, World Meeting Of Families, Liberty One Observation Deck, Alice In Wonderland & More Pack The Calendar

With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, The New York Times ranked Philly at the #3 spot in its influential article of the
“52 Places to Go in 2015.”

So what’s on the calendar for the rest of the year? The Tall Ships festival, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring 80 works by a who’s-who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Down the Rabbit Hole: Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland at

Apr 1 2015

Summer 2015: A Blockbuster Season Of Fun In Philly

In Store: Tall Ships, Bike Share, Beer Gardens, Impressionists, Pop-up Parks & Festivals Galore

What are some other words for summer fun? Tall Ships. Fireworks. Festivals. Beer gardens. Pop-up parks. Philadelphia. This summer will go down as a season of non-stop, pull-out-all-the-stops fun in the city that scored a #3 placement on The New York Times’ influential “52 Places to Go in 2015” list.

Some of the summer highlights include the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival; the launch of Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-sharing program; the eagerly awaited return of the acclaimed Spruce Street Harbor Park; and the season-long showing of Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


En Español

Apr 16 2009

$1.5 Million African-American Histroy Exhibition Kicks Off Summer In Historic Philadelphia

New July Fourth Parade, Lincoln Celebration And Behind-The-Scenes Boat Tours Headline A Summer Of Discovery

This summer, Historic Philadelphia is home to brand-new attractions, activities and events, including the provocative new exhibition at The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876. After undergoing an extensive renovation, the city’s premier African-American museum will unveil its stunning permanent display on Juneteenth (June 19).

To discover Audacious Freedom and all of the other affordable—or free—attractions in Historic Philadelphia this summer, visitors will have to spend at least two nights. lists dozens of affordable hotel packages, including the popular Philly Overnight® Hotel Package, a two-night offer that comes with free hotel parking.

Feb 21 2008

15 Reasons To Make Philadelphia Your Summer Vacation Destination

Summer’s The Season For History, Arts, Sports, Music And More In Philly

Summer in Philadelphia has long been the ideal time to celebrate our nation’s independence. This year, visitors can also learn about the tales of real pirates, gaze at contemporary American artwork, watch potential Olympic gymnasts in action, take the Presidential Oath of Office and experience other annual events that make this accessible city a destination not to be missed. Plenty of affordable hotel package options make it easy for visitors to spend a few days here. To book the Philly’s More Summer Fun Hotel Package, which pairs a two-night hotel stay with a $50 gift card from American Express, visit

May 3 2017

Philadelphia's Historic District Gears Up For A Revolutionary Summer

New Museum, New Hotel & New Concert Make The Original City A Must This Summer

The just-opened Museum of the American Revolution brings the United States’ war for independence into today’s consciousness, using rarely seen relics, the original George Washington Headquarters Tent, dozens of arms, uniforms, artifacts, documents and historical vignettes of ordinary Americans to tell the extraordinary story of the nation’s founding. But the new museum isn’t the only reason to visit Philadelphia’s Historic District this summer. The Historic District consists of the Old City, Society Hill and Delaware River Waterfront neighborhoods, extending from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Vine Street to Lombard Street.

The District’s summer lineup of must-do events


En Español

Mar 28 2016

18 Reasons To Book A Trip To Philadelphia This Year

The Democratic National Convention, The 200th Anniversary Celebration Of The AME Church, Creative Africa Summer At The Art Museum & Many Other Happenings Pack The Calendar

Recently named the first and only World Heritage City in the United States and Lonely Planet’s “Best in the U.S.” destination for 2016, Philadelphia is enjoying an action-packed year filled with attraction openings and expansions, only-in-Philly events and don’t-miss exhibitions—all happenings that will complement the immensely walkable city’s buzzed-about dining scene, vibrant art offerings, plentiful parks and public spaces and history galore. 

Roaring animatronic dinosaurs will lumber into The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for Dinosaurs Unearthed. Historic Philadelphia, Inc. added a new women-focused exhibit to the Betsy Ross House, and America’s most historic square mile welcomes Colonial

Jun 18 2015

Philadelphia Rocks The Fourth With 48 Hours Of Fun

National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration Adds Rainbow Colors To Red, White & Blue Festivities

As the calendar zooms towards Independence Day, Philadelphia, where the nation was born 239 years ago, revs up for a full week of flag-waving, heart-swelling, hand-clapping, patriotic fun. The annual Wawa Welcome America! celebration lasts for an entire week, and come Friday, July 3, the revelry really picks up with 48 hours of fun. That means patriotic ceremonies, parades, concerts, fireworks and festivities that mark the 50th anniversary of a protest demonstration that laid the groundwork for LGBT civil rights. Here’s a look at what’s happening on July 3 and 4:

July 3:

  1. Visitors are free to celebrate
Apr 8 2015

Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long

Books, Beer, Arts, America, Music, Movies & More Inspire Festivities

Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk (Manayunk Arts Festival), a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street (Odunde), a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue (Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day), a weekend celebrating all-things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill (Harry Potter Festival) or a gathering of would-be scientists at multiple neighborhoods throughout the city (Philadelphia Science Festival). Philly’s neighborhoods make merry all year long with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for