Releases: Expanded View
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, garmuslib.org
- 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, fortmifflin.us
- 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, mercermuseum.org
- 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, chestercohistorical.org
- 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, rosenbach.org
- 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, ulheritagecenter.org
- 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, thelaurelhillcemetery.org
- 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, constitutioncenter.org
- 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, aampmuseum.org
- 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, buckscivilwar.org
- 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, garmuslib.org
- 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, nmajh.org/civilwar/
- 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, philadelphiahistory.org
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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. gophila.com lists dozens of affordable hotel packages, including the popular Philly Overnight® Hotel Package, a two-night offer that comes with free hotel parking....
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- Thousands of decorative strutters kick off the New Year by marching along Broad Street in the festive daylong Mummers Parade. One of the five Mummers divisions, the Fancy Brigades put on two elaborate Broadway-style performances for ticket holders at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. January 1. phillymummers.com
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Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair or zombies taking over South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a weekend celebrating all things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill. Throughout the year, Philly’s neighborhoods make merry with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for 2014:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the fourth year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival unleashes nine days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures,
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Renovated & Renewed:
- The Pearl S. Buck Museum reopens after the completion of its eight-year interior restoration project on June 26, which would have been the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s 121st birthday. Tours of the national historic landmark home feature increased access to collections, including clothes that she wore, tableware and linens that
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares in West Philadelphia, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille in Fairmount, there’s always a reason to celebrate in the authentically Philly neighborhoods outside of Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Fishtown & Northern Liberties:
- Lining the cobblestone street with artists of all stripes and genres, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival includes the storied Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a quirky competition for the most
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares on Penn’s Landing, a celebration of the fall season in Midtown Village, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street or a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue, there’s always a reason to celebrate in neighborhoods in and around Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the third year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival will unleash 10 days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures, debates and hands-on activities on campuses, museums and other venues around the city, culminating