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Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center tops 1 million visitors in first year

Facility prepares for second summer season with special Lincoln-related programs

(Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) - 4/20/2009




Dru Anne Neil

Director of Communications & Marketing

Gettysburg Foundation

(717) 338-1243



The Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park has welcomed 1.17 million visitors in its first 12 months of operation, Gettysburg Foundation officials announced recently.


The Museum and Visitor Center, the product of a partnership between the non-profit Gettysburg Foundation and the National Park Service, opened last April. The facility features the conserved Cyclorama painting, a massive 377-foot painting in the round first displayed in 1884; “A New Birth of Freedom,” an exclusive History Channel-sponsored film narrated by Morgan Freeman; and the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War, which includes 12 exhibit galleries containing artifacts from the Park Service’s large collection, interactive displays and first-hand accounts from the soldiers, civilians and war correspondents.


The facility also includes a visitor center, a Refreshment Saloon offering standard and Civil War-era fare, a Museum Bookstore, state-of-the-art museum collections storage and research facilities and the Ford Motor Co. Fund Education Center.


Each museum gallery is named for a phrase in Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. President Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg in November 1863, just a few months after the Battle of Gettysburg, to help dedicate the new Soldiers’ National Cemetery. The words he spoke during that dedication became the now-immortal Gettysburg Address.


“We are thrilled with the turnout and the positive visitor feedback from the previous year,” said Robert C. Wilburn, president of the Gettysburg Foundation. “We are looking forward to the upcoming year, especially as we commemorate the Lincoln Bicentennial. What better place to reflect on President Lincoln’s contributions than here at Gettysburg?”


In honor of the Lincoln Bicentennial, the Gettysburg Foundation will launch the David Bruce Smith Education Initiative this year and will engage Gettysburg visitors with a variety of Lincoln-focused programs.