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NOV 19

Dedication Day - Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

November 19, the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and the Dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery, was formally designated as Dedication Day, by a joint resolution of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, on November 19, 1946. Each year since 1938, the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania has commemorated Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and rededicated Soldiers’ National Cemetery where Lincoln spoke on this date. In the intervening years, this annual event has grown and is now co-sponsored by Gettysburg National Military Park, the Gettysburg Foundation, and Gettysburg College. It is presented outdoors on the historic rostrum located in the cemetery. Over the years, many influential and noteworthy national figures including: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Tom Ridge, John Hope Franklin, Shelby Foote, Carl Sandburg, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephan Lang, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ken Burns, Stephen Spielberg and others have spoken at the ceremony to help all of us remember Lincoln’s words and to rededicate ourselves to the ideals Lincoln conveyed there in 1863.    

At 10:15am, the day’s events will begin with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Soldiers' National Monument, followed by the Dedication Day Program at the rostrum in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at 10:30am. Lincoln portrayer George Buss will recite the Gettysburg Address and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service will hold a naturalization ceremony for citizen candidates. 

This year, Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs will present the keynote address. She was appointed the 14th president of Gettysburg College in 2009 after serving as interim president since 2008. She graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in psychology and mathematics and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in social psychology from Princeton University. Janet returned to Gettysburg College in 1981 as a faculty member in the Psychology Department, where she served as department chairperson. She has worked in a variety of administrative roles, including executive assistant to the president, interim provost, and provost. 

Janet is the recipient of the Gettysburg College Student Senate Faculty Appreciation Award, the Thompson Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Woman of Distinction Award presented by the women students of Gettysburg College. She has taught courses in experimental methods, social psychology, and general psychology and has conducted and published research in the areas of attitude attribution and expectancy confirmation.

Janet currently chairs the Centennial Conference Presidents Council and has been active in a variety of higher education organizations. Within the state, she has served on the board of PA Campus Compact and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of PA, which she chaired. In addition, she was a founding member of the PA Consortium for the Liberal Arts and chaired its board. On a national level Janet has served on the Executive Committee of the Annapolis Group and on the board of the National Association of Colleges and Universities. She is currently a member of the Gettysburg Foundation Board and the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize Board.  Janet has published numerous articles on issues relating to higher education, and liberal arts education in particular.

This event is free and open to the general public. A limited number of seats will be available to the general public, so feel free to bring lawn chairs. Parking for the event is provided at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center in Lot#3 with free shuttle service on the Gold Line Shuttle to the Cemetery. The Gold Line will operate from 8 am - 6:30 pm. For more information visit,

In the event of severe inclement weather, the program will relocate to the Gettysburg College's Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg, PA.

Upcoming Event Dates

  • NOV 19
  • NOV 19

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