Steven Spielberg Will Be The Featured Speaker for Dedication Day at Gettysburg
Contact: Tina Grim, Lincoln Fellowship of PA, (717) 253-2443
The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg College, and the Gettysburg Foundation are pleased to announce that the Dedication Day events of November 19, 2012 will feature director Steven Spielberg as the keynote speaker. This ceremony, held at the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, will mark the 149th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Spielberg's visit will coincide with the release of his much anticipated film Lincoln, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner and based in part on the Doris Kearns Goodwin biography entitled Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The film stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones and will focus on Lincoln's tumultuous final months in office.
"It is an honor to be asked to speak at such a hallowed place on the anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. I look forward to visiting Pennsylvania and commemorating this important moment in our nation's history," commented Spielberg, who is, collectively, the top-grossing director of all time, having helmed such blockbusters as "Jaws," "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," the "Indiana Jones" franchise, and "Jurassic Park." Among his myriad honors, he is a three-time Academy Award® winner, receiving his first two Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture for "Schindler's List." His third Oscar was for Best Director for "Saving Private Ryan." He is also the recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the DGA's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hollywood Foreign Press's Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Kennedy Center Honors, and numerous other career tributes.
At 9:30 a.m., the day's events will begin with a wreath laying ceremony at the Soldiers' National Monument. The Dedication Day ceremony will commence at 10:00 at the rostrum, where Steven Spielberg will deliver the keynote address. As has become a custom, Lincoln portrayer James Getty will recite the Gettysburg Address and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will hold a naturalization ceremony for sixteen citizenship candidates.
Since 1938 the Lincoln Fellowship has been commemorating November 19th in Gettysburg. In 1946 it was officially declared Dedication Day by a joint resolution from the Senate and the House of Representatives, recommending that the "address be read throughout the United States and its possessions, on our ships at sea and wherever the American flag flies." Past speakers include Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Tom Ridge, John Hope Franklin, Shelby Foote, Adlai Stevenson, Carl Sandburg, Colin Powell, Jack Kemp, Stephan Lang, Richard Dreyfuss, Sam Donaldson, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ken Burns, and Tom Brokaw.
This event is free and open to the general public. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs since seating will be limited. For more information, or to join the Fellowship, visit www.lincolnfellowship.org or follow us on Facebook.
Did You Know?
John Burns, a 72 year old veteran of the War of 1812 and resident of Gettysburg, fought side by side with Union soldiers on the first day of the battle of Gettysburg. His service is commemorated by a battlefield statue at Gettysburg National Military Park.