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Contact: Jason Martz
Contact: Elle Lamboy
Throughout December, Eisenhower National Historic Site will showcase decorations that Mamie Eisenhower displayed at their Gettysburg home. Eisenhower family holiday decorations will be displayed in the lobby of the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center. Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation invite visitors to enjoy special hours and unique programming for the holidays at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center during the month of December 2020.
These special seasonal displays will include:
The Eisenhowers’ specially designed White House Christmas cards, along with a Christmas gift print of one of the president’s paintings.
First Lady Mamie Eisenhower’s set of Christmas china. This large set, with service for 24, has an image of a decorated Christmas tree with presents underneath on all the pieces, was made in England for sale in Plummer Ltd., a New York City store that went out of business in 1962.
The Eisenhower Nativity dioramas, originally exhibited in the East Room of the White House during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, by artists Winfred S. Hyatt and Hanna Weil Fischer-Binder. With additional work by Bryn Athyn Studios of Building & Architectural Arts, these handcrafted dioramas depict the manger, the shepherds, and the wise men. The dioramas remained on exhibit each year through 1960, the Eisenhowers’ last Christmas in the White House.
A nearly 5-foot-tall plastic Santa Claus is the site’s most recognizable Christmas decoration. In previous years the small adult sized decoration took up residence on the sun porch in the Eisenhower Home, greeting all the visitors with his warm and cheery smile. This loveable decoration will be available for pictures and Christmas wishes.
For the month of December, Eisenhower National Historic Site is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm with onsite visitor parking. All buildings and visitor facilities are closed to the public following CDC, White House, and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania COVID-19 mitigation guidelines. Restroom facilities are available at the South End Guide Station along the Emmitsburg Road.
Normally open until 4 pm Thursday through Monday (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays), the Museum & Visitor Center will offer special hours and programming on Christmas Eve, December 24, and a special Winter Break opening on Tuesday, December 29 and Wednesday, December 30.On Christmas Eve, December 24, the Museum & Visitor Center will be open 9 am to 1 pm. Guests have the unique opportunity to experience the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting without the traditional light and sound show that depicts the battle sounds and cannon fire of Pickett’s Charge. The special lights up program will feature a talk while in full light of the painting. Visitors will see a very different view of the 360-degree historic painting with the lights up and will gain an understanding of the history and scenes depicted in the painting with the opportunity for questions and answers. (The last film and cyclorama show will begin at noon on December 24.)
On Tuesday, December 29 and Wednesday, December 30, the Museum & Visitor Center will be open from 9 am to 4 pm for a special Winter Break. Visitors to Gettysburg during the long holiday break can start with a film presentation of A New Birth of Freedom, immediately followed by the light and sound show of the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting of Pickett’s Charge. Visitors can then go prepared on a tour of the battlefield with a Licensed Battlefield Guide either by motorcoach or on a personalized tour by car. Guests have the opportunity to see a remarkably different view of the battlefield in winter – with clear views to see how soldiers moved across the fields and along the tree lines in July 1863. Visitors can explore the 12-gallery Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War at their leisure throughout the day. (The last film and cyclorama show will begin at 3 pm on December 29 and 30.)
Prior to visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets at GettysburgFoundation.org and read more about our health and safety protocols. To assist with contactless payment, visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance either online at GettysburgFoundation.org or via phone at 877-874-2478.
The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center is located at 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, Pa. Christmas Eve Hours: 9 am to 1 pm―the last film and cyclorama show will begin at noon. Winter Break Hours: 9 am to 4 pm – the last film and cyclorama show will begin at 3 pm.
Eisenhower National Historic Site
Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves and interprets the home and farms of the Eisenhower family as a fitting and enduring memorial to the life, work, and times of General Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, and to the events of far-reaching importance that occurred on the property. Learn more at www.nps.gov/eise.
Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, the Gettysburg National Cemetery and their commemorations. To learn more about Gettysburg National Military Park, visit nps.gov/gett.About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
The Gettysburg Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit philanthropic, educational organization operating in partnership with the National Park Service to preserve Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site, and to educate the public about their significance. The Foundation operates the Museum & Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park, as well as the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital, the Rupp House History Center and the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad StationTM. For information about visiting Gettysburg, or how you can become a Friend of Gettysburg, visit GettysburgFoundation.org or call 877-874-2478.
Last updated: December 2, 2020