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Contact: Katie Lawhon , 717-338-4402
To celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service, Gettysburg's two national parks are inviting the public to enjoy birthday cake, a special radio program, and take special tours of Gettysburg and Eisenhower's museum collections on August 25.
The day's festivities begin at 9 am with a live radio broadcast of WITF radio's "Smart Talk." Smart Talk's host, Scott LaMar, will interview Ed Clark, superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site, and other guests about the centennial of the National Park Service.This program will be broadcast live in front of an audience from the group tour lobby of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. The public is invited to enjoy the free live radio show. The Museum and Visitor Center is located at 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg.
At 10:15 am in the main lobby at the Visitor Center, the National Park Service and the Gettysburg Foundation will have a ceremonial cake cutting and serve free birthday cake to all.
To celebrate the National Park Service's role in preserving our nation's treasures, the parks are inviting 100 members of the public to take a rare "behind the scenes" tour of the Gettysburg museum collections storage area. Eisenhower National Historic Site is also inviting 100 members of the public to tour the Eisenhower museum collections.
"It's been a joy to create these new programs and events and find new ways to engage the public throughout 2016," said Gettysburg and Eisenhower Superintendent Ed Clark. "We plan to keep doing everything we can to create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates."
"The Gettysburg Foundation is helping fund legacy projects for the NPS Centennial that address long-term preservation needs at Cemetery Ridge and Little Round Top," said Joanne Hanley, president of the Gettysburg Foundation. "We're also so pleased to be able to support special events and programs like the Centennial "Farm to Table" event."
Through 2016, Gettysburg and Eisenhower parks created new events and programs to engage new audiences. This spring we hosted hundreds of visitors at the Come Walk with Me Community Wellness event on April 30, Doors Open Gettysburg on May 7, the Gettysburg BioBlitz on May 20, and Presidential Paint and Wine Night on May 19. We hosted the "Every Kid in a Park" and Artists-in-Residency programs;the Civil War Art exhibit "With Brush, Mold, Chisel, and Pen: Reflections on Civil War Art";and the 100th Wedding Anniversary Celebration for the Eisenhowers.
Upcoming events include: the Centennial Farm to Table event at Eisenhower National Historic Site on August 27;and the Gettysburg Battlefield Marathon on November 6, a fundraiser for the Gettysburg Foundation and the Gettysburg YWCA.
Each tour will be 30 minutes in length and will feature a National Park Service specialist, who will lead the tour through the artifact and archival storage areas, describing some of the special challenges of conserving the collection and pointing out some notable or interesting pieces.
Tours will be at 9:30 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm.
Free tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. Limit 20 people per tour.
Gettysburg National Military Park's museum collections consist of more than 300,000 three-dimensional objects related to the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and the post-war commemoration of the battle, as well as the George Rosensteel Collection, one of the nation's largest collections of Civil War relics. Park archives, including more than 700,000 items, are considered to be among the most significant document collections in the National Park Service. The archives encompass four major collection elements: original Civil War manuscripts, including diaries and letters associated with private individuals;select unit records;and maps, plans, drawings, and photographs that document the development and management of the park and the cemetery.
Eisenhower National Historic Site's museum collection contains approximately 36,000 objects and 12,000 archival materials related to Dwight D. Eisenhower's life and work. The museum collection focuses on the park's primary historical period, 1950–1969, and contains original furnishings, family heirlooms, and trinkets collected by Mamie, which convey the couple's personal style and taste. Because Dwight D. Eisenhower was the last president to be allowed to keep gifts of state, many of these gifts from around the world can be found in the museum collections.
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 Soldiers' National Cemetery, and their commemorations. For more about the book series, the park's Winter Lecture Series, and other events go to www.nps.gov/gett.
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. www.nps.gov/eise.