Gettysburg Address commemorations planned Nov. 19

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Gettysburg College's 47th Annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture will take place at the Majestic Theater Nov. 19, the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address."

Catherine Clinton, a professor at Queen's University Belfast, will speak at 8 p.m. on "The Tears of a President: Lincoln, Empathy, and Leadership."

The $5,000 Michael Shaara Prize for Excellence in Civil War Fiction will also be awarded by Jeff Shaara to Donald McCaig for his book "Canaan." A reception and book signing will follow with Clinton, McCaig, Shaara, Harry Bradshaw Matthews, a speaker from the U.S. Colored Troops Graveside Salute, and Allen Guezlo, the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College.

The lecture coincides with events scheduled to remember President Abraham Lincoln and his "Gettysburg Address," which he delivered Nov. 19, 1863. Other events scheduled are:

  • 10:15 a.m. - Wreath Laying Ceremony at Soldiers National Cemetery
  • 10:30 a.m. - 145th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and Dedication Day Ceremony at the Gettysburg National Cemetery; free and open to the public. Speaker: documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. Sponsored by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park and Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. (Inclement weather location: The Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg, PA)
  • 11:15 a.m. - U.S. Colored Troops Graveside Salute at Soldiers' National Cemetery; free and open to the public. This will take place in the northern area of the cemetery. Speaker: Harry Bradshaw Matthews, associate dean and director of the U. S. Pluralism Center at Hartwick College. For more information contact Debra McCauslin (717) 528-8553.

Clinton arrived at Queen's University Belfast in 2006, where she is chair of United States history. She previously taught African American studies and history at Union College, Brandeis University, Wesleyan University and Harvard University. She has held visiting chairs at the University of Richmond, Wofford College, Baruch College of the City University of New York and Citadel. She recently stepped down from the executive council of the Society of American Historians and serves on the advisory committee to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. She has served as president of the Southern Association for Women's History and has published more than 25 books covering topics from children's fiction about Phillis Wheatley to the Columbia Guide to American Women in the 19th century, from Civil War studies for the National Park Service to poetry anthologies. Her first book, "The Plantation Mistress: Woman's World in the Old South," appeared in 1982 and her recent biography of Harriet Tubman was named as one of the best non-fiction books of 2004 by the Christian Science Monitor and the Chicago Tribune. Her next project, "Mrs. Lincoln," will be published in 2009.

Established in 1997 by "Gods and Generals" author Jeff Shaara, the $5,000 Michael Shaara Prize is named in honor of his father, author of the novel, "The Killer Angels." The prize, administered by Gettysburg College, honors a novel about the Civil War and encourages fresh approaches to Civil War fiction. In addition to "Canaan," McCaig's other books include "Last Poems," "The Butte Polka," "Nop's Trials," "Eminent Dogs," "Dangerous Men," "An American Homeplace," "Rhett Butler's People" and "Jacob's Ladder." McCaig's honors include a Silver Key, Advertising Writers of New York Fellow, National Endowment for the Arts, Prix Litteraire Societe Protectrice des Animaux, American Library Association Prize for Military Fiction and John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, among others.

The Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture is presented each Nov. 19. The series was sustained during its first two decades by an endowment contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Clyde B. Gerberich of Mt. Joy, Pa., in honor of Fortenbaugh, who taught history at Gettysburg College from 1923 until his death in 1959. The endowment has been substantially supplemented by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Harry D. Halloway Fund and Helwett Foundation. Bruce Catton delivered the first Fortenbaugh Lecture in 1962. He was followed by, among others, David Herbert Donald, John Hope Franklin, David Brion Davis, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., C. Vann Woodward, Eric Foner, John Keegan, Drew Faust, Jean H. Baker and Ira Berlin.

Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. With approximately 2,600 students, it is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1832.

By: Lawrese Brown, class of 2010

Posted: Mon, 17 Nov 2008

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