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World War II Living History Weekend slated for Sept. 21-22 in Gettysburg


On September 21 and 22, 2019, the National Park Service will sponsor its annual World War II living history weekend at Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg. The public is invited to tour World War II encampments of over 500 living historians portraying Allied and Axis troops.

Living history volunteers will present programs throughout the weekend on WWII weapons and equipment, communications, medical services, military vehicles, and the life of the common soldier. Several operational WWII vehicles will be on display.

The weekend also features talks by historians on a variety of WWII topics, a special “Hall of Heroes” in the site’s reception center where visitors can meet and interact with WWII veterans, a family activity tent and booklet, guided tours of World War II burials in the Gettysburg National Cemetery, a World War II era park ranger staff ride, and a World War II style USO dance. Both days, visitors may purchase lunch at the site courtesy of the Heidlersburg Volunteer Fire Company. The full schedule is available below.

Eisenhower National Historic Site will be open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm both days. Shuttle buses for the event depart every half hour from the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center located at 1195 Baltimore Pike. Weather permitting, free on-site parking for passenger vehicles only will be available in a farm field accessible off of Emmitsburg Road, Business Route 15.

Weekend Schedule:

Saturday, September 21, 2019

  • 8:30 am – Eternal Light Peace Memorial – 1940s era park ranger staff ride (vehicle convoy) by Jared Frederick. Meet at auto tour stop #2, Peace Memorial, Gettysburg NMP. One and a half hours long, ends in the Gettysburg National Cemetery parking lot.
  • 9 am – Eisenhower NHS open to public including living history camps and family tent.
  • 9:30 am – Self-guided house walk-throughs of the Eisenhower home begin. Meet at front door of home (every 15 minutes, 25 people max).
  • 9:30 am – Hall of Heroes opens in the Reception Center at Eisenhower NHS.
  • 10:30 am – Speaker’s Tent – John Heckman – “Caring for the Fallen: US QM Graves Registration During WWII”
  • 12 noon – Speaker’s Tent – John Heiser – “The GI Experience on D-Day”
  • 1:30 pm – Speaker’s Tent – David Hogan – “In Search of Omar Bradley”
  • 3 pm – Gettysburg National Cemetery – “Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Great Crusade” – National Cemetery walking tour. Join an Eisenhower park ranger in the Gettysburg National Cemetery to explore some of the stories of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen General Eisenhower commanded during World War II who gave the last full measure of devotion. Meet at Taneytown Road entrance to the National Cemetery, auto tour stop #16, Gettysburg NMP.
  • 3 pm – Speaker’s Tent – Jared Frederick – “Dispatches of D-Day”
  • 4:15 pm – Last Eisenhower home house walk-through.

 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

  • 8:30 am – Eternal Light Peace Memorial – 1940s era park ranger staff ride (vehicle convoy) by Jared Frederick. Meet at auto tour stop #2, Peace Memorial, Gettysburg NMP. One and a half hours long, ends in the Gettysburg National Cemetery parking lot.
  • 9 am – Eisenhower NHS open to public including living history camps and family tent.
  • 9:30 am – Self-guided house walk-throughs of the Eisenhower home begin. Meet at front door of home (every 15 minutes, 25 people max).
  • 9:30 am – Hall of Heroes opens in the Reception Center at Eisenhower NHS.
  • 12 noon – Speaker’s Tent – Ken Weiler – “The Russian Front: WWII in the East, 1941-1945”
  • 1:30 pm – Speaker’s Tent – Beverley Eddy – “Training the ‘Psycho Boys’ at Gettysburg’s Camp Sharpe”
  • 3 pm – Gettysburg National Cemetery – “Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Great Crusade” – National Cemetery walking tour. Join an Eisenhower park ranger in the Gettysburg National Cemetery to explore some of the stories of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen General Eisenhower commanded during World War II who gave the last full measure of devotion. Meet at Taneytown Road Entrance to the National Cemetery, auto tour stop #16, Gettysburg NMP.

 

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