Next on the list from my last post (family travel with history) is Gettysburg, PA. As I said before, I often put my little one to sleep with historical speeches (sometimes played out with hand gestures and deep expressions and attempts at vocalization). Of course much of my presentation to the boy depends on whether microphones and TVs were yet invented. Hats and uniforms have not yet made an appearance, but it can’t be long…
Anyhoo, one of my favorites for night time renditions is the memorized Gettysburg Address. Sometimes I just play the audio found in this wonderful video on PBS. More on the battle and the Address can be found at History.com that has lots of good stuff like this and focuses on videos and bright colors which is fun for adults, and kind of fun for kids.
Did you know that between Lincoln’s speech and Pericles’s Funeral Oration? Who knew?!
So now, I want to take my son to “meet on the great battlefield of that war,” with the imaginary figures still waving flags in their cause, and seeing our great President give his incredible speech in our minds. How do I get there and what are we going to do?
The Gettysburg National Military Park website seems like a good spot to get the real deal. Hmm, what do we have here. Cool pictures of re-enactors firing canons and lined up in formation in blue and gray. A nice stone visitor’s center. Lots of standard ways to get there including a shuttle to and from downtown – called Freedom Transit. It appears to be a bus that looks like a trolley. Seems easy enough and free to park visitors. If not this I think we’ll drive right to the visitor’s center – then I can be free to do my narration and oration for the boy on the way.
Or he can watch cookie monster on repeat. And the rest is pretty self explanatory- We are going to drive there then do everything on the Things to Do List– you name it, horseback riding, official tours, walking tours, bikes.
Here is some more great information I found- National Geographic. It also features happily The Civil War series on PBS. They gave a super Insider’s Tip: download “The Best Field Trip” from the Gettysburg Foundation. Excellent!
Okay Gettysburg is definitely on the list, now in the notebook.
Cover photo by Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik.