Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (JFK+50) 151 years ago today, July 3, 1863, on the third day of battle, General Robert E. Lee ordered 15,000 Confederate soldiers under General George Pickett* to charge up Cemetery Ridge here at Gettysburg.
Pickett's soldiers were Virginians who had not yet participated in the battle.
The charge ended in disaster for the Confederacy as Pickett's lines were torn apart by rifle and cannon fire as they crossed a mile of open ground.
Pickett never forgave General Lee for ordering the charge. Later he would say...
"that old man had my division slaughtered at Gettysburg."
*George Edward Pickett (1825-1875) was born in Richmond, Virginia to a prominent family. He graduated from West Point in 1846 and served in the Mexican War.
After the Civil War, Pickett fled to Canada but returned to Norfolk, Virginia where he died at the age of 50.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (JFK+50) 76 years ago today, July 3, 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt journeyed by train from Hyde Park, New York to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to participate in the dedication of the Eternal Light Peace Monument.**
The event was attended by 250,000 people including 1800 veterans of the Civil War, all in their nineties.
The President spoke for nine minutes and then lit the Eternal Light of Peace.
"The issue which (Lincoln) restated on this spot 75 years ago will be the continuing issue before the nation....to preserve, under the changing conditions of each generation, a people's government for the people's good."
In 1962, a protest against nuclear weapons and testing was held at the
**The Eternal Light of Peace, located on Oak Hill at the Gettysburg Battlefield, was designed by architect Paul Philippe Cret and the sculpture done by Lee Lawrie.
The base of the memorial is made of granite from Maine, while the shaft is made of limestone from Alabama. The natural gas flame comes from a one ton bronze urn located at the top of the structure.
The memorial, built at a cost of $60,000, was the inspiration for the "Eternal Flame" on the grave of President John F. Kennedy in Arlington National Cemetery.
JFK Views Peace Monument