By Holly Glen Gearhart, Contributing Writer
After 150 years, the battle of Gettysburg, fought in1863, lives as a significant page in the evolution of democracy, and anyone who wishes can see part of that history come to life at the East County Senior Center March 24.
Certainly, the history of Gettysburg is important.
It’s been said that history books are written by victors. History, therefore, forms the political and social foundation of our present day, and that is why history is not boring.
For example: Had the Confederacy won the Civil War – principally fought over the practice of slavery in the United States — would slavery have been abolished?
Had this happened, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have become law.
When U.S. President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act (24th Amendment) in 1964 as part of Johnson’s war on poverty, it gave birth to other assistance programs including the Fair Housing Act.
The Civil Rights Act also shot down the discriminatory “poll tax.” The tax, enforced in the southern states after the end of the Civil War, prevented the poor and disenfranchised citizen from voting in federal elections. The right to vote in federal elections was only granted to those owning a significant piece of property; house, land, etc. which effectively banned many citizens from voting for the president and federal representatives.
The outcome of the Civil War shaped all America would become.
Perhaps the most well-known battle of the Civil War was fought at Gettysburg Field in Pennsylvania over the first three days of July, 1863; 51,000 soldiers fell in this battle, the highest number recorded for a single encounter during the war.
The valor of the soldiers at Gettysburg inspired President Abraham Lincoln’s moving “Gettysburg Address.”
Erin Snook, a local history buff, has made the study and performance of the story of Gettysburg his in voice and reading. Snook has performed in various venues in Washington and brings his study and enthusiasm of living history to the East County Senior Center on March 24, when he will present “The Story of Gettysburg.”
The presentation begins with “…the planning of the campaign and follows the course of events and how the battle played out. This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and reflects a time when uncommon valor was common.” according to Jacob McGee of ECSC.
The battle of Gettysburg was widely believed to be the turning point of the Civil War; the Confederate General, Robert E. Lee, lost his advance as the Union forces fought to regain its foothold, and eventually forced Lee ‘s retreat back into the Confederate States.
1863 may seem like distant history, but consider the fact that many Baby Boomers have grandfathers and great-grand fathers who fought in this battle.
The presentation includes a spaghetti dinner. It will take place Monday, March 24, at 6 p.m. and is free to all.
The East County Senior Center is located at 276 Sky River Pkwy. in Monroe. For more information or to make reservations, please call (360) 794-6359.