2024 FESTIVAL

Event Schedule

Ken Burns: Lessons from Lincoln – Friday, April 5th at 7 p.m.

Gettysburg Area High School, 1130 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg

We always come back to Abraham Lincoln. The son of a dirt farmer who could barely sign his name, Lincoln rose to become perhaps the greatest President in the history of the United States. Lincoln’s character, intelligence and optimism, even in the midst of a bloody civil war, allowed him to create a new vision for the fractured country, one steeped in a more literal reading of the Declaration of Independence and our founding documents. Scenes from multiple Ken Burns films show how Lincoln has been central to the American story for more than 160 years. The program will include a 45-minute screening of clips from several of Ken’s films and features a live conversation with Ken Burns, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston.
$50/Priority Seating; $30/General Admission; $25/Back Tier 

Ken Burns: Our Democracy Challenged – Saturday, April 6th at 10 a.m.

Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg

From its inception, American democracy has been a fragile experiment – government of the people, by the people, for the people – when many of the people were excluded from the formula. Both internal and external forces have challenged the country’s commitment to freedom and equality. From the pro-slavery secessionists of 1860, to Louisiana’s populist demagogue Huey Long, to Charles Lindbergh’s Nazi sympathies, American democracy has had to withstand numerous challenges, as we do today. This event features a live conversation with Ken Burns and co-producer Sarah Botstein.

This program will begin with two special short film screenings from The Better Angels Society. The Next Generation Angels Awards (NGAAs) are a program of The Better Angels Society, in coordination with National History Day®. Each year, the awards are presented to six middle and high school documentary filmmakers, recognizing excellence in well-researched history filmmaking in the model of renowned documentarian Ken Burns. This program will feature two 2023 NGAA winners, Abigail Giroux and Jay Patel, and their respective short films about racial segregation in Baltimore swimming pools and a pioneering disease researcher Pearl Kendrick.
$30/General Admission (Tickets available through the Majestic Theater only. Questions? Please call (717) 337-8200.)

Ken Burns: Consequential Elections – Saturday, April 6th at 2:30 p.m.

Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg

American elections are often messy. From the moment George Washington willingly chose to step down after two terms, presidential campaigns have been fierce and often dirty. This program looks at consequential presidential elections throughout our history – from founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams’ savage campaigns, to Lincoln’s effort to be reelected in the midst of a bloody Civil War, to John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon’s political maneuvering in the midst of the Cold War and the Civil Rights movement. This event features a live conversation with Ken Burns and Susan Eisenhower.
$30/General Admission (Tickets available through the Majestic Theater only. Questions? Please call (717) 337-8200.)

An Evening with Jay Ungar and Molly Mason – Saturday, April 6th at 7:30 p.m.

Adams County Historical Society, 625 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg

Folk musicians Jay Ungar and Molly Mason have contributed to the soundtracks of numerous Ken Burns documentaries since the 1980s. Ungar’s classic composition, “Ashokan Farewell,” was a hallmark of the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack album of Burns’ 1990 series The Civil War. This special concert will take place inside the Adams County Historical Society’s new Battlefield Overlook Event Center.
$20/Adams County Historical Society Members; $30/General Admission

A Conversation with Sam Waterston – Sunday, April 7th at 10 a.m.

Adams County Historical Society, 625 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg

Join Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated actor Sam Waterston for a special conversation moderated by best-selling author and historian Harold Holzer. Known for his compelling performances on stage, screen, and televisionWaterston has garnered critical acclaim over the course of his more than 60 year career. He is perhaps best known for his role as Jack McCoy, the steadfast and principled district attorney in the long-running legal drama series Law & Order. Waterston has also appeared in numerous films, television shows and stage productions including notable roles in The Great Gatsby, The Killing Fields, The Newsroom, and, most recently, Grace and Frankie.  He is the voice of Abraham Lincoln in Ken Burns’ epic PBS series, The Civil War, and has portrayed the 16th President in several other theatrical and television productions, and in collaboration with Holzer, at such venues as the White House, and the presidential libraries of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. We are excited to welcome Mr. Waterston back to Gettysburg alongside his friend and colleague Mr. Holzer for what is sure to be a lively and entertaining discussion.
$60/Adams County Historical Society Members; $80/General Admission

Storytelling on YouTube: A Live Episode with The History Underground and Vlogging Through History – Sunday, April 7th at 1 p.m.

Adams County Historical Society, 625 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg

Join two of the most watched history content creators in the country, J.D. Huitt and Chris Mowery, for a lively discussion about their work, their inspiration, and everything that’s new and exciting in the world of history and media.
$10/Adams County Historical Society Members; $20/General Admission

Film Screenings

Huey Long – Saturday, April 6th at

12:20 p.m.

Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg

He was a populist hero and a corrupt demagogue, hailed as a champion of the poor and reviled as a dictator. Louisiana’s Huey Long built his remarkable career as governor and U.S. senator on a platform of social reform and justice, all the while employing graft and corruption to get what he wanted.
SOLD OUT

Not for Ourselves Alone – Saturday, April 6th at 12:30 p.m.

Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg

Part one of this film, “Revolution,” tells the little-known story of one of the most compelling political movements and friendships in American history. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were born into a world ruled entirely by men and for more than half a century led the fight to win the most basic civil rights for women. Their story is filled with love and loyalty, envy and betrayal, and raises larger questions of principle and compromise, and the meaning of independence itself. Their more than half-century struggle led to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which finally granted American women the right to vote. Neither woman lived to see this great victory, but Stanton and Anthony stand as two of the most important women in American history.
SOLD OUT

The Statue of Liberty – Saturday, April 6th at 5 p.m.

Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg

For more than 135 years, the Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of hope and refuge for generations of immigrants. In this compelling and provocative portrait of the statue, Ken Burns explores both the history of America’s premier symbol and the meaning of liberty itself. Featuring archival photographs, readings from diaries, and letters and newspapers of the day, The Statue of Liberty examines the nature of liberty and the significance of the statue to American life.
SOLD OUT

The U.S. And The Holocaust – Saturday, April 6th at 4:30 p.m.

Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg

Episode one, “The Golden Door,” examines the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany in the context of global antisemitism and racism, the eugenics movement in the United States and race laws in the American south. After decades of maintaining open borders, a xenophobic backlash prompts Congress to pass its first laws restricting immigration. Meanwhile, in Germany, Hitler and the Nazis begin their persecution of Jewish people, causing many to flee into neighboring countries or to America, mainly to find the doors closed. Released in 2022, the film was directed and produced by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein.
SOLD OUT

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