Many travelers have gained increased knowledge of the American Civil War (1861-1865) in recent years, largely thanks to the popular multi-part PBS documentary film "The Civil War" first presented by filmmaker Ken Burns in 1990 and re-televised in digital technology in 2002. Fewer perhaps know abut the Civil War "Sesquicentennial" – meaning its 150th anniversary – taking place at events across the country in 2011, and continuing for four years until the 2015 commemoration of the end of the war.
Major events begin this spring in Charleston, SC, harbor from April 9 to 15 marking the Battle of Fort Sumter on April 12-13, 1865, when Confederate troops defeated U.S. federal forces in the event that launched the four-year war. Another major site will be the Gettysburg battlefield in southern Pennsylvania, where Civil War Sesquicentennial opening events take place from April 9 to April 30, 2011, including a 150-gun cannon salute on April 30 signifying the "Invasion of Pennsylvania" by the Confederate army. Gettysburg will be a major focal point of Civil War events, climaxing on July 1-3, 2013 with the 150th anniversary of its famous battle, and on Nov. 19, 2003, the date of Abraham Lincoln's famous speech at the dedication of the battlefield cemetery.
Travelers from Civil War buffs to the just curious can find online information about Civil War "living history" memorial events taking place in many of the 70 U.S. National Parks across the country. Visit http://www.nps.gov/civilwar for continual updates on events, noting that final 2011 parks schedules will be completed by May. Another informative resource is the National Parks Traveler blog found here. Information on state and local events across the country are easily found searching keywords "Civil War 150th". This will be a popular travel research activity available for the next four years.