Celebrating 20 Years!

Celebrating 20 Years!

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University (OLLI) is a group of more than 1,000 individuals, age 50 and over, who learn together through three distinct programs: OLLI Classes, OLLI Learning Trips, and OLLI Study Groups.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Civil War Tour, Day 4 -- May 1, 2010

Our first stop of the day was the Gettysburg Visitor’s Center, where we saw an introductory film and the recently restored Cyclorama – a 360-degree painting of the Battle of Gettysburg. First exhibited in 1884, the painting-in-the-round measures 377 feet around and 42 feet high and creates a multimedia experience for visitors with lights and sound. Hearing the sounds of battle from all directions was quite an experience, and we left the exhibit feeling rather shell shocked.

After viewing some of the exhibits, we embarked on a side trip to the Eisenhower Farm, the only property that Mamie and Dwight D. (Ike) owned. The weather was perfect – sunny, not too hot, but with a lovely breeze.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed the first of three battlefield tours and learned about the events of day one’s battle. David Hamacher, a licensed battlefield guide, joined us on our motor coach and gave us great insights into the Battle of Gettysburg. By standing in the battlefields, we learned how the lay of the land affected the fighting through the first day, and we are eager to learn more tomorrow!

Our dinner destination was the Farnsworth House, a restaurant near our hotel. We learned that the building, like many private homes, had been turned into a hospital after the battle began. Our server also told us that the place is known to be haunted. Whether or not that is a fact, we saw film crews from the Discovery Channel filming stories about ghosts in several Gettysburg locations!

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