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National Archives honors Lincoln's birthday Feb. 12 with Gettysburg films, talk

Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, Nov. 19, 1863. Lincoln, hatless, is in center of the platform. Pictured with his bodyguard Ward Lamon, private secretaries John Nicolay and John Hay, others.
Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, Nov. 19, 1863. Lincoln, hatless, is in center of the platform. Pictured with his bodyguard Ward Lamon, private secretaries John Nicolay and John Hay, others.
Facsimile from glass plate negative. Brady-Handy Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington.

The National Archives honors Lincoln’s birthday Feb. 12 with a free screening of the new film "The Gettysburg Story" and a panel discussion among its star Stephen Lang, filmmaker Jake Boritt, and Civil War expert Gabor Boritt.

"The Gettysburg Story" (2013) uses aerial cinematography, motion-control time lapse, and 3-D animated maps to tell the stories of President Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee, General George G. Meade, and others in the battle that was the Civil War's turning point.

The July 1-3, 1863 battle, the war's bloodiest, caused 51,000 casualties. It is the largest ever fought in North America, according to the Gettysburg Foundation.

The film is narrated by Stephen Lang, best known as Colonel Quaritch in James Cameron's "Avatar", and known also by Civil War buffs as "SLang" for his roles as General Pickett in "Gettysburg" and as Stonewall Jackson in "Gods and Generals".

The Feb. 12, 7 P.M. program will include a screening of "The Wheatfield" (2013), a short film written and performed by Lang, about the Battle of Gettysburg related by an aged Union soldier.

DVDs, Gettysburg audio tours, and books will be available for purchase, and signing after the program.

As President Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address Nov. 19, 1863, "...we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

For more info: "The Gettysburg Story", Feb. 12, 7 P.M., National Archives, William G. McGowan Theater, on the National Mall, Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 202-357-5000, or www.archives.gov/calendar.