Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture

The Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture is presented each year on November 19, the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and takes as its central goal speaking to the literate general public without abandoning solid scholarly moorings. The series was sustained during its first two decades by an endowment contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Clyde B. Gerberich of Mt. Joy, Pennsylvania, in honor of Professor Fortenbaugh, who taught history at Gettysburg from 1923 until his death in 1959. The endowment has been substantially supplemented by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Harry D. Holloway Fund, and the Hewlett Foundation. In 1990 the alumni and friends of Gettysburg College made special contributions to commemorate the 79 years of combined service to Gettysburg College by Professors Basil L. Crapster and Charles H. Glatfelter, who retired in 1988 and 1989, respectively. The roll of donors includes Michael Bishop (Gettysburg '57), the winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Medicine. The Fortenbaugh Fund continues to welcome contributions from the friends of the lecture and the College.

The first Fortenbaugh Lecture was delivered in 1962 by Bruce Catton. He was followed by David Herbert Donald, John Hope Franklin, Willie Lee Rose, Richard N. Current, C. Van Woodward, Kenneth M. Stampp, Drew Gilpin Faust, Elizabeth Fox Genovese, Eric Foner, Jean H. Baker, Mark E. Neely, Jr., and other luminaries of American historical writing. With the 21st lecture by Jacques Barzun, in 1982, in the 151st year of Gettysburg College, the private printing of the lecture commenced. In 1992 Oxford University Press published, and the Book of the Month Club made an alternate selection of, a collection of revised lectures from recent years: Gabor Boritt, ed., Lincoln, the War President: The Gettysburg Lectures.

The Fortenbaugh Fund continues to welcome contributions from the friends of the Lecture and the College.

Brooks D. Simpson is ASU Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University. He specializes in nineteenth-century American history, with a focus on the Civil War and Reconstruction era, as well as American political and military history and the American presidency. He is the author of numerous books, including Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000); The Reconstruction Presidents (The University Press of Kansas, 1998); The Civil War in the East: Struggle, Stalemate, and Victory (Praeger, 2011); and, most recently, Reconstruction: Voices from America’s First Great Struggle for Racial Equality (Library of America, 2018). He is currently working on the second volume of his biography of Ulysses S. Grant, entitled Ulysses S. Grant: The Fruits of Victory, 1865-1885.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Majestic Theater
25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Target Audience




Civil War Institute
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