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You Can Meet the Great Gettysburg Detective

By Ed Epstein

Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The audience at the Lincoln Forum--a gathering of Lincoln-ophiles that meets annually in Gettysburg for three days each November--hardly ever gets blown away.

Most presentations are met with either polite clapping or hearty applause. Only once have I seen a wild standing ovation. That came in November 2022, when the 350 people or so in attendance reacted to the ingenious, meticulous presentation of Christopher Oakley, who has solved a mystery that has lingered since 1863: where exactly did President Abraham Lincoln stand when he delivered his Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863?

Some of us have been lucky enough to visit the exact spot in the heart of Gettysburg where Lincoln stood on a platform and spoke the most famous 272 words in U.S. history. In the photo to the left, that's Oakley and Lincoln Group members Scott Schroeder and Michelle Krowl, pictured on a walking tour last November.

Now you too can watch Oakley explain his years of high-tech detective work that has gotten national attention, including a front-page story in The New York Times. The Lincoln Group is holding a Zoom presentation with Oakley on the evening of Tuesday, April 16. To tune in, go to, join the Lincoln Group, and then go to the events section on the LGDC home page. There, you can RSVP for the program. Once you've joined, you can partake in the group's many activities that make membership a bargain.

Chris Oakley has a stellar resume. Among other things, he has been a longtime animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation and for Dreamworks and for Peewee's Playhouse on CBS TV. He's also a painter and photographer. Currently, he is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina Asheville. where he oversees the animation track in the Department of New Media.

He and his students are working on the Virtual Lincoln Project, which is creating a realistic Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address, appropriately enough.

See you on April 16.


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