No Casino

A casino at Gettysburg is a really bad idea.  This video was played today during the public hearing before the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission.  At the same time I just love the manipulation involved in utilizing superstar historians such as David McCullough and documentarian, Ken Burns.  For some reason we believe that because Matthew Broderick and Stephen Lang were in Civil War related movies that they command authority in the way we think about the past.  Actually, I find the local activists to be much more interesting since the casino will directly impact their community.  Enjoy the video.

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Broderick is simply identified as “actor,” but I personally think it would have helped to mention that he had a g-g-grandfather, Robert Martindale, who fought at Culp’s Hill with the 20th Connecticut Infantry (as revealed in a video you linked to some time back). To the folks who will be most moved by this video, small, personal connections like that are important. Not so sure about Stephen Lang, who’s less of a household name, but does cut quite a figure in ringlets and moustache wax.

I understand and largely agree with you that the locals whose lives are being affected directly by the video are more interesting, But this video was clearly made for wider distribution, and for that reason getting well-known, high-profile names is important. And they’re right — preserving Gettysburg (and other major Civil War sites) really is an issue that extends beyond the town, beyond the county, and beyond the state. I live in a community that has also struggled with the idea of building casinos for economic development — although in our case it’s still against state law, at least for now — and I sure wish we could make as compelling argument against them as this video does. Thanks for sharing it.

I completely agree with you. By the way, I grew up in a casino town. The only part of that movie that disturbed me was the shot of the WTC. It did not belong in this movie.

Whoever came up with the “What will be your legacy” stuff did a damn good job. That’s a good punch in the gut to the developers.

I have called and written letters against this development . I sure ho[e it fails. That hallowed ground in no place for gaming.

That’s amazingly obtuse, leaving out Broderick’s connection. But there is a certain irony here, that being the proclivity to gambling by the troops on both sides. Particularly the Rebs.

Although it was said that even the irreligious Rebels always made sure to leave their dice and cards with the baggage before a fight—not wanting their kin to find them on their body should they be killed.

We also know from Tom Lowry’s work that Civil War soldiers took full advantage of the services offered by women, who followed the armies. I assume that isn’t an argument for a brothel in Gettysburg.

Fifty years ago a casino wouldn’t have been contemplated. Fifty years from now, a brothel might be no more of a stretch than a casino is today. Too bad Hooker didn’t fight at Gettysburg. They’d have the name all picked out.

Not so fast Brian!

This whole controversy boils down to some people’s moral objections to gambling. There are dozens of businesses equally close to the battlefield (thought the video makes it sound like they are going to bull doze Little Round Top for the facility). The Casino will be within an existing hotel.

This is a lot like (here I go!) the controversy over the mosque near ground zero. People are misusing history to cover their moral objections to legal activity.

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