The Union League of Philadelphia maintains a full calendar of events for League members and the general public. Events include lectures, presentations and exhibitions that are open to the public as well as philanthropic events, social gatherings, meetings and entertainment for League members.
Members of The Union League can click here to register for members-only events.
Non-members are invited to sign up to receive advance notification of Union League events that are open to the general public.
Civil War Round Table
Mead's Breakthrough at Gettysburg
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Fredericksburg has forever become associated with the senseless slaughter of Union forces at the foot of Marye’s Heights and the nadir of Ambrose Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac. Often neglected is the story of that army’s near-success farther south where, most notably, the Pennsylvania Reserves commanded by General George G. Meade, penetrated the Confederate line and threatened Robert E. Lee’s entire right flank. Lacking reinforcements to exploit the breakthrough, Meade’s division was forced to withdraw. Local historian and author Don Ernsberger will take us through the narrative of Meade and his Pennsylvanians at that crucial moment of the battle and the Confederate reaction. Copies of Don’s book, Meade’s Breakthrough at Fredericksburg, will be available for purchase.
Searching for Philadelphia: the Concealed City
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
League member and architect David Traub will give an illustrated presentation on his new book, Searching for Philadelphia: the Concealed City. In the book, David utilizes photographs to bring awareness of the
many largely hidden and unexpected architectural treasures the city has to offer. Most of these would likely be missed except by the curious and alert pedestrian. The book is made up of seven distinct sections: Alluring Entryways, Narrow Streets, Walkways, Hidden Courtyards, Secret Gardens, Tiny Parks, and Unnoticed Buildings. The book originated as a photographic exhibit that was part of the 1982 tercentenary celebration of the founding of Philadelphia. The photographs document the city’s narrow streets, small public squares, and hidden gardens that many residents and tourists never see. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
Trains in Transition
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Trains still have the power to capture and captivate the imagination. From steam to diesel to electric motive power, from over 90 Class I railroads to just 7 today, railroads have made the evolutionary transition that has ensured their survival. This program will feature a panel discussion on the future of railroad service in North America, how it got there, and how it got where it is in the first place. It will focus on where railroads have been, especially in terms of technology and government regulation, touching on the sometimes conflicting personalities as well. The panelists and their topics include Jim McClellan, retired Norfolk Southern Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and architect of the NS role in the Conrail transaction, and the only one among this group who lived through it all. Don Phillips, Trains magazine columnist, will speak along the line of "Amtrak, the Laurel and Hardy of transportation. Congressmen make a great audience." (No loyal Amtrakers will take offense!). Rush Loving, author of The Men who Loved Trains, will talk on the renaissance of the rail industry from its darkest hours of the 70s, including the struggle to understand how to run a profitable business in a free market and the transformation of intermodal from a marginal service to a big source of profit. Fred Frailey, retired Editor, Kiplinger's Magazine and Trains magazine contributor, will talk very concretely about how the railroad industry hustled itself right back into a business it had been driven out of half a century or more ago, hauling crude oil, how the crude-by-rail phenomenon came about, and why the rail market share of crude oil will almost inevitably grow.
Cocktails at 6pm, followed by the program at 6:30pm. No charge to attend. For reservations, please call Mary O’Brien at 215-587-5565, email Activities@unionleague.org, or visit the League’s website.
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
The Union League of Philadelphia will celebrate the 18th annual Lincoln Day Celebration on. Lincoln Day is a day-long celebration. Morning highlights include a presentation of the Gettysburg Address followed by a luncheon program and keynote speaker. The festivities conclude with a parade to Independence Hall, complete with 21-gun salute, Civil War re-enactors and a fife and drum corps.
Program on Broad Street:
Parade down Broad Street:
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
On, The Abraham Lincoln Foundation of the Union League of Philadelphia (ALF) welcomes the public to the Union League for an open house. Guests will have the opportunity to tour the League House and experience one of the architectural gems of Philadelphia. These docent-led tours will include the wonderful art collection and viewing masterpieces by artists Thomas Sully, John Naegle, Xanthus Smith and Rembrandt Peale, as well as many of the other 300 paintings and sculptures which grace the clubhouse.
Living Historians will portray important Civil War-era figures such as Clara Barton, Philadelphia post-war Mayor and founding member of the League Morton McMichael, and Harriet Tubman. The event is open to the public and is free of charge.
The League, located at 140 S. Broad Street, will be open from. Guests are invited to enter at the 15th Street entrance.