Thursday, April 7


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum announces dedication and ticket reservations          Send a link to a friend 

Gov. Blagojevich and distinguished guests to participate in the dedication celebrating Lincoln and unveiling the institution that honors his legacy

[APRIL 7, 2005]  SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich invites the public to join him in Springfield on April 19 at 10 a.m. for a concert featuring music by the 312th Army Band and at 11 a.m. for the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Tickets for the event will be free of charge and available starting Monday, April 11, through Wednesday, April 13, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center box office.

"The dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is an opportunity for all of us to be a part of living history and honor the life of a Springfield man who later became one of the America's greatest presidents," Gov. Blagojevich said. "We should come together to mark the opening of such a phenomenal and historical institution that will serve as a gateway for future generations to experience the life of Abraham Lincoln and in-depth American history."

"On dedication day we open the doors of the presidential museum and showcase the rich history of Abraham Lincoln and the city of Springfield to a national audience," said Richard Norton Smith, the museum's executive director. "The celebration will be a tribute to the Springfield community and all of the work that went into making this world-class museum so spectacular."

Dedication tickets will be available April 11-13 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the box office in the main lobby at 1 Convention Center Plaza in Springfield. The tickets are free of charge and required for entry to the dedication. A government-issued photo ID will be required for ticket pickup. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of two tickets per person. A limited number of tickets may also be available during dedication weekend, and any additional ticket information will be forthcoming.

Dedication shuttle service: There will be no parking near the presidential museum on dedication day. A free dedication shuttle bus system will run from the Illinois State Fairgrounds beginning at 7 a.m. on dedication morning and continuing until 7 p.m. Everyone planning to attend the dedication should plan to arrive early and use this free service.

Security procedures will be enhanced for the protection of all participants and guests. Metal detectors may be used and all bags are subject to search. Backpacks and other luggage are prohibited. Please allow enough time for standard security procedures.

A full schedule of the official dedication celebration events for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum follows:

Schedule of events

Saturday, April 16

  • Looking for Lincoln block party -- 10 a.m.-9 p.m., downtown Springfield from the Old State Capitol to Lincoln's family home neighborhood to the museum. A two-day celebration featuring living history, music, theater troupes, choirs, folk dancers and artists from across the country.
  • Culinary court -- 10 a.m.-9 p.m., along Washington Street, north of the Old State Capitol. A food festival featuring cuisine from Springfield area restaurants.
  • Museum open -- 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with paid admission.
  • 2005 Presidential Race -- 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, April 17

  • Day two of Looking for Lincoln block party -- 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Day two of culinary court -- 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Interfaith service of thanksgiving for the life of Abraham Lincoln -- 2 p.m., Union Square Park. In case of rainout, the service will be in the Prairie Capital Convention Center.
  • Scholarly conference, "Lincoln in the Twenty-First Century" -- all day, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. This two-day conference will examine everything from Lincoln's attitude toward race and his domestic life to his wartime leadership and assassination. The conference will conclude at 3:30 p.m. on the April 18 with a panel hosted by C-SPAN's Brian Lamb and featuring three generations of the world's foremost Lincoln scholars: David Herbert Donald, Harold Holzer, Matthew Pinsker and David Gergen. (This conference is sold out.)

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  • Recreation of Lincoln's Farewell Address, followed by a torchlight parade -- 6:30 p.m., Old Train Depot to Union Square Park and the presidential museum.
  • Outdoor concert, fireworks and laser spectacular -- 8 p.m., Union Square Park. Musical accompaniment by the 312th Army Band.
  • Museum open -- 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., with paid admission

Monday, April 18

  • Breakfast sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Association -- 7:30 a.m., Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. This breakfast will feature an outlook to the year 2009 and progress reports from the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. (This event is sold out.)
  • Day two of scholarly conference, "Lincoln in the Twenty-First Century" -- all day, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. (This conference is sold out.)
  • Recreated Lincoln White House state dinner -- 6:30 p.m., Renaissance Hotel for cocktail hour and event registration. The dinner has been moved to the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield. This fundraiser for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation will feature a Lincoln-era menu and 19th-century music courtesy of the 312th Army Band. The first David Herbert Donald Prize for excellence in Lincoln studies will be presented to its namesake, the author of the definitive one-volume Lincoln biography. Tickets are $500 per person and benefit the foundation.

Tuesday, April 19

  • Public dedication -- 10 a.m., outdoor concert by the 312th Army Band, followed by the official dedication ceremony to begin at 11 a.m., Union Square Park. Gov. Blagojevich and other prominent figures will speak at this hour-long event signaling the official opening of the museum. Additionally, the winner of a student essay contest sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and C-SPAN will read his or her modern-day version of the Gettysburg Address to the crowd.

The museum's grand opening will follow the dedication, giving the public the opportunity to experience firsthand the museum's 40,000 square feet of permanent exhibits -- twice the size of any other presidential museum.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum will be open to the public on April 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission will be charged. The museum will reopen on April 19, immediately following the dedication, at no charge.

[Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum]

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