The commission launched a statewide envelope design contest Thursday
with categories for kindergartners through adults, with the winning
designs to be featured on special limited-edition envelopes to be
sold before and during the February 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial.
hope people will use and collect these unique envelopes to share the
excitement of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday," said Marilyn Kushak,
chairwoman of the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
Envelope design contest entries will be accepted through Nov. 1.
The four categories are kindergarten through seventh grade, eighth
grade through high school, college students and adult amateur
artists, and adult professional artists. The design must be
proportioned to fit on a standard No. 10 envelope with enough space
left over for an address and postage. The original, color artwork
must be submitted as a 300 dpi or larger jpeg file. The contest is
open only to Illinois residents. Contest rules and submission
information are available at
Envelope design contest winners will be chosen by mid-November,
and the envelopes bearing the winning designs will be sold beginning
in early 2009. Funds raised from envelope sales will benefit the
Tinsley Project, the effort to turn the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices
building in downtown Springfield into a living history site,
complete with a post office identical to the one that operated in
the building from 1841-1849. Lincoln's law practice was located in
the building from 1843 to 1852.
The Illinois State Board of Education is a coordinating partner
with the commission to enlist schools and students to participate in
the envelope design contest. The board is playing an active role
during the bicentennial to engage students to become a part of
history, assisting the commission on several student-related
"Engaging our students in activities like this combines
imagination, creativity and history. It provides them with a feeling
of being a part of the celebration," said Christopher A. Koch, state
superintendent of education. "We want to give them an opportunity to
participate in a part of our history, and we hope it will contribute
to their lifelong love of learning."
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The U.S. Postal Service will offer a special cancellation on
Lincoln's 200th birthday, Feb. 12, 2009, at the Old State Capitol
State Historic Site in downtown Springfield. Purchasers of the
bicentennial envelopes and the postal service's new Lincoln stamps
will have the opportunity to cancel them that day for a truly
"Next February the United States Postal Service will issue a
block of four stamps to commemorate the 200th anniversary of
President Lincoln's birth," said James Mruk, manager of corporate
communications for the Great Lakes Region of the U.S. Postal
Service. "The stamps will highlight different stages of Lincoln's
career -- railsplitter, lawyer, politician and president. We expect
these stamps to create a lot of excitement among stamp collectors,
history buffs and Lincoln fans."
The top 200 envelope designs submitted will be used to create an
exhibit entitled "Lincoln: As We Know Him" in the Old State Capitol
during February and again in July 2009.
Abraham Lincoln had several ties to the postal service. He was
postmaster at New Salem, the log village where he lived for six
years before moving to Springfield. While in Congress, Lincoln
served on the committee that oversaw post roads (roads used to
deliver mail) and post offices. And President Lincoln's postmaster
general, Montgomery Blair, made significant improvements to the
postal system, including the beginning of free home delivery.
The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission is working
closely with numerous organizations, tourism agencies and
institutions in 2008 and 2009 to organize events and programming for
the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. The commission is
also partnering with local communities on their bicentennial plans.
for more information.
Illinois Abraham Lincoln
Bicentennial Commission file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]