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Volunteer training Saturday at Old State Capitol

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[April 16, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, will be capped off at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield with a "Volunteer Training Day" on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the site's Foundation Hall on Level 2.

The Saturday event will recruit and train people interested in volunteering and will introduce current volunteers to the new living history directions being taken to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

The new program, titled "Illinois' Capitol Goes to War," will feature many new exhibits, such as one on the Ladies Soldiers' Aid Society, depicting the role of women who met in the building and organized supplies for the comfort and relief of Illinois troops. Displays of Civil War flags, weapons and equipment are planned, and the "General of the Month" exhibit next to the adjutant general's office will continue to highlight one Illinois Civil War general each month. These new features will demonstrate how the Old State Capitol was transformed from the seat of state government to the headquarters of a state at war.

During the 1840s and 1850s, the Old State Capitol was the scene of debate over issues that led the nation to war in 1861. During the Civil War, the Statehouse was the center of the state's efforts at wartime mobilization. The Capitol also provided space for local events aiding the needs of local residents as well as soldier relief efforts.

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Volunteers are vital to the continued success of the programs at the Old State Capitol., Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices and the Vachel Lindsay Home. Volunteers can choose to be tour guides, costumed interpreters, greeters, costume makers and take part in special events. Volunteers are also needed for the upcoming "History Comes Alive" living history program this season.

The Old State Capitol State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday throughout the month of April and will be open seven days a week beginning May 1.

[Text from Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum file received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]


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