New Year's events in Springfield to mark 150th anniversary of
Send a link to a friend
[December 15, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- The Abraham
Lincoln Association will host two events to celebrate the 150th
anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation: a watch night service
re-creating the anticipation as emancipation neared, and a news
conference and signing of the proclamation by a Lincoln presenter.
The service will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 31 at Springfield's Westminster
Presbyterian Church. The signing of the proclamation and the news
conference follows on Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. at the Old State Capitol
State Historic Site. A Frederick Douglass portrayer and others will
join "President Lincoln" for comments.
Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Old State Capitol State
Historic Site are co-sponsoring these events with the Abraham
On Dec. 31, 1862 -- 150 years ago -- American slaves, freemen,
abolitionists and common folk sat in churches, meeting houses and
fields all over the nation, watching and waiting for the first day
of freedom to roll in. Freedom was to occur the next day, when
President Lincoln would issue a proclamation emancipating, or
freeing, the slaves in states or parts of states in rebellion
against the union. It was a very emotional time.
As people watched and waited, they sang songs and testified to
the glory and the goodness of the Lord. They gave thanks to
President Lincoln, whom many called Father Abraham, and to famous
abolitionists like Horace Greeley, Frederick Douglass and William
Lloyd Garrison who relentlessly urged Lincoln to emancipate the
slaves. They also gave thanks for the sacrifices of slaves
themselves who had risked all in a desperate push to crack open the
door to freedom and the death of slavery.
[to top of second column]
The Dec. 31-Jan. 1 events will re-create the excitement and joy
of 150 years ago. The words and songs of the participants will come
In addition to the primary sponsors, the following groups also
are contributed to the program: the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum, Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, Lincoln
Home National Historic Site, and the Springfield and Central
Illinois African American History Museum.
Lincoln Association exists to observe each anniversary of the
birth of Abraham Lincoln; to preserve and make more readily
accessible the landmarks associated with his life; and to actively
encourage, promote and aid the collection and dissemination of
authentic information regarding all phases of his life and career.
Association news release received from the
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]