Talking history at Lincoln Presidential Library
Illinois History Forum returns for 2019 with sessions on Lincoln in art, WWI, college sports and more

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[January 10, 2019] 

The Illinois History Forum returns to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in 2019 for discussions on topics ranging from war to college sports. The first forum, which takes place Thursday, focuses on Lincoln in art.

Experts in their fields will lead each discussion, giving the audience opportunities to ask questions and share their observations. Two upcoming sessions feature the authors of the books being discussed.

The free forums take place every two months at noon in the Lincoln Presidential Library. Each one focuses on a different book or museum exhibit. Reservations are not required, and participants may bring lunch.

“It’s a pleasure to hold these events. The speakers always offer fascinating stories from history that spark great questions and insights from the audience,” said Alan Lowe, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. “We look forward to another year of exploring the past through the Illinois History Forum.”

The first forum of 2019 is Jan. 10. It takes place in the library atrium, where the painting “The Youth of Lincoln” hangs. Mark Pohlad, an art and architecture historian at DePaul University, will discuss the many ways Lincoln has been portrayed in art.

He’ll be drawing from Harold Holzer’s book “Lincoln Seen and Heard.” Forum participants are invited to read the book, but it isn’t required.

The full Illinois History Forum schedule is:

  • January 10:
    Lincoln in Art
    Moderator: Mark Pohlad,
    DePaul University
    Suggested Reading: “Lincoln Seen and Heard” by Harold Holzer

  • March 14:
    Illinois Civil War Officers and Emancipation
    Moderator: Kristopher Teters, Western Governors University
    Suggested Reading: “Practical Liberators: Union Officers in the Western Theater During the Civil War” by Kristopher Teters.

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  • May 9:
    College Sports
    Moderator: Kenneth Owen, University of Illinois Springfield
    Suggested Reading: “Creating the Big 10: Courage, Corruption and Commercialization” by Winton U. Solberg

  • July 11:
    Illinois in World War I
    Moderator: Chris McDonald, Lincoln Land Community College
    Suggested Reading: “Three Lying or Four Sitting – From the Front in a Ford: WWI Letters of Kent Dunlap Hagler” by Chris McDonald.
    (NOTE: This forum meets at the Illinois State Military Museum.)

  • September 12:
    Illinois and the Atomic Bomb
    Moderator: Mark DePue, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
    Suggested Reading: “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” by Richard Rhodes.

  • November 14:
    The Anti-Slavery Movement in Illinois
    Moderator: Jeanne Schultz Angel, Nineteenth Century Charitable Association
    Suggested Reading: “Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad” by Eric Foner

The presidential library and museum uses a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship to immerse visitors in the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. Visitors can see ghosts come to life on stage, watch TV coverage of the 1860 presidential election, roam through the Lincoln White House, experience booming cannons in a Civil War battle and come face to face with priceless original Lincoln artifacts.

The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.

For more information, visit www.

[Shanta Thoele
Executive Secretary
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library]

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