Calendar | Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County

State's Lincoln sites schedule events for Abraham Lincoln's 198th birthday

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[FEB. 8, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- Several Lincoln sites administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency have scheduled special events Feb. 10-12 in honor of Abraham Lincoln's 198th birthday.

Two annual pilgrimages to honor Abraham Lincoln's birthday will be on Saturday and Monday at the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site in Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery. Both events are free and open to the public. The 60th annual Pilgrimage of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Tomb. A service at the tomb will feature a eulogy for Lincoln. Military honors for the 16th president will follow, and uniformed soldiers will give Lincoln the traditional 21-gun salute. The 73rd annual National Pilgrimage to Lincoln Tomb by members of Springfield American Legion Post 32 will be on Monday. Dignitaries will assemble at 10:30 a.m., and wreaths from Legion posts across the state will be placed in the burial chamber. The American Legion national commander and other officials will address those gathered for the event at 11 a.m.

A Lincoln's Birthday celebration featuring hands-on activities and special tours of hidden spaces at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington will be on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and is suitable for both adults and children. The mansion's Lincoln-related interpretation will be highlighted during the tours, which begin every half hour. Visitors may see areas of the mansion that are not normally shown to the public, and hands-on activities for children will be featured, along with funny stories about Abraham Lincoln and Judge David Davis. This Lincoln's Birthday event is part of an ongoing series of new Davis Mansion exhibits and programs examining the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and David Davis.

The annual Lincoln's Birthday observance at Postville Courthouse State Historic Site in Lincoln is scheduled for Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Period music will be provided all afternoon by Postville Express. Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln impersonators will visit with guests, and volunteers will conduct tours and serve birthday cake and punch. Award-winning storyteller and musician Mike Anderson will perform at 1:45 p.m., and Bloomington attorney and author Guy Fraker will give PowerPoint presentations at 1 and 2:30 p.m. about the 8th Judicial Circuit that Abraham Lincoln traveled.

A number of Lincoln's Birthday weekend activities are scheduled at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in downtown Springfield. Events in the museum require paid museum admission, while activities in the library are free.

Events at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Saturday:

  • Mrs. Lincoln's Attic at the presidential museum will host birthday party games and crafts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the first 198 children to visit receiving a chocolate penny.

  • Musician Dale C. Evans will perform 19th-century music in the museum plaza from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

  • Greg Bergschneider will appear as President Lincoln in the museum plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • "Meet Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad" will be presented by Kathryn M. Harris at the presidential library at 10 a.m.

  • A young Abe Lincoln look-alike contest for boys and girls ages infant to 18 years will begin at 11 a.m. in the museum's Union Theater.

  • A panel discussion on Lincoln-related books begins at 1 p.m. in the multipurpose room at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Reservations are recommended; call 217-558-8881. A book-signing will begin after the panel discussion. Authors expected to participate are Brian R. Dirck, author of "Lincoln Emancipated: The President and the Politics of Race"; Richard Lawrence Miller, "Lincoln and his World"; Rodney O. Davis and Douglas Wilson, "Herndon's Lincoln"; Douglas Wilson, "Lincoln's Sword"; and Mark E. Steiner, "An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln."

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Events at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Sunday:

  • Lee Slider as Professor Phineas Phairhead in the museum plaza, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

  • Mike Anderson with 19th-century music in the museum plaza, noon-3 p.m.

  • Randall Duncan as President Lincoln in the museum, noon-3 p.m.

  • "Evenings to Remember" with special guest Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek, hosted by Myron Marty in the museum's Union Theater, 7 p.m. For reservations, call the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Foundation at 217-558-8938. Admission is free.

The Vandalia Historical Society will host the annual Lincoln's Birthday observance at 2 p.m. Monday in the Supreme Court room at the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site. Dale Timmerman, president of the Vandalia Historical Society, will present a program called "Lincoln's Congressional Career in Vandalia." Tom Mathis will have his collection of Lincoln memorabilia on display that day. Timmerman serves as a historian for the Vandalia Looking for Lincoln project. The Feb. 12 observance is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Vandalia Historical Society and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site near Charleston will be open on Monday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. in honor of Abraham Lincoln's birthday. The site is normally closed on Monday and Tuesday. Volunteers at the site will be engaged in typical daily activities representing 19th-century life on the Illinois prairie. Visitors may see activities centered on the hearth, including cooking the noonday meal and candle-dipping. While Abraham Lincoln was a successful lawyer living in Springfield and only an occasional visitor to his father's Goosenest Prairie farm in the 1840s, his father and stepmother were still living in the manner in which Abraham was raised. Thus, Lincoln Log Cabin offers visitors the opportunity to see the environment in which Lincoln rose from obscurity to the highest office in the land.

The annual Abraham Lincoln Symposium will be on Monday at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield. The symposium is free and open to the public. The day's events will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a book signing by Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek and author of "American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation." Meacham will also be the keynote speaker at the symposium banquet that evening, for which paid reservations are required. The symposium sessions begin at 1 p.m. in the Old State Capitol's Hall of Representatives, and this year's theme is "Lincoln and Politics of the 1850s." Speakers are author, Pulitzer Prize nominee and University of Illinois professor Orville Vernon Burton; Nicole Etcheson, author of "Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era" and a professor at Ball State University; Matthew Pinsker, author of "Lincoln's Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers' Home" and a professor at Dickinson College; and Brooks D. Simpson, professor of history and humanities at Arizona State University and author of several acclaimed books on the Civil War, Reconstruction and Ulysses S. Grant. The event is sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

(Text from Illinois Historic Preservation Agency news release received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information)

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