Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The ALPLM and more - Bicentennial activity galore

On an April morning almost three years I got up early, drove to Springfield and waited in line for the opening of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM). The early drive was worth it, as I was seventh in line on the first day the museum opened to paying customers. (Some school groups and other visitors had seen the museum free of charge in the preceding days.)

I drove back and forth for four days in a row that April, taking in as many of the ALPLM opening activities as possible and, believe me, it was worth every mile I drove and every minute I waited in line. The museum was all I’d hoped it would be – and more – and the museum, library and scholarly symposium left a lasting mark on this Lincoln scholar-wannabe. If you haven’t visited yet, what better time than now?

Bicentennial events begin Feb. 7
I’ll make a similar trek again in a couple weeks. The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the ALPLM and a number of other organizations and venues in Springfield are joining together to throw one heck of a 200th birthday party for Lincoln. Why not join me? For this party, it’s the more, the merrier!

To learn more about the following events, see the Bicentennial or ALPLM website calendars.

Authors aplenty
You’ll be able to see and hear a who’s who of Lincoln scholars for author discussions and book signings all week. They’re coming from the East Coast, the West Coast and places in between, with a couple of scholars coming all the way from England and Northern Ireland.* The scribes include:
  • Bob Burleigh
  • Michael Burlingame
  • Vernon Burton
  • Richard Carwardine
  • Catherine Clinton
  • David Contosta
  • Daniel Mark Epstein
  • Eric Foner
  • Dan Guillory
  • Cheryl Harness
  • Daniel Walker Howe
  • Charles Hubbard
  • Betty Kay
  • Karen Kostyal
  • Philip Kunhardt
  • Bruce Levin
  • Russell McClintock
  • Edna Green Medford
  • Wendell Minor
  • Barry Schwartz
  • Camesha Scruggs
  • Brooks Simpson
  • Jack Smith
  • Louise Taper
  • Wayne Temple
  • Elizabeth Varnon
  • Jennifer Weber
  • Daniel Weinberg
  • Judge Frank Williams
  • Karen Winnick

Countless celebrations
Springfield will be host to all sorts of birthday celebrations, including:

  • First issuance of Lincoln Bicentennial Postage Stamps
  • Springfield’s Farewell Address to Lincoln
  • Meet Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln
  • Now He Belongs to the Ages Overnight Vigil
  • Wreath-laying at Lincoln Tomb

Endless exhibits
If you haven’t found anything to interest you yet, how about taking in some of these Springfield exhibits:

  • From Humble Beginnings: Lincoln's Illinois
  • The Lincoln Project paintings
  • Lincoln Portrait in Post-Its
  • Lincoln in Illinois sculpture photographs

Family fun
I'd wager a bet that if you ask most Lincoln enthusiasts when they became mesmerized by his legacy, they'd say it was as a child, so don't leave the kids at home. There are plenty of family friendly events, such as:

  • Children Celebrate: Birthday crafts
  • Statewide Reading of The Gettysburg Address
  • Children’s Storytelling with Abraham Lincoln
  • Children’s Reading Room
  • Period Ball
  • Mr. Lincoln's Science Fair Free Family Event

A plethora of performances
Want to celebrate with a play or in song? Check out these performances:

  • Our American Cousin
  • Amazing Grace: A Time of Spirituals
  • Program of Spirituals
  • One Destiny
  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra
  • From My Front Porch
  • Meet the Lincolns
  • The Lincoln Trio
  • The Four Sopranos
  • Lincoln & Frederick Douglass Emancipation and the Dream of Freedom - From Slavery to the White House
  • Music of the Lincoln Era
  • Abraham Lincoln: A Biography in Words and Music

These take tickets
Several other events do require reservations and paid tickets. They are:

  • Lincoln Academy of Illinois Bicentennial Award Ceremony
  • Bicentennial Luncheon
  • Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday Party: Abraham Lincoln Association banquet (sold out except overflow seating) with President Barack Obama joining the celebration**

Special thanks to my friends at the ALPLM for an email pulling all this information together in one place so it was easier to list everything here for you. Be sure to vist the Bicentennial and ALPLM websites for times, locations and more.

* Updated Feb. 2, 2009 - My apologies to Catherine Clinton. For some reason, I was thinking she and Richard Carwardine were both in England. I learned just today that Clinton is in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I hope to see both when they speak in Springfield the week of the Bicentennial.

** We learned today President Obama will be joining us. What a special birthday gift for Lincoln!

1 comment:

Geoff Elliott said...


Thanks so much for that story about The Champ and how kind he was to your dad. Ali is still The Greatest.