Friday, May 1, 2009

Learn about Lincoln's funeral train in Bloomington May 3

If you're in Central Illinois Sunday, you'll want to see a great exhibit commemorating Lincoln's funeral train. My friend, Jeff Woodard, of the McLean County Museum of History asked me to pass this information along to you, but I was busy with a couple non-blog Lincoln stories and didn't get it done until now. My apologies for the late notice.

Here's the info from Jeff's press release, and I've added a bonus at the end - places where you can learn more about Lincoln's trip back home to Illinois.

Reflections: The American Funeral
During Abraham Lincoln’s historic funeral train journey to Springfield, IL, in 1865, it passed through Bloomington, IL. To commemorate this event more then 140 years later to the day, the McLean County Museum of History is bringing Reflections: The American Funeral to the community on Sunday, May 3.

This mobile museum depicts Lincoln’s final farewell and features sections honoring other U.S. Presidents, fallen public safety officers and military veterans as it traces the history of funeral customs in America. The exhibit is sponsored by Calvert & Metzler Memorials Homes.

From the cross-country funeral procession for Abraham Lincoln to the national outpouring of grief for Elvis Presley, America has a rich history of mourning the dead.

Reflections: The American Funeral explores these traditions, beginning with Native American burial mounds and ending with the diverse rituals practiced across the country today. Produced by Michigan-based MRA, it’s earning high praise from visitors who sign the Guest Book: “Awesome!” “Great educational tool!” “Amazing! Brings out a lot of things we don’t think about.” “Very, very moving.”

The Bloomington stop
The McLean County Museum of History will host Reflections on May 3rd at the Jefferson St entrance, located at 200 N. Main St., Bloomington, IL. The exhibit is open to the public, free and handicap-accessible. Hours are 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, with special presentations beginning at 1:00 PM.

Please join us to honor one of our greatest presidents; there will be presentations on the Funeral Train and Period Morning Quilts beginning at 1:00 pm. The Mourning Quilts talk will be presented by Kyle Ciani an Associate Professor in the History Department and affiliated faculty for Women and Gender Studies at Illinois State University.

The exhibits
Spread out across 1,000 sq. ft., thoughtful display areas reveal how we mourn the dead.
  • The Lincoln exhibit features a reproduction of Lincoln’s casket and traces the near 3-week funeral procession.
  • “Arlington National Cemetery” honors our country’s veterans and the more than three million Americans buried in our national cemeteries.
  • “Glory, Glory Hallelujah” showcases President John F. Kennedy’s rider-less horse – empty boots reversed in the saddle – trotting briskly in his funeral procession and Rosa Parks, who was the first woman to lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda.
  • “The Lord is My Shepherd” is a poignant tribute to fallen public safety officers killed in the line of duty. “
  • The Final Curtain” pays homage to celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Dale Earnhardt, and Elvis.

Reflections: The American Funeral has been touring across the United States since summer 2008, stopping at state capitols, universities, veteran events, and mortuary schools, funeral homes and industry conventions. During January Inauguration celebrations, both Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, MD, hosted it. February saw it displayed at Lincoln Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery to commemorate the Lincoln Bicentennial.

Learn more

For more on the funeral train:

Please, will you help tell the story?
I may not make it to the exhibit, due to other obligations, and I'm bummed! If you see it and wish to share your observations of the Bloomington event, please send it as a comment to my blog. I'd be glad to share it.

© Copyright 2009 Ann Tracy Mueller. All rights reserved.

No comments: