Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lincoln-Douglas at 150

Lincoln-Douglas

The Southern Illinoisan ran a nice story on Friday about the progress at the Lincoln-Douglas debate site in Jonesboro. We've been tracking their progress for over a year now and have been quite impressed with their efforts.


In preparation for their celebration, which will take place September 12-14, organizers have opened a visitor’s center. The center includes information about the debates, copies of period letters, as well as a video of a reenactment of the debates.


Jonesboro is just one of several Illinois communities planning to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Here’s a look at some of scheduled events:


June 14-16, Springfield

Saturday, June 14


All Day: Traveling exhibit, Confronting Democracy's Boundaries: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates Traveling Exhibit, Old State Capitol.


1-2 pm: Lincoln and Douglas performers George Buss and Tim Connors mingle with visitors, Old State Capitol.


2 pm: Lincoln and Douglas Debate Performance, Old State Capitol's Representative Hall.


4-5 pm: "Together We Read Libraries" featuring audience interaction with award-winning historian Allen Guelzo, discussing his new book, Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America, Old State Capitol


Sunday, June 15


All Day: Traveling exhibit, Confronting Democracy's Boundaries: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates Traveling Exhibit, Old State Capitol.


1-3 pm: Lincoln and Douglas performers George Buss and Tim Connors mingle with visitors, Old State Capitol.


2 pm: Lincoln and Douglas Debate Performance, Old State Capitol's Representative Hall.


3-4:30 pm: "Historians Speak" a public conversation between award-winning Lincoln historian, Allen Guelzo, and Illinois State Historian, Thomas F. Schwartz. Audience participation encouraged. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.


4:30 pm: Book Signing by historian Allen Guelzo, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Store.


Monday, June 16


All Day: Traveling exhibit, Confronting Democracy's Boundaries: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates Traveling Exhibit, Old State Capitol.



10-11 am: "Researching Lincoln & Douglas at the Presidential Library." Outreach program for the general public highlighting the Library's research materials for Stephen A. Douglas & Lincoln-Douglas Debates, featuring Glenna Schroeder-Lein from the Manuscripts Division, Mary Michals from the A/V Division, and Lincoln Curator James Cornelius, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. CPDUs offered.



11-2:30 pm: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Education Department. Half-day Teachers' Workshop on Lincoln & Douglas and related topics: Lunch & Workshop in Presidential Library Classroom with Allen Guelzo. Teachers who come early can also attend the Research program at 10 am. CPDUs offered. Cost: $10.00. To reserve a space, go to abelincolnmuseum.org or call (217) 558-8934.



1-3 pm: Lincoln and Douglas performers George Buss and Tim Connors mingle with visitors, Old State Capitol.



2 pm: Lincoln and Douglas Debate Performance, Old State Capitol's Representative Hall.



5:30 pm: Special Performance—"House Divided Speech" Sesquicentennial Commemoration featuring historical readings by Lincoln-Douglas performers George Buss and Tim Connors with running historical commentary by award-winning historian Allen Guelzo; Representative Hall. Cost: $8.00. Purchase Tickets Online or by calling (217) 558-8934


July 26, Bement


Lincoln and Douglas reportedly met in Bement to finalize the details for the seven debates. Although no debate took place here, Bement has been chosen to host the grand opening event of the Sesquicentennial Celebration. Commemorations include a Lincoln Douglas Press Conference, a play called "The Bement Story", a band and chorus concert, Civil War infantry demonstrations and drills, and a torch light parade featuring Lincoln and Douglas. For more information call 217-678-8184.


August 22-23, Ottawa


Friday events: Yarns and Fables Story Telling Festival. Refreshments available.


Saturday events: Two performances at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. of Reunion Tour 2008 at the historic debate site. Lots of entertainment all day including an old town Farmers Market and a Petticoats and Pantaloons Vintage Fashion Show. The day will end with a costume ball honoring Mr. and Lincoln and Mr. Douglas aboard the Spirit of Peoria paddle wheel boat. For more information call 888-688-2924.


August 29-September 1, Freeport


Friday: Lincoln and Douglas will arrive by steam train. Their arrival will be followed by a torchlight parade and a re-enactment of an abolitionist rally. The rally will include Frederick Douglas.


Saturday: Morning parade through downtown Freeport followed in the afternoon by the dedication of Debate Square and a performance of Reunion Tour 08 with Lincoln and Douglas. In the evening is an 1860 era Grand Ball.


Sunday: Family Day and Art in the Park-juried art and family activities.

Labor Day: The Flavors of Lincoln's Freeport will provide ethnic foods and entertainment and an opportunity to visit with Lincoln and Douglas. For more information call 1-800-369-2955.


September 12-14, Jonesboro


Friday Events: Lincoln and Douglas will meet with the local press and school children. The evening ends with a "Dinner with the Debaters" Reservations are required.


Saturday: All day community festival featuring period crafts demonstrations, food, music and games. At 2:00 the Reunion Tour 2008 press conference will take place with Lincoln and Douglas.


Sunday: Old Fashioned Picnic in Park with Lincoln and Douglas.


For more information call 1-800-248-4373.


September 20-21, Charleston


Saturday Events: All day festival will take place at the original site of the Lincoln Douglas Debate. Activities include a pancake breakfast, 4K run/walk, tours of the Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum, an art fair with traditional 19th century artisans along with modern loca artists, period music and performs. Reunion Tour Press Conference.


Sunday: Events include tours of historic homes and the Downtown Square where Lincoln and Douglas once visited regularly. For more information call 217-348-0430.


October 3-5, Galesburg


On Saturday, listen to Lincoln and Douglas describe the important issues of the debates. Tour Old Main at Knox College, original site of the Debate. Exhibits through the building tell the story of Lincoln's time in Galesburg. Visit the Galesburg Colony Underground Railroad Freedom Station to discover how escaping slaves found shelter in Knox County. Join the fun at the Galesburg Scarecrow Festival. For more information call 309-343-2485. The weekend will include music, entertainment, food and other special programming.


October 11-13, Quincy


Saturday Events: A Grand Welcom Celebration will greet Lincoln and Douglas as they arrive at the site of the former Quincy Railroad Depot. Dedication of the enhanced Lincoln Douglas Debate site in Washington Park.


Sunday: Reunion Tour 2009 festivities will take place in Washington Park. Then join the fun at a Community Contra Dance.


Monday: After spending a day with school children, Lincoln and Douglas will participate in a Farewell Celebration at the Quincy Riverfront. The three day celebration will include music, entertainment, food and other special programming. For more information call 1-800-978-4748.


October 17-18, Danville


Free, advance seat reservation by call 217-442-2922. A paraphrase of the debates with actors from the college drama department and characters from Vermilion County history.


October 17-19, Alton


Friday Events: Alton School will host Lincoln and Douglas and then attend "Dinner with the Lincoln's featuring authentic Lincoln and Civil War recipes along with special programming. Reservations required.


Saturday: The Debate Festival will cover a nine block area of downtown Alton plus City Hall and the debate site. Activities will include period vendors a living history tour with re-enactors and docents at 10 different Lincoln and Civil War interpretive panels and presentations of Reunion Tour 08 Press Conference. Special programs at the Hayner Public Library and the Alton Museum of History and Art.


Sunday: Through the weekend festival special cruises with the Lincoln re-enactors will be available for scenic fall color and historic cruises. The St. Louis Science Center is also tying in Lincoln Segway tours of the historic Lincoln sites in Alton. For more information call 1-800-258-6645.