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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 02/10/2011

Focus on Lincoln to continue during sesquicentennial

By Linda Wheeler


In 2009 there was a year-long party to celebrate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, an effort led by the congressionally-created Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. The public celebration of the 16th president will continue for another four years during the sesquicentennial of the Civil War with the advent of a successor organization to the commission, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation.

The newly elected foundation chairman, Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, said Lincoln’s 200th birthday celebration was just the beginning of the public discourse on the 16th President. “Our view is that, yes, the national lens on Lincoln opened wide for the Bicentennial, but should remain in sharp focus throughout the Civil War sesquicentennial—because, in a phrase, Lincoln was the most important figure of the era.”

Holzer went on to say that Lincoln deserved as much attention as the generals and the battles, a traditional interest for students of the Civil War.
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Tonight at Washington’s historic Willard Hotel, the roster of board members will be officially announced at a reception. They include Holzer, Darrel Bigham, Orville Vernon Burton, Thomas Campbell. David Lawrence Jr., Edna Greene Medford, Antonio Mora, Charles Scholz, Jean Powers Soman and Frank J. Williams.

The foundation, like the commission, will support non-profit initiatives that are Lincoln-centered and engage a diverse audience. Three of those have been announced. They include tomorrow’s 150th commemoration of the National Peace Convention at the Willard Hotel; the re-enactment on March 5 of Lincoln’s inaugural address at the Capitol; and a grant to staff and maintain the historic Gettysburg Railroad Station where Lincoln arrived on Nov. 18, 1863 to give his most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address.

The foundation is funded through a surplus of funds left from the commission, a share of the proceeds from the sale of the very popular 2009 Bicentennial Lincoln silver dollar and private donations, Holzer said.

By Linda Wheeler  | February 10, 2011; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  150th anniversary, Events, Re-enactments  | Tags:  willard hotel  
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