WASHINGTON Some of the biggest celebrations of the bicentennial of Abe Lincoln's birthday kick off in Washington on his Feb. 12 birthdate. But you can also catch many Lincoln-related exhibits and events later this year and in other parts of the country.
Here are some details, with more information at http://www.lincolnindc.com/ or from the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, http://www.abrahamlincoln200.org/.
The National Park Service celebrates Lincoln's birthday Feb. 12 with live music at the Lincoln Memorial. On April 12, Easter Sunday, the memorial will host a recreation of Marian Anderson's landmark concert. She sang at the memorial steps in 1939 after a nearby concert hall turned her away because she was black. And on Memorial Day, the Lincoln Memorial will be formally rededicated.
Ford's Theatre -- where Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 -- reopens Feb. 11 after an extensive renovation, and regular tours resume Feb. 17. The theater is also debuting a new play about Lincoln that will run through March 8.
Also in Washington, the original Emancipation Proclamation will be on display at the National Archives, Feb. 12-16, and the Library of Congress opens a major national Lincoln bicentennial exhibit called "With Malice Toward None," on Feb. 12. The exhibit, at 10 First St. SE, will include items such as the Bible he used to take the oath of office (used by Barack Obama) and handwritten speeches and letters.
"With Malice Toward None" will travel to The California Museum in Sacramento this spring and summer; to the Newberry Library in Chicago this fall; to the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis in early 2010; to the Atlanta History Center in the fall of 2010); and to the Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha, Neb., in 2011.
Another destination for visitors to Washington interested in the bicentennial is President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home, a National Trust Historic site which opened a year ago after a $17 million restoration. Lincoln lived there when he drafted the Emancipation Proclamation and often spent time there with his family, commuting three miles daily to the White House by horseback or coach. A lifesize statue of Lincoln and his horse, recently installed in front of the cottage, will be formally dedicated Feb. 12. On the same day, the exhibition "My Abraham Lincoln" opens at the cottage, showcasing Lincoln-related memorabilia, such as a 1920s set of Lincoln Logs.
Elsewhere, many states have established Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commissions to celebrate Lincoln's 200th birthday.
In Springfield, Ill., where Lincoln served in the state Legislature, many events are planned for Feb. 12, including an all-day program featuring Lincoln authors at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Old State Capitol and Lincoln Home; a 9:30 a.m. reading of the Gettysburg Address to air on a live webcast; and an evening ball at the museum. Chicago's celebrations include "Lincoln Treasures," a special exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, http://www.chicagohistory.org.
Kentucky has a Lincoln Heritage Trail to help you explore Lincoln sites in the state where he was born; details at http://www.kylincolntrail.com. The Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington, Ky., will open an exhibit Feb. 12 looking at four historically significant visits Lincoln made to Cincinnati between 1849 and 1861. And Indiana, where the future president grew up, has a guide to Lincoln sites and events at http://www.in.gov/lincoln/.
Exhibits, events mark Lincoln bicentennial Feb. 12
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