As the nation prepares to inaugurate its first African‑American president, nothing could be more relevant and timely than the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission’s national dialogue devoted to Lincoln’s ideals of freedom and equality of opportunity for all.
— Jack Kemp
Dear Friend of ALBC:
Here at the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission it’s been a remarkably busy year. It will no doubt be busier still as we approach the 200th anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth, which follows by just a few short weeks the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, who has most fittingly chosen Lincoln as the theme for that occasion.
This fall, we partnered both with the U.S. Mint to present four new designs for the Lincoln penny. We joined the U.S. Postal Service in Springfield, Ill., to unveil designs of the four commemorative stamps honoring the Bicentennial, and together with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation we presented an evening of poetry and music inspired by Lincoln’ s love of those arts.
We also are looking forward with excitement to the first of 10 national Town Hall meetings in which distinguished panelists and community audiences will discuss how Lincoln’s legacy can inform and enlighten the search for solutions to some of 21st century America ’s most intransigent societal challenges.
The first such meeting, to be held at Gettysburg College, will focus on "Race, Freedom and Equality of Opportunity." That theme signals a welcome departure from the nation’s commemoration of Lincoln’s 100th and 150th birthdays, when there was no discussion of how far short of Lincoln’s dream the country still was. Certainly, in the years since, great progress has been made toward realizing what Lincoln called, in his wartime proclamation establishing Thanksgiving Day, "the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union."
But there is much left to be done. And so, in this season of Thanksgiving, please think of making a tax‑deductible donation to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation. When Congress created the commission, it expected "the people" to fund a celebration worthy of our greatest and most beloved president. This celebration will have its own legacy beyond 2009, with a Web site featuring high points of the Bicentennial as well as educational tools, including lesson plans for teachers, to keep Lincoln vibrant in the nation’s memory.
A gift from you in any amount would be most appreciated. You can conveniently make a secure online contribution by going to and clicking on "Donate." We, in turn, will send you a commemorative gift in appreciation of your support.
With your help, we are working to make Feb. 12, 2009, the grandest birthday celebration ever, as befits Abraham Lincoln, whose moral presence and mythic stature resonate to this day.
I thank you so much, and wish you a happy holiday season.