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Celebrate Lincoln’s 200th Birthday in the Nation’s Capitol!




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Celebrate Lincoln’s 200th Birthday in the Nation’s Capitol!
Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Announces Schedule of Events

Washington – From sea to shining sea – and around the globe – school children, Lincoln look-alikes, governors and state legislatures, parliaments, universities, and citizens young and old will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of America’s 16th president.

In Washington, DC, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission is planning a number of events for February 12 to kick off the nation’s celebrations:


National Wreath-laying Ceremony
8:00 a.m. – Lincoln Memorial

The national wreath-laying ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial begins at 8:00 a.m.  Five-time Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein will perform a fresh interpretation of the National Anthem, accompanied by the U.S. Marine Corps Band, and also his rendition of lyrics written for him by poet Maya Angelou especially for the occasion.  Acclaimed poet and author Nikki Giovanni will recite from her own new work commemorating the Bicentennial.  Retired Rhode Island Chief Justice (and ALBC Commissioner) Frank J. Williams will be joined by a group of school children from Washington, DC’s Thomson Elementary School for a recitation of the Gettysburg Address.  The event is free and open to the public.


Birthday Breakfast
9:15 a.m. – West Potomac Park, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial

Michael Feinstein’s appearance at the Lincoln Memorial is only a teaser.  Following the wreath-laying ceremony, he will treat ALBC supporters to a performance of Gershwin and other favorites from the American Songbook repertoire during a birthday breakfast.  Served in a heated tent adjacent to the Memorial, the hot, hearty foods common to a 19th century table will be a welcome respite after the February cold.  Tickets are still available through the ALBC’s Web site –  www.abrahamlincoln200.org under “Latest News” on the home page.  Proceeds from this event benefit the on-going work of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation.


Bicameral Celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s Bicentennial: A Congressional Tribute
11:30 a.m. – U.S. Capitol Rotunda

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Members of the House and Senate will pay tribute to the former legislator from Illinois in the Capitol Rotunda, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak about Lincoln’s presidential leadership, and Richard Norton Smith will address Lincoln’s early years as a state legislator and Member of Congress.  The Speaker and congressional leadership will offer remarks.  Seating for this free, ticketed event is limited. 


With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibit
1:00 p.m. – Library of Congress, Jefferson Building – Great Hall

Immediately following the bicameral celebration at the Capitol, the Library of Congress will open its Bicentennial exhibit, With Malice Toward None.  To be located in the Library’s Jefferson building, the exhibit features documents, photos, letters, speeches, campaign artifacts and other rarely seen treasures from the Library's collections, including the Bible used during Lincoln’s first inauguration and most recently by Barack Obama for his inauguration.  The exhibit charts Lincoln’s growth from prairie lawyer to preeminent statesman and addresses the monumental issues he faced, including slavery and race, national disunion, and the Civil War.


National Teach-In
1:30 p.m. – National Archives Building

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, in partnership with History™, will Webcast a National Teach-In on the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, originating live from the National Archives in Washington at 1:30pm EST. This special live Web event will feature Lincoln scholars Doris Kearns Goodwin, Matthew Pinsker, and Harold Holzer sharing their expertise and answering students’ questions from all over the country.  More than 3,000 schools across the country – and a few from abroad – have signed up to participate in this special Bicentennial feature for kids.  Schools can sign up for the Web cast until 1:15 p.m. on Feb. 12.  Please visit: www.history.com/lincoln


In addition to the ALBC’s events, numerous museums and cultural organizations in the Washington area are offering exhibits, lectures, concerts, and other tributes to Lincoln on and around February 12th.  Destination DC and Cultural Tourism DC, two of the ALBC’s chief partners in the nation’s capital, have developed a Web site dedicated to the local efforts to promote the Bicentennial.  On the Web site you will find a calendar of events, hotel packages, and more for celebrations in the nation’s capitol.  Please visit:  http://www.washington.org/lincolnindc/ 


About the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

Congress established the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to plan the nation’s celebration of the 16th president’s 200th birthday in 2009.  The Commission works to engage the broadest range of individuals and groups in the commemoration.  Through education programs, public forums, and the arts, the Commission provides an opportunity to re-examine Lincoln’s legacy in our 21st century democracy.  Its members, who are appointed by the president and congressional leaders, include political leaders, jurists, historians, and collectors.  For more information about the ALBC’s events and programs, please visit www.abrahamlincoln200.org.