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LINCOLN THE STATE LEGISLATOR:  National Legislative Summit to Explore 16th President’s Formative Years

Washington – Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States.  Everyone knows that!  What many people don’t know, though, is that he served four two-year terms as a member of the Illinois State House of Representatives – and even had a role in moving the state capitol from Vandalia to Springfield.

To mark the 200th anniversary of this former state legislator’s birth, the National Conference of State Legislatures Summit will devote a session to Lincoln.

Eileen R. Mackevich, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, will be joined by historians Thomas Schwartz and Kenneth Winkle on the panel, slated for 1:30 to 5:00 PM on July 23.  Schwartz is Illinois State Historian; Winkle is the Thomas Sorensen Professor of American History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The panel will discuss the 16th president's imprint on American history that continues to inspire office holders, historians and the American public.  Abraham Lincoln: An Illinois Legislator’s Lessons for Today will examine Lincoln’s time spent as a member of the Illinois state legislature and how it helped shape the future leader.  As little is known about those years in the state capital, experts from the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission will shed light on this portion of Lincoln's life and reveal a side of the president few Americans know.

Over 6,000 legislators, legislative staffers, government officials, business representatives, union members, and foundation representatives will convene in Philadelphia, PA from July 20-24 to attend the Legislative Summit.  The focus will rest on the economy, and include sessions on budgeting, tax policies and the effects of the economic stimulus, as well as innovations in the states and crisis leadership. General sessions will feature a look at the U.S. Constitution, the economy and public-private partnerships.

Attendees will hear from the most knowledgeable speakers and collaborate with colleagues from across the nation.  Featured speakers include Bill Gates on Education, Bill Purcell on Leadership, Joan Detz on Communication, and Simon Johnson, David Wyss and David Cohen on the Economy.