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American Public Invited




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David Early

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American Public Invited To Provide Ideas and Concepts
for 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Observance

WASHINGTON, DC—As the nation marks President Lincoln’s 194th birthday, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission gathered an Advisory Committee of Lincoln experts in Washington, DC to begin the planning process for the 2009 Bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. Planning for the nationwide celebration will include well-known scholars, authors, celebrities and experts, as well as members of the public. All are invited to submit ideas, concepts and themes by logging onto www.lincolnbicentennial.gov, then click “Your ideas.”

The newly-formed Advisory Committee meets February 10-11 for its first planning session. Advisory committee members represent various professions and regions of the country. Some lending their expertise include:

Ken Burns, award-winning film maker and author

Sam Waterston, Critically acclaimed actor

Michael Beschloss, Presidential historian

The Honorable Mario Cuomo, former Governor of New York and award-winning author

Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Dr. James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize winning author (“Battle Cry Freedom”) and scholar

Jeff Shaara, author of “Gods and Generals” (movie based on his novel to be released February 21, 2003)

David Herbert Donald, The Charles Warren Professor Emeritus of American History and American Civilizations at Harvard University and award winning author

“To do justice to Lincoln’s legacy and history, the Commissioners are pleased to have the background, knowledge base and expertise of our nation’s foremost Lincoln scholars, experts and cultural leaders,” stated Michael Bishop, Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. “Relying also upon the creative suggestions of the American public, we look forward to unveiling some of the key elements of the nation’s plans to honor our 16th President in the coming year.”

Agenda topics for the inaugural advisory committee meeting held at the Library of Congress on February 10th included:

Minting of an Abraham Lincoln bicentennial penny

Issuance of an Abraham Lincoln bicentennial postage stamp

Convening of a joint session of Congress

Rededication of the Lincoln Memorial, or other Memorial related projects

Acquisition and preservation of artifacts associated with Lincoln

Discussion and recommendation of additional ways to appropriately recognize and celebrate Lincoln’s life and legacy

Meeting participants and members of the public were also treated to a performance of “Lincoln Seen and Heard,” hosted by the Commission at the Library of Congress. The event starred Law and Order’s Sam Waterston, who has portrayed Lincoln on stage and screen (The Civil War, Gore Vidal’s Lincoln and on Broadway in Abe Lincoln in Illinois).

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission was authorized by Public Law No.: 106-173 and appointed by the President and Congress to plan the Bicentennial celebration of Lincoln’s birth. The 15 members of the Commission include educators, Civil War historians and state and federal leaders. Commission members include: Senator Richard Durbin (Co-chair), Rep. Ray LaHood (Co-chair), Harold Holzer (Co-chair), Senator Jim Bunning, Dr. Jean T. D. Bandler, Dr. Darrel E. Bigham, Dr. Gabor S. Boritt, Joan L. Flinspach, Dr. James O. Horton, Illinois first lady Lura Lynn Ryan, Louise Taper, former Gov. James R. Thompson, LaRue County Judge Tommy Turner and Rhode Island Chief Justice Frank J. Williams.

MEDIA NOTES: Members of the Commission and the Advisory Committee are available for interviews (Schedule pending).