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Besides Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois also figure prominently in the upcoming Lincoln Bicentennial events.

Lincoln lived in Spencer County, Indiana, from age 7 to 21. It is home to the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial where his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, is buried in a pioneer cemetery near the family’s farm site. In Lincoln State Park, Lincoln’s sister Sarah Lincoln Grigsby is buried in Old Pigeon Cemetery. Other Lincoln sites in the area include the Colonel Jones Home in Gentryville, and Lincoln Pioneer Village and Lincoln Landing in Rockport.

Most of Lincoln’s 30 years in Illinois (1831-1861) were spent in Springfield. Here, at sites including Lincoln’s Home, the Old State Capitol, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, the Lincoln Depot, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visitors will see how Lincoln grew from fledgling lawyer to 16th president. Springfield is also the home of Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Lincoln’s final resting place.

In Illinois, 2008 will focus on the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates.

Indiana Lincoln events:

• Mothers Day Celebration, May 11, 2008. This is Indiana’s kick-off for the Bicentennial and is the second of five Signature Events. A special ceremony will be held to honor Nancy Hanks Lincoln, who is buried on the southern Indiana farm where Lincoln lived from 1816 to 1830.

• Civil War Era Ball, September 27, 2008, at Historic Spencer County Courthouse, Rockport.

• Re-enactment of Lincoln’s Last Visit, November 1, 2008, Spencer County Courthouse. Lincoln last visited Rockport on October 30, 1844, while campaigning on behalf of Henry Clay. A commemorative ceremony will be held to pay tribute to this visit.

• Reopening of Lincoln Amphitheatre, Spencer County, 2009. According to Will Koch, president of Holiday World Theme Park and president of the Lincoln Boyhood Drama Association, an all-volunteer group formed solely to help return the theater to life after it went dark in 2006 will produce a new show about Abraham Lincoln and how his character developed on the Indiana frontier.

Illinois Lincoln events:

From August to October of 1858, Lincoln and Stephen Douglas met in seven different cities throughout Illinois to participate in a series of formal political debates that framed the issues that were of critical importance in the conflict over slavery and states’ rights. The year 2008 marks the Sesquicentennial of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates; the communities where the debates took place are planning a series of events throughout the year called “Reunion Tour 2008.”

• Commemoration of the House Divided Speech, June 14-16, Springfield

• “Reunion Tour 08” kick-off, July 26, Bement

• Debate Celebrations: August 22-24, Ottawa; August 29-31, Freeport; September 12-14, Jonesboro; September 19-21, Charleston; October 3-5, Galesburg; October 11-13, Quincy; October 17-19, Alton.




To read the Kentucky Living January 2008 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to The Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commemoration.

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