Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lincoln, Lincoln I've been thinkin...

History buffs enjoyed an opportunity of a lifetime as participants in a live Press Conference with President Abraham Lincoln. The event, a collaborative effort between the Peoria Historical Society and The Abraham Lincoln Association unfolded this evening at the Pettengill-Morron house on Moss Avenue.

Christine Zak of WEEK and Barbara Mance Drake, retired editor of the Peoria Journal Star fired the first questions at the President. Ms. Drake, in particular had some pretty feisty questions, cleverly crafted to elicit advice from the dead president relative to our current political conditions. "Might a black man ever be President?", she asked.

President Lincoln, played by authentic historical reenactor George Buss, answered every question with the legendary thoughtfulness and humor of Honest Abe. When the press conference opened up to questions from the audience, many tried to stump him, but it was to no avail. This guy knew his stuff. The outstanding questions from the audience ranged from "Do you feel other options were available to avoid the war?" to "How is Mary (Todd's) cooking?" Our daughter, who is no shrinking violet, had a question of her own. "Do you have papers under your hat?", she asked.

Imagine her thrill when he called her up on stage, took off his hat, pulled something from it, and handed her an old folded up piece of paper. Upon later examination, I realized it was a replica of the Gettysburg address in Lincoln's own handwriting. She's probably the only kid in America tonight sleeping with a copy of the Gettysburg address under her pillow.

The Museum home was open afterwards for the guests to enjoy hot cider, cookies and lots of photo ops.

What a fabulous and educational experience. Please support our Peoria Historical Society.


Billy Dennis said...

Good post.

You know, Lincoln is a lot like George W. Bush.

Lincoln always denied that the war was "about" slavery.

Then toward the end, he freed the slaves in occupied territory and proposed a constitutional ending slavery. Meaning: The war WAS about ending slavery.

Some folks to this day think Lincoln was wrong to not let the Southern states quit the union. One of them (Ron Paul) was running for President.

I somehow think history will be less kind to GWB.

Anyway, it sounds like your little one is a big fan of Lincoln. I was too at her age. Still am.

Amy Kelly,Peoria Historical Society said...

Thank you for attending the Lincoln Press Conference with your daughter, her question was great and I am sure the evening will be one that she will remember for many years. Your pictures delightful, especially your daughter with Abe. Barb Drake and Chris Zak did a wonderful job of asking Abe some difficult questions, but he was never at a loss for an answer. The audience also came prepared to participate. What a truly unique experience this was! I had as much fun as anyone who was there.