Celebrate Honest Abe’s 200th Birthday

Celebrate Abraham Lincoln's 200th BirthdayPut on your stovepipe hats and join the Kentucky Historical Society and Clifford the Big Red Dog in celebrating the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky’s most famous native son. This free Family Fun Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort.

Visitors will enjoy hands-on activities to celebrate the lives and legacies of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Children can learn period dances, try crafts and games from Lincoln’s era, enjoy birthday cake, and have their picture taken with Clifford, a special guest who shares values with Abraham Lincoln. They can also explore Beyond the Log Cabin: Kentucky’s Abraham Lincoln, the commonwealth’s signature Lincoln exhibition, and watch live KHS Museum Theatre productions.

Children can try their hands at nineteenth-century games like ball and cup, Bilbo catchers, hoops and sticks, and Jack straws or they can plant pumpkin seeds, learn how to milk a cow, play fishing games, and even build a miniature log cabin.

“Family Fun Day activities, crafts, and games are for children and adults of all ages,” said Erica Harvey, coordinator of children’s and family programs at KHS. “We want to share the life and legacy of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, but most importantly we want families to have a fun-filled day.”

Other special guests on Family Fun Day include Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln presenters and the Berea Festival Dancers.

This free Family Fun Day is part of a three-day KHS commemoration of the Lincoln bicentennial. It is cosponsored by Kentucky Educational Television, the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and the Commonwealth Credit Union.

KHS kicks off its February events on February 12, 2009, Lincoln’s 200th birthday, when the Kentucky General Assembly will be invited to honor Lincoln with a joint session at the Old State Capitol in Frankfort, followed by a reception featuring the Kentucky State University Gospel Choir at the Center.

Then, on February 16, KHS will host Michael Burlingame, a noted Lincoln scholar and historian, who will discuss Lincoln’s life and significance. This ticketed dinner event is the culminating piece of KHS’s February Lincoln Bicentennial commemoration. Burlingame, who has edited or authored twelve books investigating the life and times of Lincoln, will come to Frankfort as the second stop on his book tour for his most recent work, Abraham Lincoln: A Life. As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin has noted, “Lincoln scholars have waited anxiously for this book for decades. Its triumphant publication proves it well worth the wait. No one in recent history has uncovered more fresh sources than Michael Burlingame.”

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial, a national commemoration, began in February 2008 and closes on February 12, 2010. Communities, historic sites, libraries, and schools across the commonwealth have planned events and activities for the commemorative period.

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