By David J. Kent
Monday, November 6, 2023
The Lincoln Group of DC has had a long association with the Lincoln Forum, and this year is no exception. In fact, this is a very special year because it is both the 160th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the 60th anniversary of the keynote speech by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Lincoln Group will be there to celebrate.
Last year (2022), the Lincoln Group won the Forum's prestigious Wendy Allen Award in recognition of the group’s "exceptional work helping the public learn about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era." LGDC president David J. Kent accepted the award from artist Wendy Allen, vice-chair Jonathan White, and Lincoln Forum chairman Harold Holzer. At least 25 Lincoln Group members were at the Forum to participate in our annual group photo. We'll do a photo this year as well.
The Forum promises to recognize the special anniversary by featuring a stellar cast of historians, speakers, and dignitaries. Long-time NPR personality Steve Inskeep will highlight the first night with a discussion of his newest book, Differ We Must, in which Lincoln found useful paths forward even with people with whom he greatly disagreed. The middle night (October 17th) will include this year's recipient of the Wendy Allen Award, plus a special anniversary concert by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason (you'll recognize the music from Ken Burns's Civil War program). the final evening will be even more special as it will feature both the annual Richard Nelson Current Award of Achievement and Team of Rivals historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and Beth Laski in conversation with Harold Holzer, with highlights of their History Channel film, Abraham Lincoln.
And I haven't even mentioned the amazing presentations, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and book signings that fill out the rest of the two-and-a-half-day program. Check out the entire program on the Lincoln Forum website.
The Lincoln Group of DC will again be well-represented. We expect to have twenty-five to thirty members attend the event. If you're there, make sure to let David J. Kent and Ed Epstein know. And plan to join us in the lobby for our annual photo on Friday, October 17, as soon as the evening session breaks. Remember that we're a national organization, so ALL Lincoln Group of DC members are invited to be a part of the photo. Find us in front of the famous George Healy painting, "The Peacemakers," featuring Lincoln along with Generals Grant and Sherman, and Admiral Porter.
LGDC will also make a showing in the Forum's fall newsletter. Don't miss it!
By the way, because this is the 60th anniversary of Dwight D. Eisenhower's keynote address (filling in for President John F. Kennedy, who had committed to a campaign trip to Dallas, Texas), the annual Dedication Day ceremony at Gettysburg Cemetery will feature another Eisenhower, plus some other special guests. Check out Wendy Swanson's article for more details!