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The Semiquincentennial Lincoln Opportunity

By David J. Kent and Ed Epstein

Washington, D.C.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

The United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of our nation’s independence on July 4, 2026, just over two short years from now. While much of the focus will be on the Founders, Lincoln Group of DC members know that Abraham Lincoln saw the Declaration of Independence as the moral and intellectual centerpiece of the country. The Lincoln Group of DC plans to ensure Lincoln’s devotion to our nation’s founding is recognized as part of the semiquincentennial celebration. We are asking our membership to offer ideas for how best to do this.

“Four score and seven years ago” is perhaps the greatest opening line ever spoken. Beginning his Gettysburg Address with it in 1863, Lincoln set 1776 as the time when “our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” As the 250th anniversary of that founding approaches, we find our nation once again in a period of existential crisis, testing whether "that nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure." Such a momentous anniversary offers an opportunity to use Lincoln’s core principles as a mechanism for maintaining the union so often challenged in its ideals.

The Lincoln Group of DC invites member input on how best to commemorate Lincoln’s importance to this anniversary. What thoughts can you offer? The LGDC plans to organize a virtual brainstorming event to fine-tune our own ideas and develop collaborations with other Lincoln organizations.

Congress has created the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, at, to organize and coordinate activities surrounding the 2026 anniversary. It’s likely we will coordinate and collaborate with the commission as it continues for three years of programs that began this past summer and leading up to July 4, 2026.

If you have ideas, please contact either David J. Kent or Ed Epstein for follow up. This is an opportunity for Lincoln Group of DC members to help steer the direction of the LGDC for years to come.

David J. Kent Edward Epstein President, LGDC Co-Chair, LGDC Program


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