On this day, Illinois celebrates the birthday of its favorite son, Civil War President Abraham Lincoln. This year's birthday celebration will be a little festive than usual at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Last week, Executive Director Alan Lowe announced two important gifts arrived at the museum, including a piece of artwork that gives use a closer look at "the Old Railsplitter's" early years.
The painting shows a young Lincoln taking a break from chopping wood to read a book.A letter that isn't exactly written in Gettysburg Address style has been added to the Library and Museum's collection as well.
The angry letter was written to Andrew McCormack, one of the “Long Nine,” a group of lawmakers who teamed up to move the state capitol from Vandalia to Springfield. McCormack was attacked by Lincoln for planning to vote against the group.
Today, the museum is offering free admission. There will also be music from dulcimer and banjo expert Mike Anderson from 10 to 1 and appearances by historic interpreters portraying figures such as Mary Lincoln and a Civil War soldier from 10 to 3. Lincoln’s famed stovepipe hat will be on display in the museum’s Treasures Gallery, along with a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and two loving letters between Abraham and Mary. These special items can be seen through Feb. 27.
The Lincoln Presidential Library will also host a roundtable of historians from 2:30 – 4.