Lincoln will be the first city outside of Springfield, Illinois to present a new play produced in honor of the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's death. "The Last Full Measure," which opened in November at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, will be the featured event at the City's 15th annual Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration Sunday, February 22 at Southwest High School, 7001 South 14th Street.
The one-man play about Lincoln's final hours features Fritz Klein, one of the nation's foremost Abraham Lincoln portrayers. Klein, who lives in Springfield and performs regularly at the Lincoln Museum, is returning to the Capital City for his fifth celebration. He has performed as President Lincoln in 38 states and internationally, and has been featured on National Geographic Television, Discovery Channel and C-SPAN. His appearances on the History Channel include a segment of "Only in America" with Nebraska's Larry the Cable Guy. He will appear in "Lincoln's Last Day" April 14 on the Smithsonian Channel. His website is lincolninstitute.com.
All 23 portraits in the student art exhibit "Stand Up Speak Out - Portraits of a Movement" will be featured at the Celebration. The portraits of civil rights heroes were created by eighth-graders at Schoo Middle School as part of the 20th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Rally and March in January.
"The portraits include national heroes such as Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela, but also local figures such as Leola Bullock and Joann Maxey," said Pete Ferguson, the Adult Adviser for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Rally and March. "It's very fitting that they will be exhibited during Black History Month at our City's festival honoring the Great Emancipator." The portraits will be auctioned February 26, with proceeds going to the Youth Rally and March, Schoo Middle School and the artists.
Also added to the Celebration is a giveaway of newly minted quarters celebrating the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice. The quarters were just released February 10, and Cornhusker Bank is donating 2,000 to be given away at the celebration. Students are encouraged to fill out a quiz about President Lincoln and bring it to the festival to receive a quarter. The quiz is available at all Lincoln City Libraries and online at lincoln.ne.gov (click on Abe Lincoln Celebration). President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act in 1862, and the quarter is the 26th to be released in the U.S. Mint's America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.
The event will also feature two showings of "Intrepid," a 30-minute film about President Lincoln's Civil War Balloon Corps and its Chief Aeronaut, Thaddeus Lowe. Terry Lowe, a former City employee and member of the celebration committee, is a descendant of Thaddeus Lowe and will display his collection of items related to this historic effort.
The free celebration is presented by the City of Lincoln with support from Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Additional funding is provided by local businesses, organizations and individuals. The Lincoln Journal Star is the celebration's print media sponsor.
Music for dancing will be provided for the first time by Greenblatt and Seay of Avoca. The event also includes music from local favorite Chris Sayre, who has performed at every City Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration. The doors open at noon, and the schedule for the day includes the following:
More information will be available on the City website at lincoln.ne.gov or by calling 402-441-7831.
The City of Lincoln complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guidelines. Ensuring the public's access to and participating in public meetings is a priority for the City of Lincoln. In the event you are in need of a reasonable accommodation in order to attend or participate in a public meeting conducted by the City of Lincoln, please contact the Director of Equity and Diversity, Lincoln Commission on Human Rights, at 402-441-7624 as soon as possible before the scheduled meeting date in order to make your request.