“One of the ongoing programs is ‘Tales from the Vault’ in that we bring out items from our collection and let people get an up-close look at rare books or artifacts from the past. That’s really fun to see something that Abraham Lincoln touched or that a soldier wrote in his diary,” said Chris Wills, ALPLM communications director.

“Then we have the Illinois History Forum where experts come in a talk about a book on a particular subject. One example is about the Underground Railroad and the antislavery movement in Illinois and how that worked.

“Occasionally, we have a presentation on some element of Illinois history.

“There are programs throughout the winter. There are a lot of daytime things where people can come down and tour the museum, but also take 45 minutes or an hour at lunchtime and hear from some of our top experts.”

Event Calendar

  • Dec. 7 — Bluegrass concert by Last Acre, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 12 — “Tales from the Vault: Civil War Battles” by Lincoln historian Christian McWhirter, noon.
  • Dec. 13 — Mary Lincoln, portrayed by Pam Brown, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Last Acre, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 14 — Tuba Christmas performance by dozens of tuba players, 1 to 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 21 — Mrs. Wade, portrayed by Sandra Fritz, who visited Ford’s Theatre and Mary Lincoln after the assassination, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; music by Diane Dietz and Becky Kemp, 10:30 to 11 a.m.; music by Ben Bedford, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 27 — Mrs. Wade; Sarah Bush Lincoln, portrayed by Carol Shafer; Civil War Santa, portrayed by Lee Shafer, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 28 — Sarah Bush Lincoln, Civil War Santa, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 31 — Mike Anderson performs on dulcimer, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Jan. 9, noon — Illinois History Forum: Looking for Lincoln. Join Sarah Watson, Looking for Lincoln project executive director, as she takes visitors on a journey of the 43-county Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. Attendees will learn how the projects help tell the story of Lincoln’s almost 30 years in Illinois in communities where Lincoln worked, traveled and lived.
  • Jan. 20 — ALPLM celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day by offering free admission to non-profit community organizations. Advanced registration required.
  • Feb. 6, 5:30 p.m. — “Lincoln’s Assassination and its Consequences.” Noted historical re-enactor Bob Davis brings to life the words and ideas of abolitionist Frederick Douglas during this Black History Month celebration. Special focus will be given to a series of speeches that Douglas gave in Illinois in the aftermath of President Lincoln’s assassination. These speeches asked timely questions about the direction the nation would take in the Reconstruction Period. Reservations required.
  • Feb. 13, noon — “Tales from the Vault: Love and Romance.” ALPLM manuscripts curator Christopher Schnell will explore and discuss changing attitudes about love, romance, dating and relationships using textual material from the 19th and 20th centuries. The audience will be invited to view up-close, rare items from library collections such as saucy poetry and love letters from the 1850s, diary entries of lonely Civil War-era singles, machine-made Victorian Valentine’s Day cards and vinegar Valentines from the roaring ‘20s.
  • March 12, noon — “Illinois History Forum: The Life of Albert Cashier.” Join Team Cashier, a dedicated group of history buffs, in discovering the life story of Albert Cashier. Born as Jennie Hodges, Cashier took on the identity of a man before enlisting and serving in the Union Army during the Civil War. Learn about Cashier’s time in the Army and how his gender identity impacted his life following the war. Bring your lunch to this free discussion at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
  • April 2. 6:30 p.m. — “Iwo Jima and Okinawa: Brutal Combat on the Doorstep of Japan.” Oral historian Mark DePue combines his military background and historical story telling for a compelling look back at the bloodiest World War II battles fought in the Pacific. Reservations required.

Tom C. Doran can be reached at 815-780-7894 or tdoran@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow him on Twitter at: @AgNews_Doran.

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