Celebrating Lincoln’s Legacy

April 2015 will mark 150 years since the assignation of Abraham Lincoln. A special theatrical performance and Civil War exhibit will honor the life and legacy of our 16th President, in the History, Arts and Cultural Association Art & Events Gallery in Perham.

Dale Blanshan will perform as Lincoln in “The Second Inaugural Address:  Lincoln’s Greatest Speech,” about Lincoln’s re-election and preparation for the end of the Civil War, on April 17 at 7pm. Blanshan performs a variety of one-man historical and musical programs around the region.

Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address on 4 March 1865. The Civil War was drawing to a close, yet newspapers were still filled with reports of the armies of William T. Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln did not think he would win re-election. He would be the first president inaugurated for a second term in thirty-two years. A crowd of forty thousand crowed the rainy mud-filled streets of Washington. Sharpshooters were on the rooftops surrounding the ceremony- rumors abounded about a Confederate assassination attempt.

What would Lincoln say? Would he speak of his reelection, report on the progress of the victorious Union armies, lay out policies for what was being called “Reconstruction”? How would he treat the defeated Confederate armies? And what about the liberated slaves?

“Lincoln’s second inaugural address covered none of these topics,” said HACA CEO Darla Ellingson. “You’ll have to experience Blanshan’s re-enactment of what history has dubbed “Lincoln’s Greatest Speech” to find out what he did say!”

A special Civil War Exhibit is being provided by the Prospect House Civil War Museum in Battle Lake, Minnesota. Civil War artifacts and a display- including an oversized portrait of Lincoln comprised of 1000 Civil War photos- will be exhibited for two weeks starting on April  17th in the HACA Art & Events Gallery.  The Prospect House is a Georgian-style “mansion” built by Civil War veteran Cap Colehour in 1882. Colehour’s great grandson Jay Johnson combed through mountains of Civil War memorabilia in the family collection, and opened the house to tours in 2008 to share Cap Colehour’s story with the world. Prospect House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

The theatrical presentation and exhibit is free and open to the public. Free will donations are accepted. This program is funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and sponsored by the Viking Library System, the History, Arts & Cultural Association of East Otter Tail County and the Perham Area Public Library.

The HACA Art and Events Gallery is adjacent to In Their Own Words Veterans Museum, located at 805 West Main, Perham. Museum hours are 10am to 4pmTuesday through Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday, and has extended hours for events like the celebration of Lincoln’s legacy. See www.facebook.com/itowveteransmuseum or call 218-346-7678 for more information.


Darla Ellingson
History, Arts and Cultural Association of EOTC

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