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A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM: ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S ABIDING CALL
Illinois Humanities Council
Monday, October 24, 2016 7:00PM
A Road Scholar Program by Kevin Wood
The twelve turbulent years from 1854 to 1865 nearly destroyed our still young United States of America. Not only did the country survive the tumult, however, it transformed it into an opportunity to extend the bounds of liberty and, arguably, the promise of democracy.
Wood presents a first-hand account from one of that period’s greatest protagonists, Abraham Lincoln, from the time he was roused to re-enter the political arena all the way through his pivotal tenure as President during the Civil War. Mr. Lincoln, as portrayed by Wood, quotes from his best-known speeches and writings, while also providing some surprising and interesting perspectives.
Audiences will be encouraged to contemplate and cherish the ideals upon which our country was founded and will gain a greater appreciation for the need to be ever vigilant to maintain those ideals in both policy and practice. They are likely to learn something new about our history and maybe even something about themselves. Wood hopes that Mr. Lincoln’s story will inspire his listeners to dream and then work hard to achieve their dreams; to value education and learning; and to seek to develop character traits such as honesty, humility, compassion, generosity, and perseverance.
Abraham Lincoln hailed from Illinois, of course, which played a key role in the dramatic events preceding and during the Civil War. It was also a state whose diverse population was a microcosm of the entire nation, a mix of northerners and southerners, native-born and immigrants, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, urban and rural. These groups clashed at times but often succeeded at living and working together to further the interests of all, an aspiration relevant to Illinoisans and to all Americans today.