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Thanksgiving Appreciation Letter

November 2009

Dear Lincoln Friends:

It has been a remarkable year for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which celebrated Lincoln’s legacy through public events, education initiatives, and newly designed bicentennial stamps and pennies.  As the pivotal Bicentennial year draws to an end however, we ask the question:  how can we, the Lincoln community, continue this legacy of our greatest president?  Must we wait another fifty or one hundred years for the future U.S. Congress to commission another national celebration? 

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission’s bicentennial celebration inspired and brought Lincoln to the forefront of the nation’s mind.  Our Town Hall program has raised key issues about Lincoln’s legacy today in major U.S. cities and our National Teach-In webcast reached over 750,000 students in all fifty states and abroad.  It is now up to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation to keep Lincoln fresh in our minds and hearts.  This letter serves as a bridge between these two organizations that serve the same vital purpose.  As the Commission sunsets in 2010, the Foundation will continue.    

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation has been created for the purpose of furthering understanding and appreciation of Lincoln when educational facilities are facing difficult times, and the study of humanities and history is becoming even more constrained.  As National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman James Leach stated so eloquently in an address at the University of Illinois:

Citizens, after all, need to apply perspective and judgment to the issues they face in their families and communities and we as a country confront in the world.  Without reference to the guideposts of the humanities, society loses its soul.  It risks becoming rudderless in a sea of historical change.  Lincoln understood this.  So must we. 

The Foundation will expand its commitment to provide exciting and educational experiences for those seeking to learn more about Abraham Lincoln and, in turn, will fully connect civic engagement with exploration of Lincoln’s life and legacy.  Lincoln was largely self-taught and education was certainly important to him.  He was also committed to bettering America and preserving the Union.  Lincoln believed that the world is composed of average people capable of exceptional feats, who together form an exceptional nation. He would not allow the nation to fall apart.     

The goals of the Foundation include:

  • Continued support for the expansion of the ALBC website.  Our website helps people learn about Lincoln and will be advised by Lincoln scholars and technicians.  We will provide links between cultural and educational institutions and individual collectors so that there is greater ease in reviewing Lincoln documents and resources. 
  • Development of educational materials focused on exploring Lincoln in the digital age.  And as the U.S. becomes even more of a multicultural nation, we pledge to develop new materials that will have wide appeal to all youth and adult learners.   Without the dilution of genuine scholarship, we strive to make Lincoln broader. 
  • Providing opportunities for teachers and administrators to share and interact with each other in preparation of lesson plans and visits to Lincoln sites.
  • Continuation of the Lincoln Town Hall series so new cities can enter the dialogue and past participants can interact with each other and fully share experiences.

This November, look for the newly minted Washington, DC penny that depicts the half-finished Capitol dome symbolic of a nation torn in two by the Civil War and Lincoln’s resolve to preserve the Union.  Lincoln believed in a brighter future.  He kept building the nation’s Capitol at a time when others were not sure the nation could survive, providing a concrete example strong enough to last and above all inspire.  Likewise the Foundation must become strong enough to fit your dreams. 

To do so we need your support more than ever.  And so, in this season of Thanksgiving, please think of making a tax‑deductible donation to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation.  You can conveniently and securely donate now or send a check to:

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation
P.O. Box 15244
Washington, DC 20003

Your donation will also help us meet our fundraising match with the US Mint Commemorative Coin Program.  A $10 surcharge from each sale of the 2009 Lincoln Commemorative Silver Dollar is authorized to be paid to the ALBC if matched by private donations.  So your gift will, in effect, have double the impact.

Of course we recognize that the economy has limited many in their ability to support worthy causes.  But in the spirit of Lincolnian innovation, we also ask that you help us to create new methods of teaching, and organize events and activities within your community to aid the Foundation’s growth.

With your help, we will continue to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, whose moral presence and mythic stature resonate to this day.  I thank you so much, and wish you a happy holiday season.

Sincerely,

 

Eileen R. Mackevich
Executive Director