UIC Lincoln Lecture

February 11, 2009 1:46:07 PM PST
In his Gettysburg address, Lincoln reminded what "the brave men, living and dead" did on the battlefield, and challenged the living to dedicate themselves "to the unfinished work" of those men. How much of this work are we finishing today? The University of Illinois at Chicago is looking at those issues as they commemorate Lincoln's 200th birthday on February 12, 2009 (News Release) Through education programs, public forums, and arts projects, the Bicentennial provides an opportunity to re-examine what it means to be American in the 21st century. Special programs include a Lincoln Bicentennial Lecture with a keynote lecture by UIC alumnus Ellis Cose, on February 18th at the UIC Forum, sponsored by UIC and the University of Illinois Alumni Association

Michael Perman professor of history at UIC says overcoming the legacy of racial discrimination and assuring equal rights for all remain part of the "unfinished work for the nation. Lincoln reunited the union, ended the civil war and slavery", said Perman. The professor also reflects on the recent inauguration of the new President of the United States. "Given that we have the first African-American President, and that he is from Chicago, this is a great year to have Lincoln's 200th birthday and a special way to commemorate it."

Perman would make an excellent expert to talk about the work President Lincoln began, and the things President Obama and others are still finishing. "Two centuries after Lincoln's birth, the nation is still in formation. The United States has grown and expanded. One cost of that growth has been a splintering of many parts of our society. Competing values, interests, and beliefs, have complicated Lincoln's goal to find unity in our diversity," said Perman.

As a young man, Abraham Lincoln "feared of achieving nothing that would make men remember him." Today, the 16th President tops the list of most influential and most revered Americans.

Lincoln is commemorated in music, poetry, and sculpture. His words are quoted by poets and politicians. His face appears on stamps, coins, and paper currency. Mountains, cities, highways, and schools bearing his name dot the land. Lincoln felt his most enduring achievement was the Emancipation Proclamation?"the one thing that would make people remember that he had lived."

For More Information

UIC Forum
725 W. Roosevelt Road

Wednesday, February 18
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Lecture: "Finishing What Lincoln Started"
7:30 - 8 p.m. book signing
Free admission, registration required

To register, visit Lincoln200.UIC.edu or call 312-413-3902.