Monday, May 2, 2011

16th Annual Lincoln Forum Announcement

I received this information today from the Lincoln Forum regarding the 16th Annual Lincoln Forum. They have lined up a great slate of speakers. Looks like it will be a good time!




Actor Stephen Lang to Evoke Military Heroes of the Era;

Living Legend Ed Bearss to Deliver Keynote Address

( GETTYSBURG , APRIL 1, 2011)—The roiling Civil War home front—and how secession and rebellion changed the capital city of Washington for the Lincoln family, for women, for African Americans, and for the first citizen-soldiers who volunteered to fight for the Union—will be the theme when scholars, students, and aficionados gather for the16th annual symposium of The Lincoln Forum this fall at Gettysburg. Forum XVI will take place from November 16-18, 2011 at the Wyndham Hotel.

Broadway and film star Stephen Lang (A Few Good Men, Gettysburg , Gods and Generals, and Avatar) will appear at the final session of the symposium to remember the heroes of war in highlights from his acclaimed one-man performance piece, Beyond Glory, a tribute to Medal of Honor recipients.

The three-day gathering will mark the 150th anniversary of Northern and Southern mobilization for war in 1861—and is the latest program in the Forum’s five-year-long observance of the Civil War sesquicentennial.

Frank J. Williams, Chairman of the Forum, announced that a distinguished roster of both new scholars and old favorites would be on hand to explore a wide range of intriguing subjects relating to the year 1861. Presenters will include iconic Civil War battlefield guide Ed Bearss, former chief historian of the National Park Service, who will deliver the keynote address on the evening of November 18.

“The year 1861 brought enormous changes to both the North and the South,” commented Chairman Williams, “not only on the front lines but in the back yards of an America in crisis. We want this second consecutive Civil War sesquicentennial gathering to fully illuminate the details and nuances of this domestic revolution, and how it affected both the most famous and the most ordinary of our citizens, none of whom was ever the same again. We are pleased and proud to be presenting a highly original theme with a superb faculty of gifted writers and talented speakers. This is bound to be one of the most provocative and unforgettable symposia in years.”

In addition to Lang and Bearss, Forum XVI presenters will include William C. (“Jack”) Davis, biographer of Jefferson Davis and author of books on the Confederacy and Lincoln; longtime White House historian William Seale , whose two-volume history of the presidential mansion has just been re-issued in a new and updated edition; experts on the Todd and Lincoln families, Stephen Berry and Jason Emerson ; authors Michael J. Kline and Thomas Craughwell, whose books have won both critical acclaim and popular audiences; and Victoria Ott, a scholar of the role women played in the wartime North and South. Historian and journalist Adam Goodheart, whose first book, 1861: The Civil War Awakening, looks at the first year of the war from the perspectives of the country’s leaders and followers alike, will make his Lincoln Forum debut.

Among the historians who will participate in the annual panel discussion—this year’s theme is “Why Didn’t the War End in 1861?”—will be Forum Vice Chairman Harold Holzer (panel moderator), Chairman Williams, and historians Craig L. Symonds, John F. Marszalek, Thomas Horrocks, and Adam Goodheart. This year’s session moderators will include historians Edna Greene Medford , and Joseph Fornieri.

Two of the nation’s busiest and most popular Lincoln presenters, James Getty of Gettysburg and George Buss of Freeport , will offer readings of two of Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 masterpieces: his condolence letter to the parents of Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, and his July 4, 1861 message to a special session of Congress. By tradition, the Forum will present its two coveted awards: the Richard Nelson Current Award to an outstanding individual, and the Leonard Wells Volk Award for an institution that has made a major contribution to preserving Lincoln history and memory.

Finally, for the second year in a row, the Forum will offer attendees the opportunity for either a battlefield tour—this one with Ed Bearss—or participation in small, no-holds-barred breakout sessions with participating historians, moderated by journalist Linda Wheeler of the Washington Post and Civil War Times; Everett and Antigoni Ladd of Gettysburg’s Tigrett Corp.; Ron Keller of Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois; and Daniel Weinberg of Chicago’s Abraham Lincoln Book Shop. As a bonus, Wyndham executive chef Claude Rodier will join Chairman Frank Williams—himself a master chef who has appeared on many TV cooking shows—to prepare Lincoln-era menus in a first-come, first-served (literally!) program entitled: “Dining Inside the White House.”

Early reservations are encouraged for what promises to be another sell-out symposium. Registration forms have been sent to all Lifetime Members and Annual Members who are current with their dues. The form will be posted on The Lincoln Forum website at the end of May. Hotel reservations must be made separately—and mention the Forum to obtain special rates.

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