Good morning. Today, we are here to dedicate this beautiful sign, which reads and shows the connection of Abraham Lincoln to our town of Mt. Pulaski - one who spent time here as a lawyer on the traveling Illinois 8th Judicial Circuit back in the 1840’s and 1850’s. As president of Mt. Pulaski’s Looking for Lincoln Committee and member of our local Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Committee, I wish to welcome everyone here today for the dedication of our “Abraham Lincoln in Mt. Pulaski” Sign. First off – I wish to invite all of you to our luncheon today after this dedication in the VFW hall right across the street here on the south side. It’s our way of thanking all of you who made the trip up here or over here to be with us today.
introduce our speakers, I need to thank my co-chair, Darrell Knauer,
for his help, suggestions, advice and advanced fund-raising
techniques with this sign. We raised $6,000 for this sign – which
was our part of a matching grant provided by the
Illinois Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition
– with which Senator Richard Durbin played a huge part.
sign would not have been possible without the support, suggestions,
advice and research by at least three others who need to be
Pulaski Bicentennial chairperson, Mrs. Rebecca Drake, could not be
here today. But she wanted me to express her thanks as well. Also,
she wanted me to tell you that our Bicentennial committee is going
on three years – that we organized some of the classes at the grade
school to collect
jars of Lincoln Pennies;
that we sponsored
from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library for her one-woman
presentation in the personage of Harriet Tubman – a dramatic account
of what is was like for an emancipated black woman to live in
Lincoln’s time; that we sponsored the
Firefly Art Gallery
during our past two Fall Festivals – to emphasize Mr. and Mrs.
Lincoln’s patron ship of the arts; that we hosted the 11th
Illinois Cavalry Company G during our past Fall Festival; that
we supported the hosting of the
10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment Band
concert on Courthouse grounds here; that we researched and produced
1854 Cast-Iron Tombstone Trial Re-enactment
in which Abraham Lincoln was the defense lawyer. Incidentally, we
are performing this re-enactment for the 9th and final
time this coming Sunday at 2 pm here in the upstairs courtroom.
There are still some reserved seats available for only $5.
Finally, I wish to thank the many members of the 1854 Cast-Iron Tombstone Trial Re-enactment production. While each production has only 11 actors, we had to shuffle player roles around as well as to enlist help from others in order to successfully put on these 9 performances over the past 2 ½ years. Who are these local and now infamous thespians? – well, come and see for yourself this Sunday. A list of all the other brave souls – yes these other local thespians - who filled in from time to time will also be provided.
photos & text by phil bertoni
cake by Renee/Buff's