Lincoln’s birthday banquet will feature Jon Meacham as guest speaker

To celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s 213th birthday, Jon Meacham – author of historical biographies and television commentator – will be a guest speaker at a banquet June 21 in Springfield.

Meacham is the author of books on several presidents, civil rights pioneer John Lewis, and American gospel music. He is co-author with singer Tim McGraw of “Songs of America” ​​and is working on a book about Lincoln.

Four Lincoln authors and historians will also highlight the Benjamin P. Thomas Symposium earlier in the day. Also available is a free presentation at 10 a.m. presented by author Walter Stahr. Another session will feature “Lincoln’s Most Controversial Speech, August 14, 1862,” by Lincoln scholar and author Michael Burlingame, who is the author of the two-volume biography “Abraham Lincoln: A Life.” The 1862 speech concerned the possible colonization of freed blacks from the United States to Africa.

The Thomas F. Schwartz Symposium Luncheon begins at noon at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, with featured speaker Ronald C. White Jr. introducing “Lincoln in Private.”

The final program following lunch will be presented by City University of New York history professor and two-time Lincoln Prize winner James Oakes. Oakes will talk about his latest book, “The Crooked Path to Abolition.” A round table will follow.

The four authors will sign their books at 3 p.m. at the hotel.

The conferences and round tables of the symposium are free and open to the public. Lunch will be offered for $35 and lunch reservations are required. The banquet will be held at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel with a reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $95. Reservations can be made at or by calling 217-546-2656.

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