The lilacs are blooming at President Lincoln’s Cottage.
This is my fifth weekly update to you during our coronavirus closure, coming as part of our monthly newsletter full of updates, resources, and how you can help.
We are four short days away from April 13th, the anniversary of President Lincoln’s last ride to the Cottage, 155 years ago, the day before he was assassinated. It was an unremarkable day in the moment, made remarkable in retrospect because it was his last full day of hope. The end of the Civil War, having cost our nation so many lives, seemed secured.
When Lincoln died, the nation experienced the contrast between the beauty of the season and the sorrow of a national tragedy. Today, as we face this contrast yet again, we are reminded of Walt Whitman’s poem, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.”
I leave you with the first stanza:
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.
From all of us at President Lincoln’s Cottage, I wish you and your loved ones safety and good health.
Thank you for your support,
Keeping Our Community Safe
Our wonderful neighbors at the Armed Forces Retirement Home represent a vulnerable population that we are working to protect. In addition to closing the National Monument back in March, we recently remembered we had 100 Tyvek suits from a past project in storage that could be used as PPE for medical professionals. We gave them to our neighbors at the Armed Forces Retirement Home to use and/or redistribute to our three neighboring hospitals.
Upcoming Virtual Programs to Heal and Connect
Our program team listened to what families, professionals, and students need now, and created brand new, online programs inspired by Lincoln’s humanity, leadership, ideas, and humor. Please register at the links below and spread the word.
- Thursday, April 16th, 2pm
How can Lincoln provide a roadmap as we navigate our current national crisis? In this workshop with Jared Peatman, we will examine strategies that Lincoln used to respond to adversity and reflect on how these can be applied today.
- Thursday, April 21st, 4pm
Join us for an exclusive reading of the award-winning book, What Do You Do With An Idea? with author Kobi Yamada. This book will inspire anyone, at any age, to cultivate their bold ideas and watch them grow!
Virtual Family Game Nights
Could you use a belly laugh right now? Join us every Tuesday for some rollicking family fun developed with our friends at Game Genius. Each week brings a new game that puts household objects to use in new and creative ways. Hilarity runs high, and you learn about Lincoln to boot!
Preservation Spotlight: Update on the Vestibule Project
For one week at the start of the closure, Senior Preservationist Jeff Larry was able to proceed with solo restoration work on the Cottage vestibule. He removed the stairs and the concrete floor. Nobody knew what flooring had been in place in Lincoln’s time until Jeff discovered it was joists with a wood floor, a bluestone threshold, and even found a piece of the original flooring!
Store Spotlight: Gift Cards now Available
Give the gift of a future visit to President Lincoln’s Cottage! We are now offering e-gift cards which can be used to purchase tour tickets either in person or by calling us at 202-829-0436, as well as for merchandise in our museum shop when we reopen. Your purchase supports President Lincoln’s Cottage, a 501(c)3 public charity and helps us maintain critical operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your support.
Printable Lesson Plans from Lincoln’s Cottage
Idea Portraits (ages 6-10)
Inspired by Lincoln’s use of the Cottage as a place to develop big ideas, students create self-portraits to document their own idea-generation process and the ideas floating around in their heads. Download here.
Family Trees (ages 5 and up)
Using an illustration of the Osage orange tree that grows adjacent to the Cottage, students create a family tree that celebrates the many people, values, and qualities that make up their family. Download here.
Tell Your Immigration Story (ages 9 and up)
Lincoln recognized as immigrants as one of America’s greatest resources, and believed in America’s founding promises offering them a chance to succeed. In this activity, students research and trace their family’s immigration journey to the United States and reflect on what it means to be American. Download here.
For more information, please visit our Digital Learning page.
President Lincoln’s Cottage in the News
- The Cape Gazette retold our ‘colonel story’ in an editorial comparing Lincoln’s leadership with leadership in the current crisis.*
- The Hill Rag recommends listening to Q&Abe in April.
- onlyinyourstate.com lists Lincoln’s Cottage as one of the best attractions in DC.
- savingplaces.org recommends our digital learning programs in an article on virtual education.
*This article contains an error. Our guides are our own and are not affiliated with the National Park Service.
Support our educational programs, preservation efforts and public events by making a contribution to President Lincoln’s Cottage. Donate online today.