This Presidents’ Day marked the beginning of our 9th year open to the public! This past year resulted in a number of memorable highlights, such as our programs for the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s last visit the day before his assassination, the inaugural launch of the #WhatIWouldMiss campaign, hosting Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, a feature on NPR, serving over 5,000 with our school programs, opening our newest exhibit “American by Belief,” witnessing 19 inspiring individuals take their oath of citizenship on the Cottage south lawn, and welcoming our 200,000th visitor. We would be proud of those accomplishments in any year, but we are particularly delighted to cap off the year with an even greater one: independence.
As of January 1, 2016, President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home became an independent, 501(c)(3) public charity. We thank the Armed Forces Retirement Home and National Trust for Historic Preservation for supporting our decision to take this step, one that was foreseen in the original agreements between the two organizations. We’re delighted to continue to count them as valued partners. Our Founding Board of Directors have a deep commitment to our mission and vision, and many years of experience with our work.
With you, we are eager to continue to grow and have the kind of transformative impact on our community we know is possible.
That impact starts with our dedication to preserving the Cottage as a Home for Brave Ideas as well as the timeliness of what we share. That commitment is evident in programs like Students Opposing Slavery, which is accepting applications for our fourth annual International Summit in June, upcoming public programs on immigration tied to our newest exhibit, and articles such as the feature in this newsletter on Lincoln’s Supreme Court appointments.
The current attention on Supreme Court appointments in the final year of a President’s term calls to mind 1864, when President Lincoln was faced with that very issue. In the hotly contested election that year, Chief Justice Roger Taney died a month before Americans cast their votes for president. How did Abraham Lincoln navigate the political storm and successfully nominate a former political rival to the Supreme Court? Michael Kahn has the answer in this issue’s scholarly article, which originally appeared in the Journal of Supreme Court History.
The Cottage has partnered with Hero Heads to design a new t-shirt of Abraham Lincoln. See some of the behind-the-scenes work that went in to creating the shirts, which are on sale now through our online Museum Store.
March 3 – Cottage Conversation: The Lives of Frederick Douglass with Robert Levine and Cosby Hunt
March 17 and 23 – Special Evening Tours of President Lincoln’s Cottage
March 24 – Saudade: A Play by Wit’s End Puppets
April 13 – Lincoln Ideas Forum
May 15 – Bourbon & Bluegrass
May 19 – Cottage Conversation: A Self-Made Man with Sidney Blumenthal
May 30 – Memorial Day Tours of the USSAH National Cemetery
Stay up-to-date on our latest programs by visiting our Public Programs page.
Applications are now available to attend the 2016 Students Opposing Slavery (S.O.S.) International Summit, which will take place from June 20-24 at President Lincoln’s Cottage.
For more information on the Summit and application information, visit our S.O.S. Summit page.
Even though it’s over 170 years old, President Lincoln’s Cottage still has undiscovered surprises. Recently, we uncovered a layer of paint that may date back to Lincoln’s time at the Cottage. Find out more about the discovery.
The Washington City Paper is conducting an online poll to decide DC’s Best Museum Off the Mall. VOTE NOW to show your support for President Lincoln’s Cottage in the poll!
Cottage member Teresa Martz volunteered with President Lincoln’s Cottage at the National Portrait Gallery for a special Presidents’ Day event making Lincoln top hats. Read Teresa’s reflection on the experience and the interesting conversations she had with children discussing their big ideas to shape the world.
Staff members of President Lincoln’s Cottage recently received new business cards with customized photos. Read more about the photos each staffer chose and what the image means to them and their work at the Cottage.
Support our educational programs, preservation efforts and public events by making a contribution to President Lincoln’s Cottage. Donate online today.