Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Awards $1 Million to Kentucky Communities for Bicentennial Celebration

Press Release Date:  Monday, February 12, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Chris Gilligan

Kentucky prepares for Lincoln’s 200th Birthday

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Capitol Rotunda today was the scene of a 198th birthday celebration for Abraham Lincoln.  At the event, Governor Fletcher awarded more than 30 grants totaling $1 million to communities and historical and arts organizations in the Commonwealth to help Kentucky prepare for the bicentennial celebration of Lincoln’s birth.

“From the Sinking Spring Farm to the homestead at Knob Creek to the White House, Lincoln’s life is woven into our history,” said Governor Fletcher. “These grants will help our communities, organizations and museums tell the world about the critical role Kentucky and Kentuckians played in the life and career of Abraham Lincoln.”

“As a member of the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, it was good to see citizens and legislators celebrate Kentucky’s Abraham Lincoln legacy together,” said Rep. Jimmie Lee (D-Elizabethtown).

This first round of Lincoln Bicentennial grants were made available to the Commission from the General Assembly and were distributed to Kentucky communities through the Kentucky Arts Council, Kentucky Heritage Council, Kentucky Humanities Council and the Kentucky Historical Society.

The national Lincoln Bicentennial observance will be launched February 12, 2008 at Lincoln’s birthplace near Hodgenville, Kentucky. Official bicentennial observances throughout Kentucky and the nation will begin then and continue through 2009.

The Kentucky grants will be used to support a variety of themes related to Lincoln and Kentucky, including slavery, nineteenth-century political culture, the Civil War and Lincoln’s legacy. Projects include educational programs, exhibits, public art, community celebrations, speakers, classroom tools and more.

“These represent the first of approximately $3 million in grants to be awarded to communities and organizations across Kentucky,” said Kent Whitworth, executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society, which administers the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

“These programs will help us rekindle the timely and timeless message of Lincoln: ‘With malice toward none, with charity for all,’” said Sen. Dan Kelly (R-Springfield). ), co-chair of Kentucky’s Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Judge Tommy Turner of LaRue County also spoke at today’s event. Judge Turner is a co-chair of Kentucky’s Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and in addition serves as Kentucky’s representative on the National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Grants are available to museums, historical organizations, educational institutions, city and county governments and other nonprofit organizations. More information about Kentucky’s role in the Lincoln Bicentennial celebration can be found at

Editor’s note: A complete list of grantees is attached.