(Frankfort, KY)-2009 will mark the bicentennial year of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The Kentucky Department of Tourism, Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Humanities Council were recently represented at a meeting of the Lincoln States Bicentennial Task force in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to these Kentucky organizations, representatives from National Park Service Lincoln sites, state Lincoln sites, local tourism bureaus, and other state and local historical societies are involved.
The task force consists of representatives from Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana. Its mission is to encourage the observance of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in the three states and focus on how the states will celebrate the Lincoln Bicentennial.
“Kentucky is very fortunate to have so many ties to President Lincoln. We are excited about our partnerships with Illinois and Indiana in this venture and view this as another opportunity to showcase the diverse and rich cultural heritage the Commonwealth possesses,” stated Commissioner of Tourism, Randy Fiveash.
The goals of the task force include creation of appropriate programs of public outreach; utilizing the resources of historic sites, museums and libraries to tell the story of Lincoln in the three participating states, as well as that of his national and international significance; establishing activities and learning projects designed to enhance education about Lincoln in K – 12 schools, colleges and universities; promoting awareness of and visitation to Lincoln sites in the three states; and leaving projects of lasting value to the people of the participating states.
To accomplish its goals, the Lincoln States Bicentennial Task Force has formed committees to develop program ideas for the bicentennial observance. The committees involve three target areas: education, historic sites and museums and marketing and legacy. Each committee works within a mission statement to guide the development of programs under its specific area, and for the task force as a whole.
“This task force represents a unique opportunity for all three states to work together and for members to gain a deeper appreciation of each state's importance in telling the Lincoln story,” says Steve Price, assistant to the executive director for the Kentucky Humanities Council and its representative on the task force. “The public will definitely benefit from the tri-state collaboration and joint projects.”
Project activities of the task force will be gradually implemented over a period of several years and will culminate in 2009.
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, to generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky's economy.