For Immediate Release - February 11, 2008


Renowned Lincoln Scholars Doris Kearns Goodwin and David Herbert Donald to Lead State Effort

February 11, 2008 -- Boston, MA - Governor Deval Patrick today signed an executive order establishing a special state commission to plan and organize tributes leading up to the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12, 2009. Nationally recognized Lincoln scholars - and Massachusetts residents - Doris Kearns Goodwin and David Herbert Donald have agreed be the Chair and Vice-chair, respectively, of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. In addition to planning tributes, the Commission will also serve to educate the people of Massachusetts about Lincoln's achievements and leadership.

Governor Patrick's order states, "President Lincoln's courage and leadership were essential to ending one of the most significant conflicts in the country's history, the Civil War, and affirmed the principle outlined in the Declaration of Independence that all persons are created equal."

Massachusetts shares a number of connections with President Lincoln. Lincoln's ancestor Samuel Lincoln first settled in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1637. Lincoln himself visited a number of Massachusetts communities in 1848 while on a speaking tour including Boston, New Bedford, Worcester, Taunton and Lowell. In addition, Massachusetts is home to some of the world's preeminent scholars and experts on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln as well as many collections, both public and private, of Lincoln memorabilia.

In 2000, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC) was established at the federal level "to commemorate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, emphasize the contribution of his thoughts, ideals to America and the world, and serve as a catalyst for strengthening freedom, democracy and equal opportunity for all." Since the creation of the national ALBC, several states across the country have followed suit either by legislation or an executive order, establishing a state ALBC. The Massachusetts ALBC will coordinate its efforts with its federal counterpart.

Ms. Goodwin of Concord is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and is the author of numerous books on American politics and history. Her most recent book is the bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln which was awarded the 2005 Lincoln Prize for best book on the Civil War. Mr. Donald is a multiple-Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian and is the Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of American Civilization Emeritus at Harvard University. A resident of Lincoln, Massachusetts, he is the author of the highly acclaimed biography Lincoln which was awarded the Lincoln Prize in 1996.


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