It’s not just about anniversaries in 2015 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The commemorations of the Springfield facility’s 10th birthday and the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination and funeral, the end of the Civil War, and the end of slavery are only part of the program. Lincoln’s relationship with contemporary Jews and the question of “separate but equal” also get the spotlight.
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“It's based upon the idea that Lincoln and the Jews – 19th Century Jewry not only in Illinois but in all the United States and its territories at the time – had a near unique relationship,” says ALPLM director Eileen Mackevich in previewing this summer's “To See Jerusalem before I Die.” Another feature will be a retrial of whether “separate but equal” is indeed equal. It’s intended to be a reenactment of trials in Alton in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Previous years’ retrials have focused on such topics as Mary Todd Lincoln’s sanity.