‘Forever Free’ Exhibit Comes to Rockford Public Library
Exhibit and programs celebrate Abraham Lincoln
Rockford Public Library will be hosting the “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation” Exhibit 4/17 – 5/30 at the Main Library Downtown. Coordinating programs at Rockford Public Library and throughout the community will bring history to life as we celebrate the contributions of the 16th President of the United States.
Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation was organized by the Huntington Library and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, in cooperation with the American Library Association. It was made possible by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
Forever Free Programs at Rockford Public Library
Lincoln-Douglas Debate Reenactment
Saturday, April 19th, 1:00 p.m.
Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main
Come watch Paul Logli, Circuit Court Judge, 17th Judicial Circuit and Paul Gaziano, Branch Chief, Federal Defender Program as they reenact portions of the historic 1858 debates, known for their eloquence on both sides. Themes from the original Freeport, Illinois debate will be emphasized.
Forever Free Exhibition Grand Opening
Saturday, April 19th, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Join us after the debates for the Forever Free Exhibition grand opening from at the Main Library. Highlights include re-enactors from Battery G with banjo music, a flag ceremony, children's crafts and refreshments.
Visiting the Lincolns
Tuesday, April 22nd, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium
Actors Michael Krebs and Debra Ann Miller portray Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln as they are caught unaware in the White House when unexpected guests arrive on the eve of the President’s assassination.
Civil War Camp Life on the Rock River
Saturday, May 10th, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
River esplanade on east side of Main Library
The Battery G Civil War light artillery reenactment will bring to life an encampment along the Rock River. Mingle, learn and be entertained by soldiers and civilians.
Other Coordinating Programs and Exhibits
“Lincoln: Preparation for Greatness,” a talk by Rockford College Prof. Raymond James
Wednesday, April 23rd, 12:00 – 12:50 p.m.
Rockford College Burpee Center, Grace Roper Lounge.
Free to the public, and feel free to bring your lunch! This lecture explores how Abraham Lincoln was able to reach the pinnacles of greatness. His weaknesses, proclivities, gifts and faults worked toward a specific goal. Each experience in his life provided a sounding board for his future; that was true in romance, business, law and politics.
Abraham Lincoln and the Manny Reaper Trial” Exhibition
Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, 411 Kent St., Rockford
Civil War Uniforms Exhibit
Ethnic Heritage Museum, 1129 S. Main St.
4/13 to 6/1
A display of Civil War uniforms worn by African American troops (on loan from Gene Wright of Savanna, Illinois, and Robert Nolan of Rockford), and documents and photographs related to the local African American Civil War experience (courtesy of Kathryn Harris of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). Hours are Sundays, 2:00-4:00, and tours can be arranged by calling 815-962-7402.
Memorial Hall Displays
211 N. Main St., Rockford
Memorial Hall is a historic building built by Civil War veterans for all veterans. It houses a variety of exhibits, including displays and photographs related to the Civil War.
Slave Life Work & Conditions Display
Rockford Public Library, Northeast Brach
320 N. Alpine Rd.
During the time that “Forever Free” is displayed at the Main Library, part of an exhibition created by Midway Village Museum will be on display.
Greenwood Cemetery Walk
1011 Auburn St
Sunday, May 4, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
The Rockford Historical Society is sponsoring a walk with guides who will “bring to life” these individuals from Rockford who played a part in our nation’s Civil War. Enter on Auburn Street, and park on the verge. Refreshments provided, and donations accepted. Come and listen to Lewis Lemon, Robert Tinker, Anna Peck Still, and many others!
About the Library
The Rockford Public Library, founded in 1872 as the second library in Illinois, currently has six facilities, including the Main Library and five Branch Libraries. The Rockford Public Library’s mission is to enhance community life and development by informing, educating, entertaining, and providing cultural enrichment to all people of all ages by collecting information to address the diverse interests of our dynamic community.