Shrine Open for Presidents Day!
Visit the Lincoln Memorial Shrine on Monday, February 20th in honor of Presidents Day.
Shrine’s Lincoln Season 2023!
The Lincoln Memorial Shrine’s Lincoln Season begins in February!
Open House – Saturday, February 4
Commemorate Lincoln and the Civil War at the Open House on Saturday, February 4, 11am-3pm at the Lincoln Memorial Shrine and Smiley Park in Redlands. The event will be preceded by the annual Lincoln Pilgrimage, which will culminate with a program on the steps of the Lincoln Shrine at 10:30am.
The popular annual event will once again feature live music, Civil War reenactors, and family activities. The ever-popular 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery will provide hourly cannon demonstrations, the 7th Michigan Cavalry will discuss the life of cavalrymen during the war, and President Lincoln presenter Robert Broski will recite the Gettysburg Address.
Lincoln Dinner – Saturday, February 11
The Watchorn Lincoln Dinner returns to the University of Redlands’ Orton Center on Saturday, February 11. In honor of the 91st occasion of the annual event, the 2023 dinner will feature Dr. Turkiya Lowe, Chief Historian for the National Park Service, as keynote. Focusing on the 50th anniversary of the NPS designation of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the program will discuss the ways Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy have been interpreted at the site over the years.
Annual attendance to the Lincoln Dinner is $65 for Lincoln Memorial Association contributors who donate or renew in January 2023, and $75 for the general public. For reservations, please call (909)798-7632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for reservations is Friday, February 3, or until sold out.
Shrine’s 90th Anniversary Celebrated
On February 12, 2022, the Shrine’s 90th anniversary was feted with a unique Lincoln Dinner. Nearly 200 revelers celebrated the momentous occasion with live music and the premier of “Enduring Legacies: The Lincoln Shrine at 90,” a special documentary produced for the event. The evening concluded with spectacular fireworks presentation! The Lincoln Memorial Shrine thanks the evening’s underwriters Watchorn Lincoln Memorial Association Trustees Bill Hatfield and Dr. Christopher Walker.
If you missed the 90th Lincoln Dinner, or would like to watch the documentary again, visit the Special Collections YouTube Channel.
Lincoln Shrine’s New Cannon
On Saturday, August 14, 2021, the Lincoln Memorial Shine dedicated its new cannon in Smiley Park! Thanks to the generosity of the Nies family of Redlands, the Lincoln Shrine now stewards a reproduction Model 1857 Napoleon 12-pounder field gun dated 1864.
The dedication ceremony included the participation of Civil War reenactors and featured an artillery demonstration by the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery who instructed donor Dr. Boyd Nies as he fired the inaugural shot.
Come and see the cannon in person. It’s the perfect selfie location! Make sure to tag #lincolnshine and use the hashtag #lincolnshrine to share your photos.
Learn more about the M1857 Napoleon 12-Pounder here.
Juneteenth Becomes a Federal Holiday
From its very founding, the United States had a precarious relationship with freedom. While the Declaration of Independence clearly stated that “all men are created equal”, the actual practice of enslaving people tested whether, in practice, that ideal could ever be a reality. Enslavement was the single most divisive issue of the early republic. When Southern states perceived that Abraham Lincoln’s election threatened what they believed was their “right” to enslave others, those states attempted to break the bonds of the United States to each other. The result was civil war, with some 800,000 or more Americans perishing.
President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring that all enslaved people located within states in rebellion against the United States “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
Before that, some enslaved people had already found ways to emancipate themselves, with groups like the Underground Railroad, by finding a detachment of the United States Army, or simply fleeing those who enslaved them and making it successfully to a free state. As the United States Army liberated states in rebellion, enslaved people there were freed. However, not everyone was aware of emancipation, even after the Civil War was over. In Texas, it wasn’t until US General Gordon Grainger issued General Order #3 on June 19, 1865 that:
“The people are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them, become that between employer and hired labor.”
From that day, June 19, came a jubilee celebration for the last of the enslaved people of the United States, who finally learned of their new freedom. Juneteenth, as it became known, commemorates this day.
On June 17, 2021, the importance of what Juneteenth represents was recognized by the United States with the designation of June 19, “Juneteenth”, as a federal holiday.
89th Watchorn Lincoln Dinner
Watch the 2021 Watchorn Lincoln Dinner on the Special Collections YouTube channel. The reimagined event includes past Lincoln Dinner speakers, music, and an appearance by President Lincoln!