Holiday Closures: December 23-25 and December 31
Holiday Sing-Along on December 21
Don’t miss the Shrine’s annual holiday sing-along program on Wednesday, December 21 at 7pm in the Assembly Room of Smiley Library. Featuring holiday tunes from the Civil War performed by the Camp Carleton Band, the always popular program is sure to bring a large crowd. Late arrivals are encouraged to enter through Smiley Park.
For more information, call the Heritage Room at (909)798-7632.
90th Watchorn Lincoln Dinner
The Shrine’s 90th anniversary was feted with a unique Watchorn Lincoln Dinner on February 12th! 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 event or would like to watch the documentary again, visit the Special Collections YouTube Channel.
Shrine Dedicates 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!