Museum to mark Lincoln's 211th birthday

Erin Bolton, a staff member at the Vermilion County Museum, hangs birthday cards created by students in area schools for Abraham Lincoln's 211th birthday. The museum will celebrate Sunday with an open house.

DANVILLE — Happy birthday, Mr. President.

Area school children have been busy lately creating birthday cards for Abraham Lincoln's 211th birthday, and the Vermilion County Museum will display their work during an open house at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

"This will be our 53rd year of doing a contest of some sort," said Sue Richter, museum director.

Cards created by students at Danville and county schools were judged by members of the Danville Art League and will be on display at the museum — 16 N. Gilbert St. — until 4 p.m.

Students in fourth and fifth grades were given the opportunity to enter the contest. A list of winners may be viewed before the event at

"Sometimes they don't do it as a class" Richter said. "Sometimes it's just individuals, and sometimes it's not every class. Certain schools and certain teachers do it."

Winners will receive ribbons, prizes and certificates from state Rep. Mike Marron at 3 p.m. Illini Skateland is donating coupons to all participants and McDonald's is donating coupons to all the winners.

Both the Museum Center and Fithian House will be open for visiting free of charge during the open house. Parking is available in the museum lot, at First Midwest Bank and the north end of Big Lots.

Georgetown Fair Queen Corinn Crippin will serve punch and cake donated by County Market-Village Mall and will be visiting with fans.

Lincoln served as 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865 after riding the circuit as a lawyer throughout Illinois, and notably in Danville.

The Fithian Home, located at the museum complex, was owned by Dr. William Fithian, a friend of Lincoln's. Lincoln often stayed with Fithian, and gave a speech from the south balcony, and the home hosts a "Lincoln Room" which contains a bed Lincoln slept in and other local Lincoln history.

For information, call the museum at (217) 442-2922 or visit the website.

Jonathan and Judy Myers of The Myers Group at Morgan Stanley are sponsoring the event, with the Commercial-News as media sponsor.

"We hope people come and enjoy the museum and refreshments," Richter said. "And it's always good to watch the children get their prizes."

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