Historical experts say they've found Abraham Lincoln's handwriting inside a tattered book justifying racism that he may have read to better understand his opponents' thinking on slavery.  

``Types of Mankind'' was published in 1854 and circulated for decades by the Vespasian Warner Public Library in Clinton. Director Joan Rhoades brought the 700-page book to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in May to determine whether an inscription inside was made by the former president who worked to free the country's slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it will have to cut hours at 13 of its historic sites starting after Labor Day.  

The agency said Monday that a 19 percent cut in its budget for the sites forced it to cut back at sites such as the Old State Capitol in Springfield, the Lincoln Log Cabin in Lerna and Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville. Most will reduce the days they are open from five to four.  
The agency's budget was cut for the current fiscal year to $4.6 million.  

Archaeologists excavating near the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington have unearthed part of the footprint of the 1836 courthouse where experts said Abraham Lincoln worked as an attorney.
 The discovery happened Monday on the first day of two to three weeks of archaeological work before construction starts on a new entrance into a planned
tourism center on the lower level of the history museum. Museum executive director Greg Koos says the find represents ``physical remains of an incredibly historical episode in McLean County.''


You can take a "Spirited Stroll Into The Past" this Saturday afternoon at Oak Ridge Cemetery.  The Lincoln Monument Association has an event that is designed to raise funds to mark historic trees at the site.   

From 1-4 p.m.,  you can tour and hear about some of those trees, visit the newly renovated Lincoln's Tomb and hear the Springfield Municipal Band perform.  Ice cream and cake will be sold.

WUIS/Lee Strubinger

Planning is underway for next year's 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral.


Oak Ridge Cemetery is the 2nd most visited cemetery in the U.S.  The main reason is Abraham Lincoln.   The 16th President, his wife Mary and three of their four sons are interred there.

Since last fall, visitors could go see the tomb and stand outside.  But the interior was closed off for maintenance work.  It re-opens on Tuesday April 1.

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

  On the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth Wednesday, the U.S. Postal Service issued a new stamp paying homage to the Sixteenth President.

A new, black-and-white, 21 cent stamp is available at post offices nationwide. It features a close-up photograph of the Lincoln Memorial statue, in Washington D.C. But the unveiling of the stamp wasn't there.

The ceremony was at the Old State Capitol building, in Springfield — where Lincoln gave his "House Divided" speech.

Amy Martin is director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.


Rene-Robert Cavelier de La Salle died more than 300 years ago.  But his achievements can still be felt today in Illinois and the midwest.

"He had a vision. He had a big dream.  That was to connect Canada, Quebec and the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River," historian Mark Walczynski said.  

The U.S. Postal Service has a present for Abraham Lincoln fans this week.   On his birthday Wednesday, a new stamp will be unveiled at the Old State Capitol depicting Lincoln.  

It's part of events that will mark the 205th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.  


The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation is planning to honor Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg.  

The foundation says it will award the ``Lincoln'' director its Lincoln Leadership Prize in Chicago on March 19. ``Lincoln'' star Sally Field will present the award. According to the foundation, the prize is given to those with character, conscience and a commitment to democracy and service.  


Workers at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in
Springfield are reviewing security procedures after a man broke in to the
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports ( ) a man
from Marshall in southeastern Illinois pleaded guilty to trespassing and
criminal property damage after being found in the basement earlier this month.
Jordan Clark was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $3,000 in

We often think about the 1800's as a backward period,  an era of slavery and war.   But Brenda Wineapple wants you to take a different view.   She'll speak in Springfield this week.


It's been more than 25 years since workers renovating Abraham Lincoln's home found a letter fragment in a mouse's nest inside a wall.  
But researchers think they've finally identified the author of the mystery letter as newspaper editor Andrew Johnston.

Officials at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
and Museum say attendance was up more than 7 percent in 2013, thanks in part to the popularity of Steven Spielberg's film ``Lincoln.''
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports ( ) nearly 314,000 people visited the museum through November. That's about 10,000 more visitors than in all of 2012. Attendance is on pace to be the highest since 2010.
In 2009 _ the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth _ more than 600,000 people
visited the Springfield museum.

Costumes, furniture and other props used in Steven Spielberg's 2012 film ``Lincoln'' will go on display in Springfield next month.  

The items will be featured in an exhibit that opens Jan. 17 at Union Station, across the street from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.  

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the exhibition is called: ``Lincoln: History to Hollywood.''  

A country can't be too small or too far away, apparently, to get in on the craze for Lincoln memorabilia.  
Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum says in a statement that the tiny European nation of San Marino has helped turn up letters to Lincoln.
An 1861 letter from San Marino's joint heads of state bestows honorary citizenship on Lincoln. It also expresses hope for peace in the U.S. In a
response, the 16th president writes the Civil War involves the question of  whether a country can save itself from internal division.

Kevin Peraino has written a book about Lincoln, but it's on a topic few have tackled.  "Lincoln In The World" examines Lincoln's foreign policy and his influence around the world.  

Peraino is qualified in this area, having served as a foreign correspondent for Newsweek. 


The story of the Gettysburg Address began long before that day Abraham Lincoln stood at the speaker's platform and delivered those famous 272 words. 


A Pennsylvania newspaper says it's sorry it didn't recognize the greatness of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address 150 years ago.  

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg on Thursday retracted a dismissive editorial penned by its Civil War-era predecessor, The Harrisburg Patriot & Union.  
The president's speech is now considered a triumph of American oratory. But the retraction notes the newspaper's November 1863 coverage said it amounted to ``silly remarks'' that deserved a ``veil of oblivion.''  

150 years ago next week, Abraham Lincoln delivered a 272 word speech that has become known as one of the greatest in history.  Tuesday, November 19, marks the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. 

On Monday, the day before, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will host events to honor the occasion. 

Abraham Lincoln's final resting place will be off limits to visitors for a few months as repairs are made. 
The Lincoln Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield houses the former President, his wife and three of their four children.  

The state is investing more than 600 thousand dollars to restore interior finishes that have deteriorated over the years.  That includes plaster molding, paint, wall panels and plaques.  

The project will begin December first and won't be complete until early March.  The tomb will be closed to the public during that time.  


Few people these days can tell you much about former Illinois Governor Otto Kerner other than he spent time in prison.   But there was more to the man  who oversaw state government from 1961 to 1968.  This Saturday, an all day conference in Springfield will focus on Kerner, looking at his professional accomplishments, his trial and conviction and his private life.  

The event, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, will include journalists, politicians and even members of Kerner's family.

Do you have an idea to show off the history of your community or a special location?  The Sangamon County Historical Society is offering to give money to local projects that create interest in the history of the county.  An online application is available for the grants of up to $1,000.   
Roger Whitaker is President of the Society.  Speaking on WUIS' Illinois Edition, he says the group has already helped other projects become a reality:

Tourism Dropoff In Springfield

Oct 8, 2013

Springfield officials say they're worried the federal government's partial shutdown may cut into tourism.  
That's because Abraham Lincoln's home _ one of the city's top tourists attractions _ is closed since it's operated by the National Parks Service.  
The site drew more than 295,000 visitors last year.  
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports ( ) the closure comes after peak tourism season.  
The co-owner of a nearby restaurant says there's a noticeable impact on her business as foot traffic declines.

Jameson Jenkins was Abraham Lincoln's neighbor.  The site of his former home is located in the Lincoln Neighborhood.   While Jenkins is far less well-known than the future president who lived a few doors away, he is nonetheless an interesting figure in history.  

WUIS' Sean Crawford spoke about research being done with Lincoln Home National Historic Site Superintendent Dale Phillips and Site Historian Tim Townsend on Illinois Edition:

The final resting place of Abraham Lincoln will be getting a make-over starting in October.

That means the tomb could be closed for up to 6 months.

Lincoln's tomb at the Oak Ridge Cemetery is also the resting place of his wife Mary Todd Lincoln and three of their four children.

The underground part of the monument has water damage and cracks, according to Chris Wills of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency:

Beardstown is home to the only courtroom where Abraham Lincoln practiced that is still hearing cases.  And today that historic site gets a bit high tech.  Touch screen monitors have been installed that will allow tourists to learn more about the site.  Connie Foley, with the Old Lincoln Courtroom and Museum Commission tells how the effort began...

Find more details on the site here.

The Lincoln family had its share of health problems, as did most living in the eighteen-hundreds. Local historian and author Glenna Schroeder-Lein recently wrote about it in a book called 'Lincoln and Medicine'.

She's also helped curate an exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum about medicine during the civil war era, which runs through November. Schroeder-Lein joins us to tell us more about her book and the exhibit:

Three authors will visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield this summer to shed new light on issues ranging from the Civil War, to morality and music. The authors will sign copies of their books and present lectures.


The founder of the Mormon Church and efforts to extradite him in the 1800's will again provide courtroom drama as a series of events will be held later this year.  
Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Hearings were held regarding Missouri's attempt to extradite him from Illinois for charges that included treason.    Smith exercised his right of habeas corpus, requiring hearings to determine if they were being lawfully held in custody.