Lincoln's year-long bicentennial birthday bash to conclude at IDEA Place with children's penny donations for Haiti

Feb 4, 2010 | General News

Children across Louisiana and the nation will be turning all their Lincoln pennies into much-needed good fortune for the earthquake-ravaged people of Haiti to commemorate the birthday of our 16th president.

To highlight the event locally, Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne will appear at the IDEA Place’s commemoration of Lincoln’s birthday to accept the penny donations from area schoolchildren and deliver a reading from Lincoln’s second inaugural address.

The national Children’s Lincoln Penny Donation to Haiti Week runs Feb. 5-12. The IDEA Place will conclude its 200th year celebration of Lincoln’s birthday at 2 p.m., Feb. 12, with the presentation. Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth will also present a proclamation honoring the 16th president.

All Lincoln Parish schoolchildren are invited to attend the event. Those who do attend will receive one of four Lincoln pennies newly designed by the U.S. Mint with the participation of David Madden, governor’s liaison to the national Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Other program highlights include original poetry, music and art. “The Gettysburg Address” has been set to music and will be performed on the piano by the composer Rebecca Gillan, an assistant professor of music at Baton Rouge Community College, It will be sung by Steve Rushing. The piece was previously performed in Gettysburg on Nov. 19, the anniversary of Lincoln’s speech.

Madden will also speak briefly on why Lincoln chose the state of Louisiana as his model for reconciliation for Southern Reconstruction.

For more information please contact Lindsey B. Keith-Vincent, museum educator at The Idea Place, at or (318) 257-2866.

Written by Dr. Elizabeth Barfoot Christian