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Springfield, Illinois October 14-16 is the site of ‘69’s fifth mini-reunion and commences a westward journey that will hopefully take us to the west coast before our 45th. At least we’re getting started. France if nothing else proved that we could find our way to somewhere other than a Civil War battlefield in our traditional Washington/New York corridor.
The election of 1860 remains one of the most interesting in our history. For the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s first term inauguration we will broaden the Civil War focus we have pursued with Jim McPherson to look at the political and social forces that formed the context of the election. The similarities of these forces to the 1960s and the political backdrop of our Princeton experience are in some ways striking. Thanks to Bruce DeBolt for the original idea.
We will be headquartered at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in the heart of the Springfield historic district. From there we will foray in both large and smaller groups to a fascinating selection of Lincoln and non-Lincoln sites in the Springfield/New Salem area.
- We will arrive Friday, October 14 by mid-day. Friday afternoon we will travel by bus to New Salem where it all started for Lincoln and return to the hotel via Lincoln’s tomb. Our hospitality suite at the hotel will be open when we get back.
- Friday evening we will gather for a candlelight reception and buffet dinner at the Old State Capitol, one of the premier restorations of its kind anywhere. This will be a joint affair with members of the Old State Capitol Foundation and the reactivated 114th Illinois Regiment. A number of state and local dignitaries will join us as will historian Cullom Davis ’57. After dinner we will be summoned by bugle call to the House of Representatives chamber for the evening program.
- Saturday morning we will begin our exploration of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Lunch will be in the Gettysburg Room of the adjacent Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library with the Librarian and State Historian as our hosts and speakers. The afternoon will feature smaller group walks within the historic district to such destinations as the Lincoln law offices, the Great Western Depot and the Lincoln home. Our hospitality suite will again be open in the afternoon for informal socializing.
- The Saturday reception and dinner will be in the atrium of the Presidential Museum.
For those returning home via St. Louis there will be an optional side trip to the Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, IL. This 2,220 acre Illinois State Historic and World Heritage Site preserves the central section of the largest Native American city north of Mexico. It was occupied for several hundred years before being abandoned in about 1300 and at its height about 20,000 people lived there.
Meet me in St. Louis. For those traveling via St. Louis a block of rooms has been reserved at the Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch. Alan and Rosemary Meyers have arranged a walking tour of city highlights ($10 per person, paid in person) Thursday afternoon beginning at about 2:30 pm from the hotel, as well as suggestions for those who may wish to take advantage of the opportunity to spend more time in St. Louis, well worth it if you have never been (or even if you have). To reserve a room for Thursday night at our group rate of $124.95 plus 7.25% occupancy tax click here for our group's sign-up at the Drury's web site. The rate includes breakfast Friday morning.
The St. Louis Class dinner Thursday will be in the private room at Gio’s Restaurant (just three blocks from the hotel) beginning at 7:00 pm. The cost of the dinner is $65 per person including wine for the cocktail hour and dinner. Make your dinner booking on the Class website when you pay your trip balance (see below). If you have any questions about St. Louis or the arrangements there please feel free to contact Alan and Rosemary.
Or in Chicago. For those going through Chicago, a boat tour with the Chicago Architectural Foundation has been arranged for Thursday afternoon ($34, paid in person). Dinner is planned at the iconic Gino's East Pizza starting at 7:00 pm ($50 including drinks and tip). Your dinner booking can be made when you pay the balance of your trip fee (see below). The four-star Hotel Felix has rooms for $200 and can be booked at www.hotelfelixchicago.com. Everything is in the Magnificent Mile area. If you have any questions about the arrangements in Chicago contact Bruce Rosenberg.
Michael Burlingame to be Saturday dinner speaker. Prof. Michael Burlingame ’64 has agreed to be our dinner speaker Saturday evening. In the New York Review of Books, Jim McPherson calls his Abraham Lincoln, A Life (2008) "definitive” and goes on to say that Prof. Burlingame "knows more about Abraham Lincoln than any other living person.” So if you’re coming for some Lincoln, you shouldn’t be disappointed.
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Classmates and spouses bound for our mini-reunion in Springfield, Illinois the weekend of October 14-16 who are arriving via St. Louis are welcome to gather for dinner on Thursday evening, October 13. This regional dinner, which is open to all classmates and their guests, will be hosted by Alan and Rosemary Meyers. The St. Louis Class dinner will be in the private dining room of Gio's Restaurant at 701 Market Street beginning at 7:00 pm. The cost of the dinner is $65 per person including wine for the cocktail hour and dinner. To sign up, simply follow the Final Payment Instructions below, and choose the St. Louis Dinner option.Chicago: Classmates and spouses bound for our mini-reunion in Springfield, Illinois the weekend of October 14-16 who are arriving via Chicago are welcome to gather for dinner on Thursday evening, October 13. This regional dinner, which is open to all classmates and their guests, will be hosted by Bruce Rosenberg and Debbie Solomon. The Chicago Class Dinner is planned at the iconic Gino's East Pizza starting at 7:00 pm. The cost of the dinner is $50 per person including drinks and tip. To sign up, simply follow the Final Payment Instructions below, and choose the Chicago Dinner option.
Final Payment Instructions: click the "Sign Up" button below, fill in the personal information, and you can then choose the appropriate final payment, as well as any options you desire.