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February 12, 2002

Celebrates 193rd Anniversary of Lincoln’s Birth at Historic Lincoln Site

Washington, D.C. - First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan today joined Senator Durbin and Representative LaHood at the President Lincoln and Soldiers' Home National Monument to bring a "living link to Lincoln" home to Illinois.

President Lincoln and Soldiers' Home National Monument was the equivalent of Camp David in Lincoln's time. It also has been known as Anderson Cottage and is commonly referred to as Lincoln Cottage.

While at the cottage, Lincoln wrote the final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. President Lincoln often enjoyed relaxing in the shade of the Copper Beech tree which is also referred to as the "Witness Tree."

"When the cuttings from this tree take root in our Springfield soil, we will have yet another treasured piece of Lincoln's life and a source of his inspiration to share," said First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan. "It's a special pleasure to be here to celebrate the 193rd anniversary of Lincoln's birth."

Cuttings were taken from the "Old Soldier" Copper Beech tree and will be nurtured until they can be transported and transplanted to a site yet to be determined in Springfield.

President Lincoln spent several summer months at the Cottage which is approximately three miles from the White House. He traveled back and forth each day, either on horseback or in a carriage.

The 159-year old Early Gothic Revival home was renamed and declared a National Monument in 2000 as part of the Save America's Treasures Program. It was then renamed President Lincoln and Soldiers' Home National Monument.

General Donald C. Hilbert, the Director of the Soldiers' Home and host of the event also welcomed President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Richard Moe, Historian and Co-Chair of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Chair Dr. Harold Holzer, D.C Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, President and COO of Martha Stuart Living Sharon Patrick and the choir from Abraham Lincoln Middle School in Washington, D.C.


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