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September 9, 2003


BLOOMINGTON, IL – The 16th President and the man who helped him win the Republican Party’s nomination for President will be featured during “An Evening with David Davis and Abraham Lincoln” to be held Tuesday, September 16 at 7 p.m. at the State Farm Fire Building, Auditorium Floor, at 112 E. Washington Street in historic downtown Bloomington.  The event is sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation, and is free and open to the public.

            George Buss, as Abraham Lincoln, and Rich Sokup, as Judge David Davis, will present the world premiere performance based on Sokup’s original script.  The two men have long been interested in recounting the friendship of the Judge and the President, and the September 16 audience will be treated to Davis ands Lincoln reminiscing about their days together. 

Buss and Sokup have portrayed Lincoln and his rival Stephen A. Douglas since 1988, including a performance last year at the McLean County Museum of History for the David Davis Mansion Foundation.  They have performed in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., and in numerous other locations across the country.  In the 1994 C-SPAN re-enactments of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Buss and Sokup portrayed the protagonists in both the Freeport and Jonesboro, Illinois locations.  They also did a performance in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for The Lincoln Forum in 1998.  Most recently, Buss and Sokup performed for the Lincoln club of Topeka at Constitution Hall, site of the ratification of the bogus Kansas Constitution, which helped fan the flames of the Civil War. 

Light refreshments will be served following the program.

Rich Sokup is president of the Lincoln-Douglas Society of Freeport, a director of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin, and the Stephen A. Douglas Association of Chicago.  George Buss serves on the Board of Directors of the Stephen A. Douglas Association, most recently being elected president, and is a member of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin and the Lincoln-Douglas Society of Freeport.  Both are charter members of The Lincoln Forum, and both are residents of Freeport.

            The David Davis Mansion Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization which supports the special events, collections and preservation programs of the David Davis Mansion.  The Foundation operates a museum shop and sponsors various fundraising activities, including bus trips, evening tours, and special events.

            The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, was built in 1872 for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Davis and his wife, Sarah.  The Victorian mansion is located at 1000 E. Monroe in Bloomington, and is open for free public tours Wednesday through Sunday at 9 a.m. with the last tour leaving at 4 p.m.


Illinois Historic Preservation Agency


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