In celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and legacy, Participant Media collaborated with Active Voice to host eight special screenings of Lincoln on February 12, 2013. The events aimed to spark educational and community conversations around the film’s themes of leadership, civic engagement and public service.
Film screenings in the eight towns were immediately followed by panel discussions involving local leaders, historians and community members. Conversations encouraged involvement in local city councils, engaging youth in the political process and building a sense of unity among residents.
Check out some photos from the eight screening events!
Keep reading to learn a little bit more about the participating Lincoln towns:
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Lincoln, AR is a small and rural town, much like the area where Abraham Lincoln grew up. Lincoln is surrounded by many historic places that were actual Civil War battlegrounds, including the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. The town’s small population encourages honesty and achieving local goals. The screening took place at Lincoln High School, and was student-led and organized by the Lincoln High School East Class.
Lincoln City, Indiana
Named in 1881 and encompassing the historic farm where Abraham Lincoln lived from age 7 to 21, Lincoln City, IN quickly became a thriving community featuring frequent rail service, hotels, stores, churches, schools and taverns. Today, much of the original town has been removed to feature Lincoln’s frontier home as part of the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks, is buried in Lincoln City where, in 1859, Lincoln said: “There I grew up.” Today, Lincoln City is a quiet, rural community of only a few hundred people. The screening took place at the Memorial in partnership with the Lincoln Amphitheatre and Spier Spencer Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
A childhood neighbor of Abraham Lincoln in both Kentucky and Indiana helped settle the town of Lincoln, KS in the late 1860s. Descendants of Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks, still live in the county. Wheat, sorghum, beans and alfalfa are grown here. Cattle are raised amid rolling hills of native pastures fenced by limestone posts (or “post rocks”) and the countryside is graced by limestone homes and barns. Windmills of the homestead years along Interstate 70 are now dwarfed by miles of towering wind farms, a modern day legacy of President Lincoln signing the Homestead Act in 1862. For the past 23 years, the 1300-resident town has hosted a Lincoln Reenactment weekend over President’s Day Weekend. The Feb. 12th screening was hosted by the Lincoln County Historical Society in partnership with the Nicodemus Historical Society. Nicodemus is the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War.
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The Village of Lincoln, MI is a small town that is one mile square with approximately 360 full-time residents. Lincoln was established during the early logging period of the late 1800s. Lincoln was originally named East Harrisville, but shortly after Lincoln's assassination the name was changed to Lincoln. In recent years, Lincoln has undergone full-scale downtown renovation, and their screening event drew more than 400 attendees.
Lincoln, MO was incorporated in 1869 in honor of President Lincoln. Since Missouri was a border state during the Civil War, men who returned from the war fought on different sides. As the story goes, they would keep to their respective sides of Main Street and spend the day shouting insults at each other, though the saloon was set aside as neutral ground. Modern day Lincoln is much more peaceful and many enjoy the recreational opportunities afforded by nearby Truman Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. The screening was hosted by the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, and included a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the high school’s freshmen class.
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Lincoln, MT has its roots with the origin of a mining community four miles north of present-day Lincoln, which was founded in 1865. Many of the new inhabitants of Lincoln and surrounding mining communities were disillusioned veterans attempting to start new lives after the Civil War. Their lives having been substantially changed by the war, they called on courage and determination to start over in new, unsettled and challenging areas of the mountainous West, leaving family, friends and sorrows behind. The screening was hosted by the City of Lincoln in their Community Hall, which was constructed in 1916.
Lincoln, North Dakota
Lincoln, ND began as a housing project in 1972 originally named “Fort Lincoln Estates.” In 1977, it incorporated as a city and the name “Lincoln” was chosen out of a list of suggestions compiled by the residents. Across the Missouri River and west of the town is Fort Lincoln State Park, which has a long history with the Lakota people. As a “young” city, Lincoln has faced many growing pains, as did President Lincoln with the nation. Lincoln, ND, like President Lincoln, is determined to rise above difficulties and leave a legacy of success.
Lincoln, New Mexico
Lincoln, NM is best known for the notorious William Bonney aka, Billy the Kid as well as its legacy of Wild West shoot outs and show downs. Situated along El Camino Real, one of the oldest trade routes in the United States, Lincoln is regarded by historians as the most authentic and original Old West town of its era (the 1870s and 1880s). Through the mixed ownership of its buildings by New Mexico State Monuments and various private owners, Lincoln's 17 historic structures and sites, comprising the Lincoln State Monument, make the town a popular historical destination that attracts visitors who want to see a Wild West community frozen in time. The screening was hosted by the County of Lincoln.