Eye On Boise

Idaho celebrates Lincoln’s 200th birthday

This photo of Idaho's historic statue of Abraham Lincoln, which dates back to 1915, is shown last June before it was restored and moved to a higher-profile location just south of the state Capitol. The newly refurbished statue is scheduled to be unveiled in a grand ceremony at noon on Feb. 12, Lincoln's 200th birthday. Idaho schoolchildren raised $3,000 in a
This photo of Idaho's historic statue of Abraham Lincoln, which dates back to 1915, is shown last June before it was restored and moved to a higher-profile location just south of the state Capitol. The newly refurbished statue is scheduled to be unveiled in a grand ceremony at noon on Feb. 12, Lincoln's 200th birthday. Idaho schoolchildren raised $3,000 in a "Pennies for Lincoln" campaign to help fund the project. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

It's Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, and Idaho has a celebration planned featuring the unveiling of its newly restored and relocated statue of the 16th president, “The Emancipator,” which shows Lincoln holding the Emancipation Proclamation. Idaho’s statue, first placed in 1915, six years after the introduction of the Lincoln penny, is thought to be the oldest surviving Lincoln monument in the western United States; this photo shows it when it still stood tucked away in a little-known spot on the grounds of the Idaho State Veterans Home last June.

The statue has since been lovingly restored to its former grandeur and moved to a high-profile location just south of Idaho’s state Capitol. It’ll be unveiled on Thursday in an hour-long noon ceremony featuring music, speeches, schoolchildren, the Army Tuba Corps, a costumed Lincoln portrayer reciting the Gettysburg Address and more. Elementary school students across the state raised $3,000 in pennies to help fund the refurbishing and relocation of the statue in a “Pennies for Lincoln” campaign; school kids will be among those pulling off a drape to unveil the statue in the noon ceremony.

The 6-foot, 4-inch bronze sculpture is life-size, and stands atop a nearly 10-foot-high sandstone pedestal bearing the date Feb. 12, 1915. Former Idaho Lt. Gov. David Leroy, a Lincoln buff and chairman of the Idaho Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, is inviting the public not only to the hour-long noon ceremony, but also to a “Birthday Party” for Lincoln to be held from 5-8 p.m. in a heated tent near the statue, featuring food, music and a 200-candle birthday cake. 




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