West Virginia Independence Hall Museum (WVIHM) in downtown Wheeling will present “A Visit with Abraham Lincoln,” featuring Lincoln portrayer Jim Rubin on Saturday, April 19, at 1 p.m. The event will take place in the historic courtroom on the third floor of the museum. The presentation is free and open to the public.
The one-hour program will showcase Rubin as Lincoln and tell the history behind the president’s decision to make West Virginia a state. He will read the proclamation Lincoln wrote and signed April 20, 1863, which stated that West Virginia would become the 35th state of the Union 60 days after his proclamation, as the Act of Congress passed on Dec. 31, 1862 stated.
Rubin also will relate historical anecdotes including letters that prominent women sent to Lincoln thanking him for supporting West Virginia statehood and a telegram he received from Francis Pierpont, governor of the Union-controlled parts of Virginia during the Civil War. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.
Rubin, of Prosperity, W.Va., has been portraying Lincoln since 1997. His decision to do so stemmed from years of comments from friends and strangers who often made references about his uncanny resemblance to the 16th president.
He has made more than 150 presentations in the past four years including schools in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, California, Kentucky and West Virginia. Rubin was appointed to the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission representing West Virginia. The commission is making plans for Lincoln’s 200th birthday celebration in 2009.
For more information about “A Visit with Abraham Lincoln,” contact Melissa Brown, site manager for WVIHM, at (304) 238-1300.
West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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