‘Living the Legacy’: Celebrate Lincoln’s 200th birthday

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the nation’s capital is planning to honor the 16th president of the U.S. with a four-month-long bash titled “Living the Legacy: Lincoln in Washington, D.C.”

“During his years in Washington … Lincoln established a legacy that can be felt both locally and nationally,” Linda Harper, executive director of Cultural Tourism DC, said in a news release. “By building on the major events and exhibitions taking place at our nationally-known attractions, we can also introduce residents and visitors to the cultural treasures in our neighborhoods that played a role in Lincoln’s life here in Washington.”

More than 80 performances, lectures, exhibitions and tours are planned beginning Jan. 1; the celebration runs through April 30. The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., the Library of Congress, the National Museum of American History, President Lincoln’s Cottage and the National Museum of Health and Medicine will have special exhibits as part of the anniversary.

Ford’s Theater, the site of Lincoln’s assassination on April 14, 1865, has been closed since August 2007, when a $50 million renovation began. The historic theater is expected to be completed in time for next year’s celebration.

“This is a powerful tribute to one of our country’s greatest presidents, launching just in time to capture the buzz and excitement we’re all feeling during the run-up to the 2009 inauguration,” Bill Hanbury, president & CEO of Destination DC, said in a news release.

A number of local hotels and restaurants are also offering deals in conjunction with the celebration.

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