Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer speaks at Fairfield University February 9

Lincoln scholar and 2008 National Humanities Medalist Harold Holzer will speak at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts on Monday, Feb. 9 at 8:00 p.m. The lecture, which includes historical and archival images, is part of the State of Connecticut's two-year commemorative celebration of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and is a presented in a Community Partnership between Open VISIONS Forum and the Pequot Library. OVF Director Dr. Philip Eliasoph will moderate and Dr. Dan Snydacker, executive director of the Pequot Library, will join him onstage for a discussion with Holzer following the lecture.

Holzer's newest book, "Lincoln President-Elect" marks his thirty-first on the subject of our sixteenth president. Even after decades of research, writing and lecturing, Holzer's appreciation for Lincoln hasn't flagged. "Lincoln remains a unique touchstone not only because every president in recent memory identifies with and draws strength from him, but also because so many ordinary Americans regard him as the symbol of the American dream." Holzer's assessment of Lincoln's enduring popularity is evident by the fact that the newly inaugurated President Obama chose to take his oath of office using the Lincoln bible; the first time it has been used since 1861 when Lincoln took his own oath of office.

Fairfield University's DiMenna Nyselius Library has collected materials that illustrate the state of Lincoln studies today and those documents will be displayed in the lobby of the Quick Center for the event. The Pequot Library joins the lobby exhibit with part of its extensive Civil War collection and other historical documents, including an original copy of Phyllis Wheatley's poetry. Wheatley is acknowledged to be the first published African American writer and was a Mass. slave. In addition, the Gilder Lerhman Institute will loan the Pequot Library five panels of Lincoln Political Cartoons. These rare cartoons, numbering twenty-five, will also be on display.

Following the event, the Pequot will return their historical materials to the Library where they will be part of the "Lincoln and the Civil War" exhibition that runs through the month of February. For more information visit the website at

Holzer's lecture, "Abraham Lincoln, President-Elect: A Bicentennial Re-Appraisal" is the sixth event in a blossoming partnership between Fairfield University and the Pequot Library.

Snydacker commented by phone recently, "The collaboration is a great way to bring together our institutional resources. We join in sharing Mr. Holzer's expertise with the community in the OVF lecture. Dr. Eliasoph and I also wanted to include a new generation of Lincoln students and have worked closely with Jeffrey Burt, Brian Hermes and Margaret Murphy, teachers from Fairfield Warde High School, and Fran Kondziela of Fairfield Ludlowe High School so that we might include twenty-five students who will participate in a roundtable conversation with this noted author. The students and their families will attend the lecture and each student will be given an autographed copy of Mr. Holzer's book."

Tickets are $45 and are available by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950,

Posted on January 27, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 194

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