Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, will be on campus at West Virginia University, Monday, Sept. 17, as part of WVU’s Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education Constitution and Election Literacy Program.

Lincoln, portrayed by historian and actor Michael Krebs, will give his 1864 re-election speech at the Mountainlair’s “free speech zone” at noon. Accompanied by actress Debra Ann Miller, as Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd Lincoln, the couple will also visit the Erickson Alumni Center at 6 p.m. for Lincoln’s re-election and second inaugural speech. Both events are free and open to the public.

“This is a classic presentation that’s won many national awards,” said Dr. Robert Waterson, director of the CDCE and a social studies education professor in WVU’s College of Human Resources and Education. “It is absolutely tremendous. The actors are immersed in historical research. While the content is not verbatim, it is historically accurate and relevant to circumstances today. Many constitutional issues are being debated today that we want to bring to the consciousness of students as well as faculty and staff.”

Constitution Day is a federal holiday recognizing the ratification of the United States Constitution. Established in 2004 by an amendment sponsored by late West Virginia Sen. Robert C. Byrd, all publicly funded education institutions are required to host educational programming about citizenship and constitutional history.

“Lincoln faced many issues and crises that were unique to that period, but can easily be related to many of the difficult challenges in today’s society,” Waterson said. “For example both current Presidential candidates vehemently disagree on issues, such as health care, economic philosophies, and foreign policy. There are also constitutional issues that will impact future generations. This Constitution & Election Literacy Program will provide our citizens an opportunity to think and reflect on how electoral decisions impact their lives.”

The Constitution and Election Literacy Program is part of the CDCE’s “Heroes in History” series created by Waterson. For more information, contact robert.waterson@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-3849.


CONTACT: Christie Zachary, Human Resources and Education
304-293-5703, christie.zachary@mail.wvu.edu