Located at LSU Shreveport, the nation’s only International Lincoln Center turns 40 this year coinciding with the centennial anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Center will celebrate the beginning of its fourth decade with events starting in October.
Highlights of those events include the traditional fall lecture series October 20-22, cosponsored with the LSUS Student Activities Board. The series is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. The International Triennial Presidential Conference Series, the oldest such scholarly convocation in the South, will be held October 20-21 in the LSUS University Center. The focus of this year’s conference is the life, times and legacies of Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Keynote speakers will be Dr. Max Skidmore of the University of Missouri Kansas City, who has served as a Fulbright visiting professor in India, and Dr. Richard Striner of Washington College, of Chestertown, Maryland, who is the author of a new Eisenhower biography to be published in 2023.
At 11 a.m., Saturday, October 22, Dr. Danny M. Adkison of Oklahoma State University will deliver the Center’s annual Constitutional Democracy Lecture in the Caddo-Bossier Room of the LSUS University Center. The lecture commemorates the U.S. Constitution, the world’s oldest written constitution still in operation. Events also scheduled for October 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., include a presentation of the Center’s annual Abraham Lincoln Lecture, the only such event held in Louisiana. It will feature Dr. Skidmore, Dr. Richard Striner and Kevin Wood of Michigan, a Lincoln re-enactor, and several other scholars.
The International Lincoln Center will offer its signature activity, the Washington, D.C., mini-semester program, scheduled for May 10-26. The oldest Washington Semester at a public university in the South and the least expensive one, it consists primarily of walking lecture-tours, not only to traditional tourist sites but also other areas of the nation’s capital. LSUS has already left its academic footprint in the capital through a 34-foot-tall sculpture, located at Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership, that depicts books written about Lincoln including several titles from the International Lincoln Center. Several students who are former LSUS Washington Semester participants have served internships with elected officials and in numerous governmental agencies as a result of these trips and connections.
“The International Lincoln Center sponsors activities and events designed to focus on Louisiana’s influence upon the nation’s 16th president, who is an enduring worldwide symbol of democratic government,” said founding director William D. Pederson, American Studies Endowed Chair at LSUS. Since its establishment, the International Lincoln Center has received local, state, national and international awards and recognitions from organizations that include the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Lincoln Forum, the Congressional Bicentennial Lincoln Committee, and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games Cultural Olympiad.