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Inventory of the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission of California Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content
  • Additional Information
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives
  • Related Collections at Other Repositories
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission of California Records
    Dates: 1959-1960
    Collection number: R308
    Creator: Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission
    Collection Size: 6 file folders
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission of California was established in 1959 to celebrate the life of President Abraham Lincoln. The records of the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission consist of 6 file folders of publications, commission and exhibit files that cover the years 1959-1960.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission of California Records, R308.[series number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission Records according to state law.

    Administrative History

    On September 18, 1959, Chapter 1892 (Statutes of 1959) established the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission of California. The Commission was to commemorate the life and accomplishments of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and to celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his birth. The Commission consisted of eleven members: Assemblyman Charles B. Garrigus (chairman), Senator Nelson S. Dilworth (vice-chairman), Dr. William N. Davis, Jr. (secretary), Governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, Sr., Lieutenant Governor Glenn M. Anderson, Assembly Speaker Ralph M. Brown, Attorney General Stanley Mosk, Senator Randolph Collier, Senator Paul L. Byrne, Assemblyman Carl A. Britschgi, and Assemblyman George A. Wilson.
    According to this legislation, the Commission was directed to prepare statewide commemorative programs with due considerations to the activities of the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission established by Congress (Public Law 85-262, 85th Congress) and a private nonprofit educational organization called the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Association of California. The Commission helped arrange for a proclamation to be issued by the Governor declaring the years 1959 and 1960 as a period of celebration and observance of the anniversary of Lincoln's birth. The giving of medals and certificates was also authorized to recognize those outstanding individuals and organizations that made significant contributions to the commemoration of Lincoln's life. This legislation also directed the Commission to deposit any donated publications about Lincoln in any library or museum deemed appropriate.
    The Commission encouraged local organizations, governments, civic groups and members of the press to organize appropriate programs, exhibits and publications to celebrate Lincoln's life. An exhibit on Lincoln was organized by the Commission and held in the State Capitol Building. The Department of Education was also requested by the Commission to call for schools to observe Lincoln's life in the January 1960 issue of California Schools. The use of music to celebrate Lincoln's life was also advocated. Chairman Garrigus wrote the heads of the state colleges requesting that their various music departments organize performances to "emphasize the cultural significance of the Lincoln tradition." The Commission also endorsed the Committee to Encourage Music of Merit by Western Composers' offer of a Western Music Award for an original composition honoring Lincoln. In addition, the Commission obtained a series of biographical radio scripts called the Abraham Lincoln Story from Broadcast Music, Inc. of New York for use in California.

    Scope and Content

    The Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission of California records consist of six file folders of records created between 1959 and 1960. The records are organized into three series: commission files, exhibit files and publications. The commission files provide insight into the workings of the Commission and its members. Some of the publications, such as Lincoln Still Pleads: Dialogue Between a Communist and an American, attempt to place Lincoln's life and politics within the context of the late 1950s. As such, these records might be useful to researchers interested in how Lincoln was viewed during the Cold War in California. The correspondence of Mr. Justin Turner, Chairman of the Board of the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Association of California, in part relate to local historical organizations throughout California called Civil War Round Tables. Many of Turner's letters to Commission members also explore the possibility of establishing a California Civil War Centennial Commission (later established by Statutes of 1961, Chapter 12). Researchers interested in either Civil War Round Tables or the California Civil War Centennial Commission may find these records helpful.

    Additional Information

    In the California State Archives' research room, there is a general information file containing information about and copies of an Abraham Lincoln letter dated 1864 that is in the collection of the Archives. Records and photos of the 1959 Lincoln exhibit organized by the Commission and a subsequent 1972 exhibit about the Presidential election of 1864 can be found in the Institutional Archives-Exhibit Files (R206). Ask the reference archivist for more information.

    Related Collections at the California State Archives

    Civil War Centennial Commission.
    Military Department.

    Related Collections at Other Repositories

    A scrapbook pertaining to the centennial celebrations held between 1908 and 1911 in honor of Lincoln's birth can be found at the Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, 93106. This scrapbook may be useful for comparing and contrasting how different generations of Californians celebrated Lincoln's life.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
    Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Anniversaries, etc.
    Brown, Edmund G. (Edmund Gerald), 1905-1996
    Turner, Justin G.