President Speaks

On Sunday, January 17, 2:00 to 3:00 pm, Hildene President, Seth Bongartz, will deliver a talk on Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. Bongartz will delve into the meaning, context and present day relevance of the President’s greatest speech, noting that the choice of Martin Luther King weekend for the presentation is opportune. 

While Lincoln’s famous inaugural address and Martin Luther King’s historic “I have a Dream Speech” are separated by 100 years, both mark important eras in our nation’s history, both are compelling, and each has had a dramatic impact on the social conscience of the nation. In his, Lincoln spoke the unpleasant truth that all Americans were complicit in the evil of slavery. He viewed the acceptance of this reality as a pre-requisite for reconstruction and national unity. King’s speech focused on the injustice of segregation and the unfinished work resultant of the nation’s failure to follow through on the promise of reconstruction. By so doing, both Americans selflessly faced the dangerous opposition to their positions and both paid the ultimate price. 

This Hildene program takes place in the Beckwith Room. Admission is $5. Hildene members are free. For attendees wishing to extend their visit to Hildene on that day, the $5 fee for the talk can be applied to the general admission charge of $20. 

Hildene’s guest experience includes: a visit to presidential son Robert Lincoln’s home and the exhibit “The American Ideal: Abraham Lincoln and the Second Inaugural;” Hildene Farm goat dairy and cheesemaking facility; and the restored 1903 Pullman car, Sunbeam and exhibit “Many Voices.” 

Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home is open from 9:30 to 4:30 daily. Admission is $20.00 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 14. Members and children under 6 are free. Admission is not required for visiting the Welcome Center and The Museum Store. For more information visit or Facebook.