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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Tuesday, July 2

Pedal Power! Story Time: Road Trip Fun Exhibit-related Program

Starts at 10:00 AM

Join us with your 2 to 5 year old for Pedal Power! Story Time. This month, we’ll explore ROAD TRIP FUN!

What far-away place do you want to go? How will you get there? When you use your imagination, you can go anywhere.

Children and their grown-ups will join in a car-inspired story, complete an art project, and explore the galleries!

This free program is presented in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibit Pedal Power!, featuring dozens of pedal-powered vehicles from the Bruce Callis Pedal Car Collection. Pedal Power! is sponsored by State Farm.

Thursday, July 4

Museum Closed for Fourth of July Holiday

Starts at 9:00 AM

The Museum and Visitors Center will be closed to the public on Thursday, July 4 for the Fourth of July. The Museum and Visitors Center will resume operations on Friday, July 5 at 9:00 a.m. We thank you all for your consideration and we are sorry for any inconvenience.

Saturday, July 6

Back 2 School Supply Drive begins

Starts at 9:00 AM

Beginning July 6 through August 9, the Museum will be participating in the Back 2 School Alliance School Supply Drive to help collect school supplies for local students in need for the 2019-20 school year. 

Supplies collected will be distributed to students who participate in the Back 2 School Party on August 13 at Grossinger Motors Arena and throughout District 87 and Unit 5 to those who cannot attend the party.

Bring in any new school supply from the list below and receive free admission to the Museum on the day you visit! 

Backpack- 13 inches to 18 inches in height          Zippered Binder- 1.5 inches or 2 inches

3-Ring Binder- 1.5 inches                                            Divider Tabs- 5 count per package

2-Pocket Folders                                                         Index Cards- 3x5, lined

Loose Leaf Paper- wide ruled                                     Spiral Notebook- wide ruled, 70 count pages

Ruler- standard/metric 12 inches                                Colored Pencils- 12 count

Markers- washable, thick, classic colors                     #2 Pencils- 12 count

Black or Blue Pens- 10/12 count                                 Glue Sticks- washable

Crayons- 24 count                                                       Highlighters

Fiskar Scissors (blunt and pointed tip)                        Pink Erasers

The donation bin to drop off your items will be located on the first floor of the Museum. For more information, contact the Education Department at education@mchistory.org or 309-827-0428.  You can also visit the Back 2 School Alliance’s website at

back2schoolalliance.org/.

For more information, please visit the Back 2 School Alliance’s website at back2schoolalliance.org/.

Please Donate!  Every pen, pencil, binder and notebook you donate helps the Museum support our local teachers by getting students the tools they need for the new school year!

Saturday, July 6

Museum at the Market: Road Trip Fun Exhibit-related Program, Farmer's Market

Starts at 9:00 AM

Join the Museum at the DBA’s Farmers’ Market Kids’ Zone (intersection of Jefferson and Center Streets) and walk away with a one-of-a-kind creation!

This event is free and open to the public. Before you leave downtown, be sure to visit the Museum to explore Pedal Power!, our temporary exhibit featuring the Bruce Callis Pedal Car Collection. Museum admission (and air conditioning) is free until noon. Pedal Power! is generously sponsored by State Farm.

Saturday, July 6

How-To Festival @ Bloomington Public Library

Starts at 10:00 AM
205 E. Olive Street, Bloomington, IL 61701

Do you want to learn how to swing dance? Communicate using sign language? Play in a drum circle? These are just a few of the things you can learn in this interactive community education event. This free, family friendly event will feature presenters are community experts who will give you the chance to learn a variety of new skills in just a few hours. Museum Educators will be on hand to show people how to make butter! Other participating organizations include The Music Shoppe, Next Step Dance, Ecology Action Center, U of I Extension, and many others! A full schedule will be posted at a later day. The event will be from 10am until 1pm in the Library’s Community Room and on the Patio. For more information, please email katieg@bloomingtonlibrary.org. 

Monday, July 8

Futures in History Camp

Starts at 8:30 AM

Abraham Lincoln may have never said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” But, it is a fine sentiment nonetheless! And, creating futures informed by the past is what Futures in History Camp is all about!

Registration for Futures in History Camp is open to any area students entering 4th, 5th, and 6th grades who are keen on exploring the many futures a career in history can hold. From law, to archaeology, to architecture, to museum studies, and environmental science, there is a future for everyone at Futures in History Camp!

This 5-day summer camp is presented in partnership with the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site and Sugar Grove Nature Center. Our camper to staff/volunteer ratio averages 4:1. Registration is still open for Session II (July 8-12).

Saturday, July 20

Lincoln's Festival on Route 66

Starts at 9:00 AM

It’s time once again for the annual Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66, this year being held on July 19, 20, and 21. Activities during the festival weekend will include: living history performances, a cruise-in for car enthusiasts around the Museum Square, period crafts and children’s activities on the Museum’s lawn, Civil War skirmishes and cavalry encampment, walking tours, a vintage bicycle display, plus speakers and musicians to share the journey along the prairie path, to the steel rails, and on to the Mother Road.

The Museum will be hosting a variety of activities again during the festival this year. All activities are free unless otherwise noted.

On Saturday, July 20 we will again feature the highly popular So you think you know Lincoln and Kicking it on Route 66 trivia games are back again! Contestants can test their knowledge about our 16th President of the United States and about the entire Route 66.  Prizes will be awarded for correct answers! Trivia will continue on Sunday, July 21 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Lincoln and Route 66 themed crafts for children of all ages will also be offered on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturdays line up of speakers begins at 11:00 a.m. with the Museum’s Executive Director Emeritus, Greg Koos, who will lead the highly popular walking tour of Lincoln sites in Downtown Bloomington.  The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and participants will be able to gain unique insight into Lincoln, his friends and associates in Bloomington, and about the town where he spent more time than any other place outside of Springfield.  Those interested in joining this tour must meet inside the Museum’s Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center, located on the ground floor of the Museum.

At 1:30 p.m. in the second floor Governor Fifer Courtroom, retired historian for the National Park Service, Frank Norris, will present Courageous Motorists: African American Pioneers on Route 66. Driving on Route 66 suggests the freedom of the open road, the chance to discover America behind the wheel, and the fascination of heading out west. But as the recent motion picture The Green Book suggests, African Americans during the Jim Crow era could not drive on either Route 66 or other American roads without navigating an often hostile world in which most motels, restaurants, and other roadside services refused service to them. Norris’s presentation will show what it was like for African Americans to drive west on Route 66, and how that experienced changed over the years as the west developed and racial attitudes began to change. 

The day’s activities will conclude at 7:00 p.m. with the theatrical production Mr. Lincoln, by Herbert Mitgang and performed by John O’Connor. At times comic, at other times poignant, Mr. Lincoln is a one-man play that hits the high points of Lincoln’s personal and political life.  Actor and political writer for the Associated Press in Springfield, John O’Connor, portrays Lincoln with questioning, resolve, struggle, warmth, humor, and just about every other adjective you can imagine as the audience is taken on a two-act journey into the struggles and triumphs of our sixteenth President. Tickets will be $12 for the general public and $10 for members of the Museum. Tickets will go on sale June 3 and be available for purchase at the Museum or online via the Museum’s website.

Keep an eye out for Mr. Lincoln who will be visiting the Museum during the festival too. He will be available to meet visitors and even do a photo or two. Check back in our July monthly mailer for more details about his visit.

For more information about Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 and a complete listing of activities at all participating locations, please visit http://www.lincolnsfestival.net/. 

Saturday, July 20

Mr. Lincoln- a play by Herbert Mitgang

Starts at 7:00 PM

As part of the Museum’s activities for the annual Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66, the theatrical production “Mr. Lincoln,” by Herbert Mitgang and performed by John O’Connor, will be presented at the Museum on Saturday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the second floor courtroom.

At times comic, at other times poignant, “Mr. Lincoln” is a one-man play that hits the high points of Lincolns personal and political life. Actor and political writer for the Associated Press in Springfield, John OConnor, portrays Lincoln with questioning, resolve, struggle, warmth, humor, and just about every other adjective you can imagine as the audience is taken on a two-act journey into the struggles and triumphs of our sixteenth President.

Since first being produced for New Salems Theatre in the Park in 2014, this production of Mr. Lincoln has also been presented at various Illinois location including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site Visitors Center in Springfield, Playhouse on the Square (Jacksonville), the Speakeasy Art Center (Pekin), and at the Winneshiek Playhouse (Freeport).
John O’Connor is a central Illinois actor with a long list of distinguished credits including his portrayal of the Union Captain at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s “The Civil War” in Union Square Park, John Proctor in The Crucible at New Salems Theatre in the Park, Captain Von Trapp The Sound of Music at the Springfield Muni Opera, and the title role in their Sweeney Todd. Other favorite roles include Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Daddy Warbucks in Annie, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun, Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and John Wilkes Booth in Assassins.

Tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for members of the Museum. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Museum, over the phone for will call, or online by clicking this link.

For more information about this event, please contact the Education Department at (309) 827-0428 or education@mchistory.org.
For more information about Lincolns Festival on Route 66 and a complete listing of activities at all participating locations, please visit http://www.lincolnsfestival.net/.

Sunday, July 21

Lincoln's Festival on Route 66

Starts at 10:00 AM

It’s time once again for the annual Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66, this year being held on July 19, 20, and 21. Activities during the festival weekend will include: living history performances, a cruise-in for car enthusiasts around the Museum Square, period crafts and children’s activities on the Museum’s lawn, Civil War skirmishes and cavalry encampment, walking tours, a vintage bicycle display, plus speakers and musicians to share the journey along the prairie path, to the steel rails, and on to the Mother Road.

The Museum will be hosting a variety of activities again during the festival this year. All activities are free unless otherwise noted.

From 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. we will again feature the highly popular So you think you know Lincoln and Kicking it on Route 66 trivia games are back again! Contestants can test their knowledge about our 16th President of the United States and about the entire Route 66.  Prizes will be awarded for correct answers! Lincoln and Route 66 themed crafts for children of all ages will also be offered.  

From 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the Governor Fifer Courtroom, Encounters with Lincoln’s Legacy will feature members of the Historic Acting Troupe who will portray men and women from McLean County whose experiences provide a travelogue that spans the generations and the miles, highlighting sights, sounds and ideas that echoed throughout the nation. This year’s feature characters will include hackney driver Ab Hawkins and former Vice President of the United States Adlai E. Stevenson II; land developer William Flagg and his daughter Sarah; Ange Milner and June Rose Colby, who were educators during the early years at Illinois State Normal University; Lura Eyestone, who spent 38-years training future teachers at ISNU; and John and Mary Wickizer, whose marriage was rocked by scandal.

Keep an eye out for Mr. Lincoln who will be visiting the Museum during the festival too. He will be available to meet visitors and even do a photo or two. Check back in our July monthly mailer for more details about his visit.

For more information about Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 and a complete listing of activities at all participating locations, please visit http://www.lincolnsfestival.net/.