2009 ALP Conference - Washington, DC

The Association of Lincoln Presenters

The Association of Lincoln Presenters
2009 ALP Conference
April 17-19, 2009
Washington, DC

2009 ALP Conference Review


In the year 2000, President Dan Bassuk proposed the Association of Lincoln Presenters (ALP) hold their 2009 Conference in Washington, DC.  His vision was a monumental gathering of association members to celebrate the Bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.  In 2004, Dan requested Jim Rubin (with wife Edna) to host the conference, and shortly thereafter Larry Elliott (and Mary) agreed to co-chair the event.  Planning was well underway before the membership in 2006 formally selected Washington, DC, as the 2009 Conference city.

Throughout this five year period Host Jim Rubin provided membership with updates on planning and invitations to mark their calendars for April 17-19, 2009 in Washington, DC.  Many of his invitations were in his poetic style.  One such invite stated:

There’s a strong burning desire in this ole’ heart of mine,
To attend the ALP Convention in the year two thousand nine.
And be a part of the 200th Birthday celebration
To be held in the capitol of this great nation.

I believe that ‘tis fitting and proper that we should do this,
Because, in a larger sense, the experience will be a bliss.
And, the mission is clear as what it is that we should do,
That is, to enhance our motto “Might I Rouse the Lincoln in You?”

Unfortunately, Dan didn’t live to see his vision fulfilled; cancer struck and took his life in 2005.

But the Rubin’s and the Elliott’s carried on, and the advanced planning reaped rewards fulfilling Dan’s goal.

Upon arrival at our hotel, we registered and then proceeded by car convoy to Surratt’s House.   Here we viewed the place where co-conspirators planned first the kidnapping, and later the assassination of Lincoln.  Docents at the Surratt House provided information not only about activities here, but also about the search for John Wilkes Boothe, Lincoln’s assassin.

We then returned to the Colony South Hotel for dinner and Annual ALP Business Meeting.  A part of the business was a moment “In Memorium,” where we acknowledged those deceased members, and that this conference is dedicated to the memory of our late ALP founder, Dan Bassuk.

Saturday morning we boarded buses to travel to Anderson Cottage, where the Lincoln’s spent much of their summers.  Here the docents divided us into groups, and provided informative presentations about this National Monument.  We then traveled to the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum.  Here docents provided us with information about the monument, and we posed for group photos.

Our next stop was the Willard Hotel, where we were served lunch.  Our hosts had invited various public figures to join us for lunch.  Lincoln stayed at the Willard Hotel upon his arrival In Washington, before his First Inaugural Address.  After lunch our buses took us to the White House, and then on to the Lincoln Memorial, where we assembled for additional group pictures.  Many commented about the sobering impact we felt standing in this place and reflecting on the man this memorial honors!

Our next stop was the hotel, where we socialized, had dinner, and were entertained by Doug Jemerson, Tenor, singing Civil War Songs.  Following our dinner and concert, many members and guests in period attire enjoyed a period ball with Caller David Swonger.

Sunday morning the Lincolns traveled to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church for worship.  This is the church the Lincoln’s sometimes attended.  President Lincoln had reportedly requested on April 11, 1865, that the Church Session grant him the opportunity to address the congregation “on Sunday next.”  An assassin’s bullet took the President’s life (he died on April 15); as a result we never heard what Lincoln had to say had prompted the request.

After Worship, there was a reception, and then the Marys gathered to conduct business while the Abes toured the church.  Approaching Noon, Lunch was served.  We then bid our friends “safe travels” as some traveled to Gettysburg, while others started for home.