ELMHURST – During the 1858 Illinois senatorial election campaign, a historic series of seven debates took place across Illinois between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. At 2 p.m. March 31, the Elmhurst History Museum will bring the political gladiators back to life.
Historians look back on the debates as some of the most significant and influential political showdowns in the country’s history, with the two candidates sparring over issues essential to the preservation of the Union, including slavery and states’ rights, a news release stated.
The “Lincoln Versus Douglas Debate” will be presented at Elmhurst City Hall in the council chambers at 209 N. York St. Highlights from the debate series will be re-enacted by accomplished first-person history presenters George Buss as Lincoln and Tim Connors as Douglas. Buss and Connors appear together regularly throughout the country to share their living history program with audiences.
Registration is required at www.elmhursthistory.org by clicking on Adult Programs, or by calling 630-530-6879. The program is free to members of the Elmhurst Heritage Foundation, and costs $5 for nonmembers.
It is presented in connection with an Elmhurst History Museum exhibit, “Sign of the Times: The Great American Political Poster 1844-2012,” running March 29 through April 28 at 120 E. Park Ave.
The traveling exhibit features 50 rarely seen presidential campaign posters, spanning more than 165 years. Admission to the exhibit is free, and visitors are welcome to view the display after the debate until 5 p.m. For information, call 630-833-1457.