Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission

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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.

From the guide to the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission of California Records, 1959-1960, (California State Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission of California Records, 1959-1960 California State Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Brown, Edmund G. (Edmund Gerald), 1905-1996 person
associatedWith Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 person
associatedWith Turner, Justin G. person
Place Name Admin Code Country

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