Ohio University-Southern will host an inaugural Freedom Festival this Friday through Monday as a way to encourage campus and community dialogue about freedom.
The festival will honor the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth by examining the antebellum (pre-Civil War) period of American history, in which Lincoln was a figure symbolizing positive, progressive change.
Festivities will provide a wide selection of ways to get a dose of history, family entertainment -- and college credit. Students can enroll in a credit class that includes attendance at festival events, participation in a common reading project and other assignments on festival topics. A festival Web site will extend the dialogue.
Friday's events will be held in the Southern campus' Bowman Auditorium beginning at 1 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, activities move to Southern's Nature Center at Lake Vesuvius in Wayne National Forest. They will feature several re-enactment presentations, including the Lincoln-Douglas debate -- with nationally recognized Lincoln actor and historian James A. Getty in the role of Lincoln.
On Monday, the celebration moves to the steps of the Lawrence County Courthouse in Ironton, where Getty's Lincoln will be joined by historian Annette Jefferson's portrayal of runaway slave, abolitionist and feminist activist Sojourner Truth.
All activities are free and open to the public. View a schedule of events on the Southern campus Web site.
To extend the celebration, the campus has scheduled two Education on Location trips. The first, on Oct. 10, will visit Ripley, Ohio, and Old Washington and Maysville, Ky. On Oct. 17 and 18, the destinations will include Lincoln's birthplace, Sinking Springs Farm, Knob Creek Farm, Lincoln Heritage Home, Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln Cabin, Women of the Civil War Museum and the Mary Todd Lincoln Home. For information, fees and reservations, contact Steve Call, 740-533-4559.
-- From staff reports