The Rhode Island Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (RIALBC) was created by an act of the State of Rhode Island General Assembly in March 2004 (Chapter 04-112 2004 -- S 2957 SUBSTITUTE A - Enacted 06/17/04) in anticipation of the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, which would occur on February 12, 2009. The act, which was signed into law on June 26, 2004, by Governor Donald Carcieri, articulated the Commission’s mission, its membership, and its powers.
The mission of the RIALBC was “to honor and create activities relating to Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Providence and Woonsocket, Rhode Island in 1860, to plan and carry out its own tributes to Abraham Lincoln, and to coordinate those activities with those of the federal government.”
The legislative act stipulated a Commission consisting of twenty-one members, including representatives from the Rhode Island House of Representatives and Senate; local Abraham Lincoln organizations, colleges and universities, historical societies, libraries, museums, and arts commissions; the Board of Governors for Higher Education; and local civil rights organizations.
The powers of the RIALBC included initiating activities in Rhode Island to honor Abraham Lincoln during the bicentennial period, educating Rhode Island citizens about Lincoln’s life and times, and seeking grants and philanthropic support for Lincoln bicentennial activities.
The RIALBC met for the first time on April 12, 2005, and several times per year from that date through February 2010. At its initial meeting, the members of the Commission elected the following officers:
Chair: Frank Williams
Vice Chair: Sue Stenhouse
Second Vice Chair: Walter Stone
Secretary: Randall Rosenbaum
Vice Chair Stenhouse served as the liaison between the RIALBC and the federal Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and she met several times with that group and other state liaisons to coordinate activities. Lisa Maher served as administrative assistant to the RIALBC.
Of the twenty-one members invited to the first meeting of the RIALBC, about twelve remained active members during the five-year period that the Commission remained in existence.
The act included a sunset clause stipulating that the RIALBC would dissolve on June 30, 2010.
Source: Rhode Island Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Final Report
The Rhode Island Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Archive consists of a wide variety of materials relating primarily to the activities in Rhode Island related to the Bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.