In 2009 the nation celebrated the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth on February 12, 1809. The United States Congress established a federal Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission in 2000. Delaware also created an Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
The Delaware Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission was established by an Act of the 143rd General Assembly, House Bill No. 491, which was signed into law by Governor Ruth Ann Minner on July 10, 2006. The Commission had the following duties under this legislation:
- To study and recommend activities that may be carried out by the State of Delaware to honor Abraham Lincoln during 2009, the bicentennial of his birth;
- To educate Delaware residents about the life of Abraham Lincoln, especially his years of service as President of the United States;
- To assist state and local governments and organizations with planning, preparation, and grant applications for bicentennial events, programs and projects;
- To plan and implement worthy activities to commemorate the bicentennial year;
- To coordinate federal, state and local bicentennial activities occurring in the State of Delaware.
Twelve members of the Commission were appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, The Lincoln Club of Delaware, The University of Delaware, and The Historical Society of Delaware. In alphabetical order, the Members of the Commission were:
- Mr. Justin Carisio
- Hon. Richard R. Cooch
- Hon. Nancy Cook
- Thomas Herlihy, III, Esq.
- Mr. C. Russell McCabe
- Mr. Timothy Murray
- Hon. Henry duPont Ridgely
- Hon. Wayne Smith
- Hon. Richard F. Stokes
- David S. Swayze, Esq.
- Hon. Harriet Smith Windsor
- Hon. William L. Witham, Jr.