Today in Washington - March 27, 2009

Donelle Pardee Whiting

Last night, several Washington residents learned more about Abraham Lincoln’s years before he was president during “Celebrating Lincoln Today in Portraits Past” in the Caterpillar Performing Arts Center at Five Points Washington

The event, put together by Washington Community High School, the Washington Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, Washington Park District, and the Washington Historical Society.

Anna Oxborrow’s advance drama students presented three original skits, two based on Lincoln’s time in Washington and one on the efforts of John Randolph Scott in the Underground Railroad.

In the first skit, Asenath Scott (Rachael Stuckey) talks about her husband’s work with the Underground Railroad with her daughter Emma (Sam Tofanelli).

In the second skit, by senior Sam Thies, came to defend some of the men in town.

Lincoln was the defense attorney, for $25, for 21 men known as the Washington Boys after they destroyed Frederic Pearl’s Store and Saloon on the western edge of the city. The saloon was never rebuilt.

The Washington Boys were big supporters of the temperance movement in the 1840s and ‘50s that called for abistinence.

In another scene, Lincoln used Richard Smith’s Dry Goods Store met with a on Washington Square to plan his presidential campaign.

In fact, records state, Lincoln spent a lot of time planning at Smith’s store.

In between skits, the Central Illinois Civil War Dance Society performed period dances.

The WCHS concert choir performed “Tenting Tonight” and Illinois.”

The evening culminated in singing “Happy Birthday” to Lincoln (portrayed by Walt Ruppman), followed by cake and punch in the Five Points Banquet Center.

Refreshments were provided by WCHS foods classes.

Those in attendance were also able to see Lincoln inspired artwork by the WCHS 2D art classes.

For a more complete story and phots, be sure to get a copy of the April 1 edition of the Washington Times-Reporter.

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Ladies: planning on attending prom?

If you have not already bought your dress, and are not keen on spending a several hundred dollars on a dress, check out what the Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress has to offer.

The dress sisterhood was created in 2007 by Det. Ro Gerkin as a way to help girls find the perfect dress without breaking the bank.

As the mother of a daughter, and a woman herself, Gerkin knows firsthand how expensive prom can be for a girl.

That is why she created a program where high school girls can get a dress for $25.

All the donated dresses must be no older than five years old to new and must be in excellent condition to be included in the program.

So, girls, be sure to see the fashion show of available dresses during activity period April 1.

Then, bring your $25 to Torry Gym from 3 to 7 p.m. April 2 and get your perfect dress.

•••

Here’s another fun thing for WCHS girls.

Powder puff football signups will be March 30 through April 3 in the commons during all lunch periods.

•••

There will be construction on Bondurant Street Monday and Tuesday, so plan accordingly.

•••

Next week is April Fool’s Day.

Ever wonder how the holiday came about?

I do. Not enough to lose sleep or drop everything to find out. It’s is more of a musing.

So, for next week’s paper, which comes out on April 1, I asked our intrepid reporter to find out. Nick will be presenting his insights in a column, which I am sure will have some humor. Be sure to check that out.

And if you forget it will be there, then I will remind you at the beginning of next week.

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Through this feature, I can continually post updates when I have a computer at my fingertips. That said, I am not always at a computer, so I can’t get information to you until then. But, this is basically an online journal that I am sharing with the readers.

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