Allen C. Guelzo, one of the nation's most distinguished scholars of Abraham Lincoln, will deliver the keynote address for Washington and Lee University's observance of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. in Lee Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.
The title of Guelzo's talk is " 'Little Note nor Long Remember': Why Do We Remember the Gettysburg Address?"
Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College. He is the first double Lincoln Laureate in history. In 2000, he received both the Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Prize for his intellectual biography of Lincoln, "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President." In 2005, he again received both prizes, for his book "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America," which will be the topic of his lecture at W&L.
Guelzo's most recent book, "Gettysburg: The Last Invasion" (Knopf, 2013) spent eight weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was cited for "an extraordinarily detailed and realistic account" in a Times review.
His articles and essays have appeared in scholarly journals and in major daily publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. A historical commentator, Guelzo has been featured on NPR, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic channel and even "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
Guelzo served a six-year term on the National Endowment for the Humanities and won the Medal of Honor of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. He is also a member of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Society of Civil War Historians, and the Union League of Philadelphia.
Marc Conner, associate provost and Jo M. and James Ballengee Professor of English, and Lucas Morel, the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and himself a Lincoln scholar, co-organized the University's observance of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. In addition to his public address, Guelzo will participate in a book colloquium with members of the W&L community.
"Although this event is later than many of the observances of the signing that were held last year, we wanted to be able to put together a program that was interesting and meaningful, and setting it on Lincoln's birth date is entirely appropriate," said Conner. "I certainly think of the Emancipation Proclamation as one of the seminal events in American history, and it has particular purchase on our current moment in the 21st century, with our first African American president, and as issues of racial divisiveness shift to issues of multiculturalism and new diversities."