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Annual Dinner Speakers and Topics

2013 Dr. Michael Burlingame, who currently holds the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, retired in 2001 from Connecticut College in New London as the May Buckley Sadowski Professor Emeritus of History. Among his books are Abraham Lincoln: A life (2 vols.; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press 2008) and The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994)
2012 Mr. James L. Swanson is a Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He is the founding and current editor of the First Amendement Law Handbook. Among his books are, "Lincoln's Assassins: Their Trial and Execution" and "Manhunt: The 12-day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" and its sequel "Bloody Crimes: The Funeral for Abraham Lincoln and the Chase for Jefferson Davis."  
2011 Professor James Oaks - Author of The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics was a co-winner of the 2008 Lincoln Prize. A Distinguished Professor of History and Graduate School Humanities Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he teaches history courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, Slavery, the Old South, Abolitionism and U.S and World History.
2010 Professor Douglas L. Wilson - Author of Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words, which was awarded the Lincoln Prize in 2007. A George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English and Co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.  
2009 Honorable Frank Williams - Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Rhode Island  Dr. Harold Holzer - Senior Vice President, External Affairs The Metropolitan Museum of Art
2008 Mr. James L. Swanson is a Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He is the founding and current editor of the First Amendement Law Handbook. Among his books are, "Lincoln's Assassins: Their Trial and Execution" and "Manhunt: The 12-day Chase for Lincoln's Killer".  
2007 Mr. James M. McPherson is currently the Geoge Henry Davis '86 Professor of American History, Emeritus, at Princeton University.
2006 The Honorable Frank J. Williams is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island and is one of the country's most renowned experts on Abraham Lincoln. He addressed the club on "Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties in Wartime".
2005 Nelson D. Lankford, editor of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the quarterly journal of the Virginia Historical Society spoke on "Lincoln in Richmond." His address covered the days immediately prior to and following the burning and fall of Richmond. Lincoln visited the city in the later part of this period.
2004 Lucas E. Morel, Assistant Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA analyzed Frederick Douglas's speech of April 14, 1876 and his views on Abraham Lincoln.
2003 William Lee Miller, Scholar in Ethnics and Institutions at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, titled his address "A Magnanimous President Chooses a Secretary of War." He reviewed Lincoln's associations with Edwin McMasters Stanton from being ignored during an earlier law case to his appointment to the War Department.
2002 Alan C. Guelzo, Dean of the Templeton Honors College and Grace F. Kea Professor of American History at Eastern College, addressed the Club on the "Perspectives on Lincoln's Attitudes and Views on Race Relations in America."
2001 John C. Waugh, a journalist turned historical reporter, spoke on "Reelecting Lincoln in 1864." He is the author of "Reelecting Lincoln" published in 1998.
2000 Grant Romer, head of the Photograph Conservation Department at George Eastman House, presented his lecture "Likeness and Dislikeness." This covered the difficulties of recognizing and validating photographic portraits with special emphasis on Abraham Lincoln.
1999 Jean H. Baker, Professor of History at Goucher College in Baltimore, was only the second woman to present the address at the Annual Dinner. Her topic was "Parallel Lives: The Marriage of Mary Todd Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln."
1998 James I. Robertson, Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor in History at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University at Blacksburg, Virginia spoke on "Abraham Lincoln and Stonewall Jackson, Two Amazingly Similar Lives."
1997 David E. Long, Assistant Professor of History at East Carolina University spoke on "I Shall Never Recall a Word." The subject covered Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.
1996 Stephen B. Oates, Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of "With Malice Towards None", spoke on "Lincoln's Vision: The Central Idea of the Civil War."
1995 Merrill D. Peterson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, spoke on "Lincoln and Jefferson."
1994 James W. Symington, Esquire, is the great grandson of John Hay, a private secretary to President Lincoln. Mr. Symington spoke on "A Hayride with Abraham Lincoln."
1993 Calvin Skaggs (Producer-Director) has more than two dozen dramatic films to his credit. Mr. Skaggs spoke on "Seeing Lincoln Human Again."
1992 Paul Simon, U. S. Senator from Illinois, is a writer and former newspaper editor and publisher. His weekly column, P. S. Washington, is more than 40 years old and one of the few on Capitol Hill not ghost-written by staff, talked on "Lincoln as a Legislator and his Legislative career in Illinois."
1991 Harold Holzer, news reporter and writer, speech-writer, political advisor, and an acknowledged authority on Lincoln portraits and prints, spoke on "Two Views of Abraham Lincoln."
1990 Dr. John A. Munroe, retired H. Rodney Sharp Professor Emeritus, University of Delaware spoke on "Lincoln's Opponents."
1989 Frank J. Williams, M.A.J.D., is an avid collector with one of the largest privately held Lincoln Libraries in the country. Mr. Williams spoke on "Abraham Lincoln - Deeds and Misdeed or Mistakes of a Mortal."
1988 John K. Lattimer, M.D., Sc.D., has served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons for over twenty-five years. Dr. Lattimer spoke on "A Comparison of the Lincoln and Kennedy Assassinations."
1987 Mr. William F. Stapp is a photographic historian, and was hired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1976 to found its Department of Photographs.
1986 Dr. Richard Nelson Current, educator and author, retired two years ago from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro where he was Distinguished Professor of American History, talked on "Abraham Lincoln and Fiction As History."
1985 Dr. Richard Venezky from the History Department at the University of Delaware spoke in the absence of our speaker, Professor Gabor S. Boritt, the Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. Dr. Venezky spoke on "Lincoln and His Oratorical and Rhetorical Style."
1984 James Munroe Mc Pherson, Professor of American History at Princeton University, spoke on "Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution."
1983 Dr. John Hope Franklin, educator and author at Duke University, spoke on "Lincoln's Evolving View of Freedom."
1982 Mr. John Lloyd of Lloyd and Co., a consulting firm serving insurance companies in management problems and acquisitions, and author of two books on Lincoln "Vignettes of Lincoln" and "Snowbound with Mr. Lincoln" spoke on "Mr. Lincoln Defines America."  
1981 Dr. Harry Repman, a practicing Urologist of Wilmington, Delaware, spoke on "Mr. Lincoln's Health."
1980 Dr. Mark E. Neely, Jr., Director of the Louis A. Warren Lincoln Library and Museum, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and editor of Lincoln Lore, spoke on "Who Voted for Abraham Lincoln?"
1979 Dr. William Hanchett, Professor of History at San Diego State University, spoke on "Stanton and Lincoln's assassination: The Eisenschiml Thesis."
1978 Harold Holzer, news reporter and editor, speech-writer, political advisor, and an acknowledged authority on Lincoln portraits and prints was the speaker. His slide presentation was titled "Lincoln as the Print Artists Saw Him."
1977 Dr. E. Elton Trueblood, an eighth generation Quaker and retired Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College, spoke on "Abraham Lincoln: Theologian of American Anguish."
1976 Dr. William B. Catton, Professor of History at Middlebury College and a previous speaker, choose an appropriate bicentennial-year topic: "Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence."
1975 Fred Schwengel, an eight-term Congressman from Iowa and President of the United States Capitol Historical Society, spoke on "Lincoln the Fiery Moderate."
1974 Bell L. Wiley, Professor of History at Emory University, and author of several books and articles on Civil War subjects spoke on "A Southerner Looks at Lincoln."
1973 Dr. Richard D. Mudd, grandson of Dr, Samuel A. Mudd, lectured on the circumstances of the dream of Lincoln, the public attitude which erupted from the assassination, and the conspiracy trial which followed.
1972 Mark O. Hatfield, U. S. Senator from Oregon and a noted collector of Lincolniana was the speaker and spoke on "Lincoln, the Scholar."
1971 Dr. Dwight L. Dumond, from the University of Michigan spoke on "Abraham Lincoln."
1970 Burton R. Laub, Dean of Dickinson School of Law, spoke on "Will the Real Abraham Lincoln Please Stand Up?"
1969 William A. Coblenz, President of the Lincoln Group, District of Columbia spoke on "Abraham Lincoln and His influence on Our Time over the World."
1968 C. Douglass Buck, Jr., and a group from the Lyceum Players presented excerpts from "The Rivalry" by Norman Corwin, as directed and produced by Victor Clarke.
1967 Dr. Edwin D. Coddington, Professor of History and Department Head at Lafayette College could not attend the dinner meeting because of illness, but his prepared address "Lincoln's role in the Gettysburg Campaign" was read by Dr. Jacob S. Cooks, also of the History Department at Lafayette.
1966 Robert L. Bloon, Adeline Sager Professor of History and Chairman of the Department at Gettysburg College, and President of the Pennsylvania Historical Association spoke on "The British Press and the American Civil War."
1965 Dr. Walter F. Berns, Jr., Chairman of the Department of Government at Cornell University spoke on "Lincoln's American Poetry."
1964 Dr. Marshall W. Fishwick, Director of the American History Studies and Research project for the Wemyss Foundation, spoke on "Lincoln and the American Spirit."
1963 Dr. Frederick B. Tolles, Howard M. Jenkins Professor of Quaker History and Research at Swarthmore College, spoke on "Lincoln and the Quakers."
1962 Rabbi Herbert E. Drooz, of the Temple Beth Emeth, spoke on "Lincoln's Better Angels," a phrase taken from Lincoln's second inaugural, "the better angels of our natures." He interpreted them to mean "the good inclinations...the great universals."
1961 David Donald, Professor of History at Princeton University spoke on "Abraham Lincoln and the Mastery of Men."
1960 Dr. William B. Catton of the Department of History at Princeton University, and son of Bruce Catton, the historian, spoke on "Lincoln and the Meaning of the War."
1959 Dr. John A. Munroe, Chairman of the Department of History, University of Delaware, directed his remarks toward the Congressional service of Lincoln - "Abraham Lincoln, Member of Congress from Illinois."
1958 The Reverend John W. Christie was invited to make a second talk. His subject: "Another Look at Lincoln in Delaware."
1957 Motion pictures instead of a speaker were shown. These were "Moonlight Witness," a dramatization of Mr. Lincoln as a trial lawyer, and the "Face of Lincoln," a unique documentary film of Mr. Lincoln's career.
1956 Richard F. Lufkin, writer and lecturer from Boston spoke on "Lincoln's 1860 New England Merry-Go-Round, or Within Reach of the Brass ring of the Nomination."
1955 Dr. Louis A. Warren, Director of the Lincoln National Life Foundation of Fort Wayne, Indiana spoke on "The Freedom Emphasis in the Gettysburg Address."
1954 Dr. Otto Eisenschiml of Chicago discussed "Adventures in Lincoln Research."
1953 Harry E. Pratt, State Historian of the Illinois State Historical Library at Springfield spoke on "Lincoln's Finances."
1952 Dr. John H. Sachs, a member of the Club, whose subject on this second occasion was "Lincoln Learns from History."
1951 Dr. Robert L. Kincaid, President of Lincoln Memorial University, spoke on "Lincoln's Faith - The Hope of our Times."
1950 Instead of a speech, the group was again shown the motion picture "Abe Lincoln in Illinois."  
1949 Professor Jeter Isly, Princeton University, spoke on "Lincoln and the Press."
1948 The Reverend John G. Mac Kinnon, Pastor, First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, spoke on "The Timelessness of Lincoln."
1947 The Reverend John W. Christie spoke on "Lincoln and Delaware."
1946 Jay Monaghan, Illinois State Historical Society at Springfield and author of several books on Lincoln spoke on "Anecdotes about Lincoln's Foreign Policy."
1945 Dr. J. Duncan Spaeth, formerly Professor of English Literature at Princeton spoke on "The Heritage of Abraham Lincoln."
1944 Dr. Stewart Mc Clelland, President of Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee, spoke.
1943 Dr. John H. Sachs, a chemist associated with E. I. duPont de Nemours and Company spoke.
1942 Otho Nowland, Dr. C. L. Candee, Robert Wheelwright, Stanley M. Arthurs, and Frank E. Schoonover were the speakers. There was a showing of the motion picture "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" with Raymond Massey in the title role.
1941 Former Congressman Bruce Barton of New York. Raymond Massey, star of the "Cavalcade of America" Lincoln broadcasts, also made a brief address.
1940 Paul N. Angle of Springfield, Illinois, editor of the Abraham Lincoln Quarterly and Librarian of the Illinois State Historical Library.
1939 Mrs. Honore Willie Morrow, author, was the principal speaker at the February dinner.
1939 Dr. Louis A. Warren, Director of the Lincoln National Life Foundation, addressed a special luncheon meeting held in April.
1938 Dr. Dixon Ryan Fox, President, Union College was the speaker. Frank G. Tallman's Collection of Lincolniana was exhibited.
1937 Robert Fortenbaugh, Professor of History at Gettysburg College was the principal speaker. J. Edgar Rhodes of Wilmington read a paper he had found among his father's effects telling of an interview with Lincoln.
1936 Arthur E. Bailey, Librarian of the Wilmington Institute Free Library. Dr. S. M. Stouffer, Superintendent of Wilmington Public Schools. Dr. Burton P. Fowler, Headmaster of Tower Hill School. Dr. George H. Ryden of the University of Delaware. Otho Nowland and Dr. M. A. Tarumianz.
1935 Emanual Hertz, a New York lawyer, was the principal speaker. He told about a watch which figured in the early life of Lincoln. Mr. Hertz said he had the watch, which a friend had obtained from a Baltimore dealer in antiques. Colonel George A. Elliott, President of the Historical Society of Delaware, made a brief address.
1934 Dr. Roy Nichols, Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke on the debunkers of Lincoln.
1933 Willis O. Stoddard, Jr., son of the country newspaper editor who first editorially voiced a plan for the nomination of Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States, and who later became Mr. Lincoln's private secretary. The Club heard President Hoover's Lincoln Day address over the radio.
1932 Frank G. Tallman
1931 Former U. S. Senator Thomas F. Bayard and State Senator George Mc Intire.
1930 Ruby R. Vale of Milford, Delaware, a member of the Philadelphia Bar.
1929 Dr. William H. Lingelbach, Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. "The Biographies of Lincoln," U. S. Representative Robert G. Houston of Georgetown, Delaware. Professor George Mc Intire, an educator of New Castle, Delaware recited Walt Whitman's "Captain, My Captain." John Bancroft, manufacturer, Wilmington, Delaware related that when he was a boy he saw Lincoln in Cincinnati. That was during a street parade in honor of Lincoln, who was about to leave for Washington to be inaugurated President of the United States.