Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Abraham Lincoln coming to Brooklyn with free history lessons for all

BROOKLYN - The nation's 16th president will celebrate his 200th birthday at New Utrecht High School and on the grounds of a Brooklyn church built when he was only a teen-ager.

Abraham Lincoln, as portrayed by veteran actor James Hayney, appears first for elementary school students at the high school in the morning of Feb. 12 and later that day for high school students. In the evening, at 7:30 p.m., he gives a free public performance at the New Utrecht Reformed Church, 18th Ave. and 84th St., in Bensonhurst.

The church building, with its historic sanctuary, dates from 1828, when Mr. Lincoln was only 19. The church itself, now within the Reformed Church in America (RCA), a mainline Protestant denomination that formerly was a part of the Dutch Reformed Church, was founded in 1677.

Mr. Hayney's visit to Brooklyn is sponsored by Friends of Historic New Utrecht. "This is just one of the many ways our organization provides 'Living History' lessons for the Brooklyn community," said Robert Buonvino, president of the local historic group. "And with the inauguration of our new president this month," he added, "the appearance of President Lincoln on his 200th birthday is especially significant."

Mr. Hayney tailors his portrayals of President Lincoln to fit a wide variety of settings. His credentials include performing in over 100 stage plays across the country, and acting in numerous TV films and commercials. He is a life member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters.

For many years, the Friends organization has organized programs of an educational nature in schools, libraries and at the church. The Lincoln program is being held in the church parish hall while the sanctuary undergoes a $2 million restoration and repair.

At all three Brooklyn meetings, President Lincoln will have a question-and-answer session following the presentations. His appearances will have the assistance of re-enactors from the famous 14th Brooklyn Regiment, Co. H.

More information on the historic, cultural and educational programs of the Friends of Historic New Utrecht can be found at www.historicnewutrecht.org and by calling (718) 256-7173. Mr. Hayney's Web site is www.lookingforalincoln.com.

pr services donated by bhpr
February 2009

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