My paternal grandfather admired Abraham Lincoln. And that always surprised me because Lincoln is known as the father of the Republican Party and Poppy was a diehard Democrat.
But I think what drew Poppy to Lincoln was that they were both self-made men. My grandfather had an eighth-grade education, but he managed to own and operate a lock manufacturing company, which, in its heyday, was a widely known successful business. Poppy felt he didn’t need all that “book learning,” as he called it.
And they both looked out for the less fortunate. Lincoln freed the slaves. Poppy gave a job to anyone who needed one. They both commanded and received respect from their followers. When my grandfather died in 1976, the procession of cars to the cemetery was 40-plus deep. The majority of those cars carried his workers paying their last respects to a man who treated them fairly.
So it is with great interest to me that the Fairfield Museum and History Center is currently exhibiting “Promise of Freedom,” the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. I have yet to get over to the museum to actually see the exhibition, which runs until Feb. 24, but I plan on doing so very soon.
According to the museum, this is the “only exhibition in New England to display a Lincoln-signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, an original 13th Amendment copy, as well as other fascinating documents, paintings and artifacts that narrate this decisive moment in the quest for human freedom.”
As the exhibition heads into its final months, the museum is hosting “Let Freedom Ring! Jubilee Celebration,” from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6. It is an interfaith celebration of the 150th anniversary that is co-sponsored with the Fairfield Clergy Association. The program is free and open to the public.
The event will feature music by Chris Coogan and Shemeer Johnson; a dramatization by Jeanette Harris, storyteller; and prayers for freedom, based on the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. Attendees are asked to bells to ring in freedom.
For a complete calendar of events for other programs associated with the exhibition, visit the museum’s website,

Categories: General

Comments are closed.