Apr. 20, 2015

HARRISBURG – One of America’s largest outpourings of national grief occurred when Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865. One week later, on April 21, his nine-car funeral train steamed out of Washington, D.C., stopping in the Pennsylvania cities of York, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, for what became one of most historic train journeys in American history. Lincoln’s open coffin was placed in state at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the evening of April 21 through the morning of April 22.
On April 21 and 22, three different programs will be held at the State Capitol Building to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the funeral of Abraham Lincoln.
State House of Representatives Chamber
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker Mike Turzai, will hold a special program at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21. The public is invited to view the event online at either PAHouseGOP.com or PAHouse.com, or from the House Gallery.
The keynote speaker will be Mr. Joseph Garrera, the executive director of the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, who will speak about Lincoln’s unique relationship with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the funeral that was held in Harrisburg in the House of Representatives and the various stops made by the train throughout the state.
Rare Lincoln artifacts, on loan from the Heritage Museum, will be on display in the Capitol on April 21 and 22. The exhibit will include an exact replica of Lincoln’s coffin. Shipped from the Batesville Casket Company in Indiana, the coffin is constructed to the exact details of the original from 1865.
National Park Service
The public is invited to a program sponsored by the National Park Service on Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in the Main Rotunda of the State Capitol Building.
The program will be led by a National Park Service Ranger and feature a one-hour presentation on Lincoln’s hopes and dreams for the country during his term as president. Accomplished Lincoln actor Fritz Klein will provide a presentation on Lincoln’s commitment to the idea that the United States was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Dauphin County’s Freedom Jubilee 
The public is also invited to a program hosted by Dauphin County at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22, in the Capitol’s Main Rotunda. This event will also stream live on PAHouseGOP.com.
The event will remember the thousands of mourners who stood watch with President Lincoln’s casket and their combined experience and sorrow as the state and nation moved forward.
Featured speakers and participants will include House Speaker Mike Turzai, Representatives John Payne, Patty Kim, Dan Moul and Kevin Schrieber, Senator Richard Alloway, Commissioner Jeff Haste and several groups dressed in period costumes and playing period music.
Media contact: Jay Ostrich, 717.649.6547 jostrich@pahousegop.com