Social Program

Monday, June 11: Amish Tour, Arthur, Illinois

This tour will be a truly authentic Amish experience. Central Illinois is home to the fourth largest Old Order Amish community in North America. These people originally immigrated to the New World from Switzerland in the early 1700s, and to central Illinois in 1865. They are known by their buggies, distinctive dress, woodworking and handicraft skills, and abstaining from the use of electricity.

By visiting the Amish Museum and taking the countryside tour, participants will be able to learn about the history of the Amish and to witness first hand their culture. They will travel through the Amish countryside with a knowledgeable guide who will highlight the farms, homes, schools, and businesses in the area while explaining their faith and lifestyle.

The tour of the Amish Buggy Shop will cause participants to marvel at the skill required to produce a buggy. The buggy maker, who is also a wheelwright, will explain all the steps needed to produce a buggy, start to finish, including making the wheels, which most people find very interesting. A highlight of the tour will be the very unique experience of being treated to lunch in the home of an Amish family.

We will depart from the Illini Union at 8:00 AM and will return by 5:00 PM. Lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, June 13, Abraham Lincoln Sites, Springfield, Illinois

The Illinois State Slogan appropriately is Land of Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln moved to Macon County, Illinois, from Indiana in 1830 when he was 21 years old. He lived in Illinois until he became the sixteenth President of the United States in 1861. He is recognized for his noble vision, statesmanship, humanity, and political skill. He is one of the country's most enduring symbols of democracy. He successfully guided the Nation through the dark days of the Civil War, and then was assassinated shortly after the war by the leader of a deeply disgruntled group of conspirators. Nicknames given to him include "The Great Emancipator," "Honest Abe," and "The Rail Splitter." He was tall and, in the eyes of many, not very good looking; his integrity was his greatest strength. Along with Washington, Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt, his image is chiseled in stone at Mt. Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota. His most famous speeches were The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address. In addition to serving as President, Lincoln represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives for one term (1847-1849). He was a member of the Illinois Legislature from 1834 to 1841 (four terms).

More than fifteen years in the making, the beautiful Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum now stands in Springfield, the State Capital of Illinois. It combines modern technology and imaginative special effects with historical scholarship and rare artifacts to present the life of this great American President. Participants in this tour will become immersed in a nineteenth century world where the very existence of the United States was threatened by a civil war over slavery and the meaning of American freedom. The winner of national and international awards for museum innovation, this museum provides an experience unlike that found in any other presidential museum.

The last stop on this tour will be his final resting place, Lincoln's Tomb, in Oak Ridge Cemetery, which is a State Historic Site.

We will depart from the Illini Union at 8:00 AM and will return by 5:00 PM. Lunch will be provided.