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7th Annual Dinner with the
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Previous Programs & Venues


(Photos by Sisters Tea Room)


 An Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social was co-hosted by Sisters Tea Room and the Country Pedlar Shop in Mentor, OH on  July 6, 2014. 

 Three First Ladies shared their family stories of summers past: Mary Todd Lincoln, Lucretia Garfield, and Eleanor Roosevelt.  The lush green lawns were the site of games like croquet, badminton, horseshoes, and sack races. 

 Dan Bergen provided turn-of-the-century music and a sing-along.  East Coast Original Custard accompanied strawberry shortcake, iced teas, lemonade, and sweets from Sisters Tea Room.  Many participants wore Victorian hats and finery. 

(Photos by Sisters Tea Room)

(Photos by Sisters Tea Room)

Our Abraham Lincoln (a.k.a. John W. King) not only kisses babies and loves children, but he’s also a friend to animals, too!  Here he is with “Blue” at the 2014 “Freedom Dog Fest 5K Run & 1.75 Mile Mutt Strut” at the Trails & Tails Dog Park in Aurora, OH on June 1st.  Proceeds from this race benefit Freedom Greyhound Rescue’s foster care program for discarded ex-racing greyhounds while they are waiting for their forever homes.

 

 On Flag Day, June 14, 2014, the Giddings Law Office in Jefferson, OH was the site of a dedication ceremony for a new flag pole (donated by the  Jefferson Rotary Club) and illumination light (donated by Herb Housel). 

The Ashtabula County Historical Society owns the law office, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is undergoing restoration and will be re-dedicated later this year. 

 

 (Photos by the ACHS)

 An address was presented by WMH’s Abraham Lincoln (John W. King), with comments following by Joshua R. Giddings (Dave Martin). 

 

(Photos by the ACHS)

 

On Thursday, April 17, 2014, former First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucretia Garfield crossed paths and chatted over tea in front of a full audience at Park Vista Retirement Community in Youngstown, OH.  The program was part of the Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute.  Finger sandwiches and desserts were served as part of the tea.

 

(Photo: Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln with a guest.

The Lincolns were brought to life for the “Spirits of the Past Dinner” at the Johnson House on Friday, April 25, 2014 as part of Wadsworth, Ohio’s Bicentennial celebrations.  Abraham and Mary Todd crossed paths with historic people from different eras and those from 2014. 

The annual Sousa Concert performed by the Port Clinton (OH) High School Band on Thursday, May 22, 2014 featured Abraham Lincoln reading the Gettysburg Address to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  The PCHS Band was under the direction of Rod Miller, dressed up to look like John Phillip Sousa.

 
Photo by John Schaffner:

Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln acknowledge the applause of the packed house at the Port Clinton High School Performing Arts Center.

 WMH’s Abraham Lincoln and General James A. Garfield (John King & Ed Haney) were part of the 20th Annual Convention of the Association of Lincoln Presenters (ALP) that took place in Natchez, MS from April 10-13, 2014.  They participated in the many activities, including visiting the USS Cairo, a Southern plantation, and Vicksburg.  General Garfield gave a presentation about how he got into the Civil War and his connection to the 16th President.

 

Association of Lincoln Presenters in Vicksburg, MS, April 2014.  WMH’s Lincoln (a.k.a. John King) is at the left end of the top row

President Garfield gives some currency with his picture on it to a young library patron

President and Mrs. James A. Garfield delighted Mentor (OH) Library ~ Main Branch families on Saturday, February 8, 2014, sharing stories about their Mentor Farm, their children, and the upcoming Presidents’ Day holiday.

On Friday, April 11, 2014, George Washington dined with patrons of the Greene Eagle Winery in Cortland, OH.   A special dinner of  Yankee pot roast, peanut soup, and cherry pie a la mode was served.  Afterwards, our first President moved throughout the winery, answering questions and posing for “sketches.”

We Made History was invited to participate in “A Night in History” at the John McIntire Elementary School in Zanesville, OH on Thursday, March 20, 2014.  This PTO-sponsored, family event featured stations where each President and First Lady relayed their story by using hands-on props, books, and pictures.  Some of the students dressed up as their favorite historical character, so WMH met the Statue of Liberty, Orville Wright, and Annie Oakley! 

 

 

 

Mr. Lincoln sets up his station in the library

 

Mary Todd Lincoln fixes her table just so

 Eleanor Roosevelt poses with her Scottie dog, Fala (and her fox stole called “Igor”)

`The McKinley Memorial & Library in Niles, OH hosted Eleanor Roosevelt on Saturday, March 8, 2014.  The enthusiastic audience members not only enjoyed her life story, but also lined up to ask Eleanor questions after the program! 

Eleanor during her talk and meeting the audience members – of all ages!

 

 

George Washington (Dale Fellows) had a very busy month with Presidents’ Day and his birthday both being celebrated in February.  On February 20, 2014, Washington visited the Perry Public Library and took the audience back to the 18th Century.  Afterwards, the library patrons were treated to a dessert of cherry pie! 

 

On February 22, 2014, General Washington was the featured speaker at the Western Reserve Society, Sons of the American Revolution’s (WRSSAR) annual George Washington’s Birthday celebration held at Shaker Heights Country Club.  150 guests attended this event, representing over 2 dozen civic, historic, and patriotic organizations from around Ohio.  Following their steak Filet meal, 15 cherry pies were awarded to guests as door prizes.  The WRSSAR group was founded in Cleveland in 1892.  Submitted Photo: General Washington (left) with WRSSAR President Duncan McVean

The eight Presidents and First Ladies from “We Made History” spent the day at Normandy Elementary School in Bay Village, OH on February 13, 2014 in honor of Presidents’ Day.  It was the culminating event of a 10-day study of the U.S. Presidents by the students.  A grant from the Bay Village Education Foundation made all the activities possible.  The day began with a patriotic assembly, followed by individual classroom visits. Click below for information on the We Made History troupe’s visit to Normandy Elementary School in Bay Village on 2/13/14)

http://www.cleveland.com/bay-village/index.ssf/2014/02/normandy_elementary_school_in.html

http://www.westlakebayvillageobserver.com/read/2014/02/18/history-lesson-brought-to-life-at-normandy

https://twitter.com/BayNormandy.

Normandy Principal Dan Sebring, far right, welcomed a host of former presidents and first ladies. Pictured, from left: Presidents William Taft, George Washington, James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant and Abe Lincoln; and first ladies Lucretia Garfield, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Todd Lincoln. by Julie Holland

The Garfields were treated to a lovely Christmas Tea on December 8, 2013 at the Sisters Tea Room (http://www.sisterstea.com/) in Mentor, OH.  President-elect and Mrs. James A. Garfield shared stories about their Christmas traditions with the 40 patrons, as well as anecdotes about their young children and life on their Mentor Farm.  They were delighted to answer questions, too!  The Sisters, Theresa and Julia(left), and their very skilled staff, prepared and served a typical 1880-style meal complemented by James Garfield’s favorite tea.

After experiencing an October blizzard...

 that postponed the Mount Rushmore Society’s presidential dinner, We Made History’s Dale Liikala returned to Rapid City, SD for “An Evening with William H. Taft” on Saturday, November 23, 2013.    The banquet went very well and a number of people thanked Mr. Taft  profusely for returning to Rapid City so they could learn more about our 27th President and 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  One attendee even sent a copy of the menu printed when President Taft visited Rapid City in 1911 to our Mr. Taft afterwards!  This annual event is a key fundraiser for the Mount Rushmore Society, a non-profit organization whose mission has been to “preserve, protect and promote” the Memorial since 1930.

Ed Haney and Debbie Weinkamer were honored to appear as the Garfields at the Mentor Christian Church for a fund raiser on October 19, 2013.  This was James and Lucretia Garfield’s church when they lived at their Mentor Farm in the late 1870s and early 1880s.  After the program, a fine spaghetti dinner was served under the direction of Pastor Cheryl Delaney’s husband, Fred.  Church Secretary Renee Simko led the group that decorated the church building with Garfield memorabilia ~ a very nice touch of nostalgia wherever one looked.   

 

Former First Ladies Mary Todd Lincoln & Lucretia R. Garfield  spent a delightful afternoon on board the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad on Sunday, September 29, 2013.  “Tea and Thyme” in Akron provided the delectable tea served to a sold-out crowd of 50 in the Lone Star dining car.  The widowed First Ladies provided a glimpse of their lives in the Executive Mansion and also revealed how they dealt with the loss of their husbands.

 

 (Photos by Lauren White Photography)

Ed Haney, Portrayer of James A. Garfield, received a commemorative brick in the walkway to Garfield Memorial Cabin

 

 in Moreland Hills, OH on the occasion of his milestone birthday ~ and to honor his 25 years of depicting our 20th U.S. President!  Descendants Tim Garfield and his wife Carla and granddaughters, Andrew Mizsak: Staff Coordinator - Friends of the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Katie & Jon Martin: President & Treasurer of the Moreland Hills Historical Society; and WMH colleagues and friends Debbie Weinkamer: portrayer of Lucretia Garfield, and Linda Laronge: portrayer of Eleanor Roosevelt were present for the unveiling ceremony.  Congratulations!

 

 


2013-09-22 General Garfield, Lincoln, Pvt. Artino, & Mrs. Garfield at The Grove(Photos by Elaine Maurer)


2013-09-22 The Garfields speak to the crowd at The Grove

An afternoon at “The Grove” in Mayfield Village, OH on Sunday, September 22, 2013, gave visitors a chance to go back in time to the Civil War era.  WMH’s General U.S. Grant and General & Mrs. James A. Garfield joined President Lincoln (portrayed by Mel Maurer) in sharing their recollections of the war.  The “Federal Rebels” provided music and exhibits were on display from the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, Soldiers & Sailors Monument Commission, James A. Garfield Camp No. 142 SUVCW, and the Mayfield Township Historical Society.

 

President Lincoln and two of his Union Generals from Ohio, Ulysses S. Grant and James A. Garfield,

shared their stories with more than 120 riders on Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for “Steam in the Valley” on Sunday, September 8, 2013.  The mighty NKP 765 locomotive pulled the train cars on this historic and educational excursion that travelled through the Cuyahoga Valley. The 16th US President and two of his best Civil War generals explained their military pasts, how the war affected them, and revealed how they crossed paths.  Their frustrations and accomplishments were discussed, as well as some of the humorous situations they encountered from 1861 to 1865.

 


2013-09-08 Akron Northside Station - General Grant, President Lincoln, & General Garfield by the steam locomotive

Tea on the Train with Eleanor Roosevelt!
August 4, 2013

 
Lauren White Photography

 

 


Lauren White Photography

It was a perfect day for Tea on the Train with Eleanor Roosevelt!  Ladies and gentlemen enjoyed high tea, thanks to Patti White’s “Tea & Thyme” from Akron, Ohio, while riding in the luxurious St. Lucie car on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad that departed from the Akron Northside Station.  Eleanor Roosevelt delighted the group with her life story, along with anecdotes about being “Eleanor Everywhere” and “First Lady of the World.”

 

Beyond the Veil


  photo by Jason Lea  

Mentor Library patrons discovered the 19th Century’s fascination with Spiritualism, séances, and premonitions through the program “Beyond the Veil,” presented for Monday University on June 3, 2013.  Widows (and former First ladies) Mary Todd Lincoln and Lucretia Garfield shared how these beliefs and practices affected their lives.

 

 

We Made History’s own John W. King, won the “Lincoln Look-Alike Contest” at the Shriver House Museum in Gettysburg, PA on July 3, 2013 as part of the town’s 150th Anniversary of the Battle.  He was judged the most genuine-looking Abraham Lincoln of the group of contestants by James Getty (renowned Lincoln actor & historian from Gettysburg), Mary Lincoln (portrayed by Linda Smith), and Lincoln artist Wendy Allen.

To read more about the contest and John King as Lincoln, please visit: 

http://www.fredericknewspost.com/arts_and_entertainment/arts_and_entertainment_topics/history/article_151ec5d9-957f-5793-8277-333747742291.html

http://www.eveningsun.com/gettysburg150/ci_23595372/lincoln-look-alike-winner-has-that-spark

http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/local/contest-draws-lincoln-look-alikes-to-gettysburg/article_8029dd9b-fae0-5ea5-af59-d455a222c1e8.html

 

Taken by Travis S. Pratt, staff photographer-Frederick News Post

 More than 50 members of Carlin's Battery D, along with other re-enactors from around the state, joined President & Mrs. Lincoln (John & Marian King) at Wood County Veterans Memorial Park on June 23, 2013 for Civil War activities and the commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of West Virginia’s statehood.  For more details, please see http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/575367.html.

 

 

George Washington spoke about the artist, engineer, and liberty-loving Thaddeus Kosciuszko – a Pole who helped America in our revolution against Great Britain from 1776 to 1784 – at the Polish American Cultural Club of Cleveland’s Re-Dedication Ceremony on Sunday, May 5, 2013.  The Kosciuszko statue, originally dedicated on May 7, 1905 near the Cleveland Museum of Art, had been safely crated during the museum’s recent renovation project.  The Polish community, including dignitaries , dancing children in colorful, traditional costumes, and teenagers reading poetry in their native tongue, participated in the event held on the steps to the 1916 entrance of the CMA.  “We Made History’s” Abraham & Mary Lincoln, James & Lucretia Garfield, and Eleanor Roosevelt joined with Washington to help bring history to life!

photo by Lukasz Waszczuk

 

photo by Lukasz Waszczuk


photo by Lukasz Waszczuk

photo by Lukasz Waszczuk

 

 

photo by Lukasz Waszczuk

 

photos by Lukasz Waszczuk

The American Library Association Public Programs Office chose the Aurora Historical Society to host “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition developed by the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office, with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The exhibition will tour the U.S. from October 2011 through the fall of 2015.  It will appear in Ohio only eleven times.  The exhibition was on display in AHS’s museum from February to April 2013.

     

 

     

       

     President & Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, President Ulysses S. Grant, and
President and Mrs. James A. Garfield were the keynote speakers at
 the
Aurora Historical Society’s Gala Opening event for the
Lincoln Exhibit on February 23, 2013.  They enjoyed meeting and
chatting with patrons during a reception featuring hors d’oveurs
and beverages that followed a tour of the exhibit.

 

 

 

Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucretia Garfield “crossed paths” at the Parma-Ridge Branch Library (CCPL) on April 24, 2013.  Attendees heard about
 marriage difficulties, mothers-in-law, and early self-esteem issues that both former First Ladies encountered.  One patron commented,
“It was so real – and conversational – that I didn’t want it to end!”


Photos by Nancy A. Weitendorf, Adult Public Services Librarian, Parma-Ridge Branch – CCPL

Photo by Nancy A. Weitendorf, Adult Public Services Librarian, Parma-Ridge Branch – CCPL

 

 

President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln greeted Atlas Cinemas – Great Lakes’ theater-goers in Mentor, Ohio on November 23rd and 24th for the showing of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” movie. Surprised theater patrons of all ages posed for photos with the 16th President and First Lady and chatted with them about the details of their lives.

 

Widow Lucretia Garfield met visitors in a turn-of-the-20th Century parlor at the Lake County Historical Society’s “Home for the Holidays” on November 30, 2012.  This new exhibit explains the Garfield family’s contributions to Lake County after President Garfield’s death in 1880.  The revolving exhibit will highlight different family members throughout 2013.

 

 

General James A. Garfield and wife Lucretia...

...read excerpts of their Civil War letters at Zion Lutheran Church in honor of Fairport Harbor, Ohio’s Bicentennial on Sunday, October 7, 2012.  The “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” with organ accompaniment,  was sung by all in attendance to open the program.  (Photos provided by Carla Vondrak, wife of General Garfield’s Great-Great-Grandson Tim Garfield.)

President Taft

President Taft (Dale Liikala) visited his birth site - now the William Howard Taft National Historic Site - in Cincinnati, OH on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20, 2012.  Rangers Ray Henderson and Kerry Wood rolled out the red carpet of hospitality.  Taft joined a Ranger-led group for a tour of the house and greeted many visitors as they arrived at the site.  

 

More than 40 were in attendance as the “Reluctant President” reminisced
about his early life and how it prepared him to become the Governor
of the Philippines, the 27th U.S. President, and finally Chief Justice
 of the Supreme Court.  He particularly enjoyed  watching the visitors’
 reactions! 

Children from 3 to 7 years old and their families met Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, and Theodore Roosevelt at the Chagrin Falls Branch Library on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 for the “Chautauqua-in-Chagrin: Meet the Presidents” program. 

The three Presidents shared stories about their youth and how they overcame difficulties to grow up to lead the United States.  Afterwards, the youngsters stayed for a presidential craft and movie.

 

 

 

The Solon Historical Society dedicated Solon's first Ohio Historical Marker at the Society's Museum grounds (33795 Bainbridge Rd.) on Sunday, July 22, 2012.  This is the 107th marker in Cuyahoga County and  1,407th in the state of Ohio.

2012-7-22- J.A.Garfield, Tim Garfield, Joe Baumann, Jay Garfield, Bob Schimitts  unveil Solon Historical Marker

An Ohio Historical Society representative, Solon Mayor Susan Drucker, Solon Historical Society’s President Bob Schimits, Curator Joe Baumann and other Solon H.S. board members participated in the unveiling and dedication ceremony. 

2012-7-22 Tim Garfield, J.A.Garfield, Dave Lintern, Carla Vondrak listen to Mayor Drucker.

President James A. Garfield, portrayed by Ed Haney, spoke about his various connections with Solon: teaching, preaching and other church activities, and family visits.  Also present were two living relatives of Garfield:  Great-Great Grandson Tim Garfield of Twinsburg, OH and Great-Great-Great Grandson James A. Garfield III (“Jay”) of Solon, OH. 

 

The local Dairy Queen provided ice cream treats to go along with the special

cake and lemonade refreshments afterwards.

 

President Taft was one of the last items on the agenda and arrived (with Secret Service protection) to "Hail to the Chief" and a standing ovation.  Members of the DMEA who wished, could have their picture taken with Mr. Taft for a $3.00 donation that went to DMEA's charity foundation.

 

The Delta-Montrose Electric Association’s (DMEA) annual meeting was held on Flag Day, June 14, 2012 at the Montrose (Colorado) Pavilion. President William H. Taft, portrayed by Dale Liikala, addressed the meeting about the South Canal hydroelectric project now under construction. The “real” President Taft had dedicated the Gunnison Tunnel a little more than 100 years before – a project that enabled the surrounding valley area to become a productive agricultural community, with the potential to generate hydropower.

      To see more photos of past performances, go to our "archive" site 

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We Made History- a group of living historical re-enactors who are more than impersonators of historical figures-they are serious portrayers of U.S. Presidents and First Ladies

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