Former President and First Lady Visit Long Drain School
On Thursday, April 20, President Abraham Lincoln and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln visited Long Drain School. Students in grades fifth through eighth, and several students from Hundred High School, were able to meet them. The couple delighted the audience with stories about the people and events that influenced their lives. Through engaging conversation they spoke about their youth, education, the struggles of the Civil War, and their personal lives in Springfield and Washington D.C.
Michael Krebs has portrayed Lincoln for various occasions throughout the United States since 1994. He and Debra Ann Miller take great pride in taking “Meeting the Lincolns” to schools throughout the Midwest. As producer of “With Lincoln Productions,” an artist ensemble, Krebs has appeared at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, New Salem Historic Site, Hoover Presidential Library, Gerald Ford Museum, Harold Washington Library, Chicago’s Department of Tourism, Indiana, Minnesota and Chicago Historical Societies, Gettysburg, and an extended run in Chicago. He appears in Conspiracy on The History Channel, Lincoln-Douglas Debates on C-SPAN, Mr. Lincoln’s Virtual Library at Library of Congress loc.gov. Like Mr. Lincoln, he stands 6’4″ without his boots.
Debra Ann Miller has accompanied Mr. Krebs into hundreds of schools, museums and libraries throughout the U.S. since 1998, including the Lincoln Inauguration Sesquicentennial events on March 5, 2011 in Washington DC for inaugural swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol and banquet at Willard Hotel. Other venues include return performances at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Chicago History Museum, and New Salem Historic Site to name a few. Miller’s ability to mix with the public in the character of Mary Todd Lincoln is a strong part of With Lincoln Productions’ success. She is an associate company member of Terra Mysterium Theatre and has performed with several theatre companies in the Chicago area. In addition to Mrs. Lincoln, Ms. Miller tours the country as Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott and Dolly Madison.
Students were able to experience the portrayal of one of the nation’s most famous Presidents. Kreb’s approach is to strip away the myth to reveal the inner strength and charm of his character. Lincoln was famous for his sense of humor and use of sarcasm. From the vast richness of his life, he could speak pointedly of personal, professional, and political issues. Rumors of a disastrous family life, his own bouts of melancholy, and stories of his wife’s instability are paramount to Lincoln’s intrigue. Thousands of books and papers have been written about this remarkable man who was as much a poet as he was a politician.
The ability to acquire the Lincolns for this special presentation at Long Drain School is fully attributed to the kindness of Dr. Robert Watterson, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education, WVU College of Education and Human Services. Dr. Watterson has been a friend to Long Drain School for many years. He has invited the students to several educational events, including the following:
Fall of 2016 – Negro Leagues Beisbol was developed to honor and explore the connections of African American baseball history to Hispanic cultures, communities, and countries. Students were able to read a book about Roberto Clemente and his life on and off the baseball field as well as tour the exhibit provided by Dr. Watterson.
Fall 2015 – Anne Frank: A History for Today is a specially designed and created traveling exhibit, created by the Anne Frank Center USA , used to educate visitors of all ages about the dangerous consequences of intolerance to all communities. This was also a special exhibit LDS students were permitted to tour thanks to Dr. Watterson.
Fall 2014 – The Wisdom of the Ages Athenaeum: A Rare Book Exhibit, The Remnant Trust made available to the general public at WVU, a world class collection of manuscripts, first and early edition works, for use in original form. Collections of this magnitude and quality are found deep in the archives of prestigious institutions, under lock and key and accessible only to a privileged few, and LDS students were among that select group.
Fall 2012 – The CDCE invited Marion Blumenthal-Lazan to West Virginia University to speak about her unforgettable memoire, Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story that recalls the devastating years that shaped her childhood. In preparation for this event, copies of Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story were provided to participating fifth grade classes and teachers, along with teaching guides and vocabulary lists to aid in the learning process. Students and their teachers were then invited to meet the author and hear her presentation.
Dr. Watterson and the CDCE provided LDS school all these wonderful opportunities for our students at no cost. All materials were provided to LDS and the students were transported to Morgantown to see these events by Wetzel County Schools.