2013-10-31 / Local & State

Honor Lincoln On 100th Anniversary Of Dedication Of Lincoln Highway


A hundred years ago, the practice of trick-or-treating, or by the other names that it can be called, had not yet gained popularity in the United States. Nevertheless, there were many different ways that communities sought to ritualize the eve of All Hallows Day, with the aim of commemorating the souls of dearly departed saints and loved ones.

Towns often celebrated with bonfires and decorating with red, white, and blue bunting and American flags. It just so happened that the Lincoln Highway Association chose October 31, 1913, to dedicate the transcontinental Lincoln Highway to the memory of President Abraham Lincoln for the American people.

In preparation for the celebration, the October 26, 1913, issue of The San Francisco Chronicle, wrote: “It is the idea of the boosters of the transcontinental motorway that the dedication be a sort of spontaneous expression of gratification and it has been left to each city and town along the route of the proposed highway to devise and carry out its own plan of celebration.”

The states along the route devised their own celebrations for the Lincoln Highway’s dedication to the memory of Abraham Lincoln in 1913. In Wyoming, Gov. Carey’s proclamation stated: “It is thought especially fitting that on the evening of October 31st there should be an old-time jollification to include bonfires and general rejoicing; this for the purpose of impressing upon the people and especially the younger generation – the services and unselfish life of Lincoln, and for the further purpose of painting a big picture so far as amusements are concerned of the highway which is to cross our state.”

Gov. Oddie of Nevada wrote in his 1913 proclamation,

“Friday the 31st day of October, by statute a legal holiday, is the 49th anniversary of the admission of Nevada into the Union – the only state admitted during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. It happens that on the evening of this day, in all the cities and towns of all the states through which the proposed Lincoln Highway will pass, public services will be held, celebrating the naming of the route.”

In Illinois in 1913, towns celebrated with red, white and blue patriotic decorations and citizens across the state flew their American flags on Halloween.

In Pennsylvania, not far from the Lincoln Highway, The Reading Times reported on October 30, 1913, that the town of Hamburg was preparing for its annual Halloween parade: “The citizens are anticipating with great pleasure the King Frost carnival on Friday, Oct. 31. The largest Halloween parade in the history of the town will be held, when hundreds of masqueraders will be in line. Clubs will be present from different sections of Berks and Schuylkill counties. There will be three divisions. One will be made up entirely of floats, which are now being prepared. The automobile parade will be the largest seen in this section of the state. The entire town will be elaborately decorated.”

To honor the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway Association’s dedication of the Lincoln Highway as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln for the people of the United States, fly your flag on October 31, 2013. Tell your neighbors to fly their flags on October 31, too. Perhaps take some time out in between answering the door for trick-or-treaters to remember and think about our President Abraham Lincoln that day.

More information, visit: http://illinoislincolnhighwaya ssociation.org/ or call the Lincoln Highway Association National Tourism Headquarters in Franklin Grove at: 815-456-3030.

Return to top