Ankrom to give Thursday talk about Stephen A. Douglas as museum celebrates renovation

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Reg Ankrom | Photo courtesy of Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum

QUINCY – The Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum, 128 N. Fifth, will have its first talk in its upcoming program series, “History Happy Hour,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16.

A reception for the inaugural talk, titled “Stephen A. Douglas: American Apostle or Apostate?”, will have a reception at 5 p.m. The museum will remain open until 7 p.m.

The program’s inaugural speaker will be Reg Ankrom, a member of the museum’s advisory board and author of a multi-volume, nationally praised biography of Douglas, known as the “Little Giant.” A brief question and answer session will follow Ankrom’s talk.

“We have been very pleased with the launch of our newly renovated facility, and our History Happy Hour continues the mission of providing this invaluable history,” Scott Giltner, a professor of history at Culver-Stockton College and a member of the museum’s advisory board, said in a press release. “We look forward to Reg’s program and continuing these engaging talks into 2024.”

President Lincoln wept when Douglas died on June 1, 1861, and the nation mourned. The president ordered flags flown at half-staff and black bunting hung at the White House and federal buildings. Dozens of U.S. Senators and Congressmen lamented Douglas’s death. In Illinois, legislators eulogized him and funded a towering granite obelisk to memorialize him. The honor of the man honored in his own day is now tarnished.

The public is welcome. There is no cost to attend. Donations to the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum will be accepted. For more information, visit the official website at

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays throughout November. The museum will be open daily beginning in December.

“We are excited to launch our History Happy Hour series at the LDDM,” said Iris Nelson with the museum’s advisory board. “We are very proud of the newly re-launched facility and its exhibits. We think these talks will provide ongoing engagement and awareness of the museum while providing important contextual information about Lincoln and Douglas from renowned historians and researchers.”

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