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Historians chatter about Lincoln visit to Kalamazoo

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The statue of Abraham Lincoln sits at the Lincoln Memorial ahead of celebrations commemorating the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth in Washington February 11, 2009. The 16th President of the United States was born February 12, 1809. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES)
The statue of Abraham Lincoln sits at the Lincoln Memorial ahead of celebrations commemorating the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth in Washington February 11, 2009. The 16th President of the United States was born February 12, 1809. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES)

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- As the movie "Lincoln" is released this weekend, local historians are talking about Abraham Lincoln's visit to Kalamazoo.

"On August 27, 1856, he came here to a rally held in Bronson Park," according to Kalamazoo and Western Michigan University historian Lynn Houghton. "They estimated there were anywhere from 8,000-15,000 people in Bronson Park."

Lincoln was not elected president until 1861, but had been a senator and was motivated enough by the issues that he wanted to serve more.

Houghton said he was very interested in the issues affecting America at the time.

"It was a huge rally in support of John C. Freemont, who was running for president that year," Houghton said of the rally. "There were a series of speakers - Lincoln wasn't the only one."

"Lincoln" opens in wide release at theatres all across the country this weekend.

To hear the entire Houghton interview from The Lori Moore Show, click here.

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