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home : arts, entertainment and events - archive : featured events July 27, 2015

11/5/2012 3:41:00 PM
Vachel Lindsay home to celebrate his 133rd birthday

SPRINGFIELD — Fans of author and artist Vachel Lindsay (or anybody who simply enjoys a party) can join the celebration of his 133rd birthday Saturday, November 10. The party at the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site includes cake and cider, crafts for the kids and silent movies.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children can make paper turtles inspired by Lindsay’s poem “The Little Turtle.” Everyone gets to enjoy some birthday cake and spiced cider or coffee. Tours of the historic home _ located at 603 S. Fifth Street, just south of the Executive Mansion _  take place throughout the day.

The Vachel Lindsay Repertory Group will read selections from his poetry at 11:30. Actors portraying Lindsay and his mother, Catharine Lindsay, will appear, too. Two silent movies discussed in Lindsay’s landmark book “The Art of the Moving Picture” will run during the afternoon. Charlie Chaplin’s “Soldier Arms” starts at 12:30, followed by D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance.”

The event is sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Vachel Lindsay Association.

The Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free public tours.     

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, a major American poet, was born November 10, 1879 at 603 S. Fifth Street in Springfield to Dr. Vachel Thomas Lindsay and Catharine Frazee Lindsay.  He graduated from Springfield High School and studied at Hiram College in Ohio, the Chicago Art Institute and the New York School of Art.  

Lindsay made three famous walking tours of the United States in 1906, 1908 and 1912, covering more than 2,800 miles.  On these journeys, Lindsay traded poems for food and shelter, earning him the title of “The Prairie Troubadour.”

Lindsay was catapulted to fame with the 1913 publication of his poem, “General William Booth Enters Into Heaven.”  Lindsay’s Springfield home was his creative center, and he returned there many times during his career. He cited his hometown and state more than 500 times in his publications. “The things most worth while are one’s own hearth and neighborhood,” said Lindsay.

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