• fog flows through Cumberland Gap

    Cumberland Gap

    National Historical Park KY,TN,VA

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  • No Cave Tours or Hensley Tours on September 27

    There will be no Gap Cave or Hensley Settlement tours offered on September 27, 2014 due to special Heritage Walk program. For more information please call the park visitor center at (606) 248-2817, extension 1075.

  • Sugar Run Trail Closed to Horses

    The Sugar Run Trail is temporarily closed to horse use due to the number of fallen trees as a result of recent storms. The trail is still open for hikers, but hikers should use caution.

  • Back the Bears!

    Support the park's "Back the Bears" campaign and help keep our bears wild and safe! More »

  • Cave Tour Alert!

    White Nose Syndrome is a disease that is killing bats in great numbers and has been found in park caves. While visiting Gap Cave please do not wear or bring anything that has been in other caves. Skylight Cave is currently closed.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Celebrates Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial

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Date: February 20, 2009
Contact: Martha Wiley, (606) 248-2817, extension 1051

This year marks the Bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, born on February 12, 1809 in relative obscurity in central Kentucky. He is arguably the most important President in the history of this nation by virtue of the crisis of disunion that faced him when he took office as the 16th President of the United States on March 4, 1861.

The National Park Service has the honor of preserving and managing several areas that are both directly and indirectly related to the life and Presidency of Abraham Lincoln – places such as the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Kentucky, Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois, and Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park also has the distinction of being associated with Abraham Lincoln – both his father and mother traveled through the Gap as small children with their parents in the late 18th century. To commemorate this historic journey and Lincoln’s formative years in Kentucky, the park is presenting “How the Challenges of Frontier Kentucky Life Shaped the Character of Abraham Lincoln,” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 1st, at the visitor center auditorium.

Sandy Brue, Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace in Hodgenville, Kentucky, will give the program. “The program will discuss, with power point illustrations, specific Kentucky frontier life experiences of young Abraham Lincoln that influenced his later polices and politics,” she explained. “Recent research reveals that Abraham Lincoln was very interested in his family genealogy, planned to visit the family homeland in England after his presidency, and was profoundly influenced by the story of his Grandfather Abraham, his name sake, who was shot and killed by a Native American while our president's father, Thomas, watched. Young Lincoln was surrounded by slavery while living in KY and always held a hatred of it. From hard work to scholarship, Lincoln's life was a complex weave of experiences that molded him into the man who could hold the country together through the Civil War.”

In addition, the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum will have a small exhibit in the second floor lobby of the park visitor center. Entitled “Mountain Fortress,” the exhibit will tell the story of the Civil War action in the Cumberland Gap and Lincoln’s interest in recognizing the loyal people of east Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky.

The NPS has developed a web site for the public that will help provide a better understanding and appreciation for Lincoln.

Log on to the “Celebrate the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s Birth” website to learn of the many special places managed by the National Park Service that commemorate the life of Lincoln. The web site includes information and web links to books, photographs and documents related to Lincoln, as well as a link to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Did You Know?

Pioneers cross Cumberland Gap

Between 1775 and 1810 some 300,000 settlers crossed Cumberland Gap and began settling the land west of the Appalachians. These brave pioneers were following dreams of prosperity in the wilderness of Kentucky.