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Press Release

September 19, 2017

Contact: Steve Hawkins
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-0754

“Lincoln and Literacy”: Abraham Lincoln and Former Governor Frank Keating at the Oklahoma History Center

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center is proud to host “Lincoln and Literacy,” a program focused on childhood literacy, on Monday, October 9, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. The event will feature former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and historical interpreter Fritz Klein portraying Abraham Lincoln.

The program will begin in a conversational setting with President Lincoln and Governor Keating discussing the importance of literacy. Governor Keating also will present his children’s book, “Abraham,” which follows the life of Abraham Lincoln from boyhood to his presidency. Keating describes the young Lincoln as a hard worker who was consumed by his desire to read and learn. At 7:15 p.m., Klein as Lincoln will tell stories of growing up in the early part of the 19th century and how his self-taught literacy helped him to achieve his dreams and aspirations. Immediately following, Governor Keating will host a book signing in the Devon Great Hall.  

Admission is $10 for Oklahoma Historical Society members and $20 for the general public. Tickets may be purchased in person at the History Center or by telephone at 405-522-0765. There is no reserved seating, so early arrival is recommended. The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. in Oklahoma City.

Fritz Klein of Springfield, Ill., has been an actor and speaker for many years. He was first asked to portray Abraham Lincoln for a small, local celebration during the bicentennial year. Now a full-time actor and a member of the National Speakers Association, he has had the opportunity to travel the world portraying Lincoln on stage, in feature films, documentaries and for professional speaking engagements. Klein has appeared at the Oklahoma History Center numerous times, both as a solo performer and with the Rushmore Four.

Governor Frank Keating was Oklahoma’s 25th governor, serving two terms from 1995 through 2002. After graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1966, he received a law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1969. Keating held positions with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and served as assistant district attorney in Tulsa. Keating was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from District 70 in 1973–1974, and then served as a state senator representing District 38 from 1975 to 1981. During his tenure in the senate, he became minority leader. In 1981 he became U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma. From 1986 to 1988 he served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury and in 1988–1989 as associate U.S. attorney general before moving into the position of general counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1991–1993. He is the author of “Will Rogers: An American Legend,” which received the Golden Spur Award of the Western Writers of America as well as three children’s books on three American presidents: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

This program is sponsored in part by SONIC, America’s Drive-In.

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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