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Celebrate Carl Sandburg’s 136th Birthday at the Elmhurst Historical Museum on January 5

This article orginally appeared in the Chicago Tribune Bulletin Board

Carl Sandburg would be turning 136 years old in January. Considering his many accomplishments and contributions to American culture, it seems like a perfect opportunity to honor Illinois’ own Prairie Poet.

On Sunday, January 5, 2014, the Elmhurst Historical Museum celebrates Carl Sandburg’s life, legacy and 136th birthday with music, cake and fun for the whole family. The party takes place from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. at the Elmhurst Historical Museum, located at 120 E. Park Ave. in Elmhurst. The event is free and no reservations are required.

The afternoon will include two lively half-hour concerts by folk singer Bucky Halker (2:30 and 3:30 p.m.) featuring selections from Sandburg’s American Songbag. The Songbag is one of Sandburg’s major contributions to American folk history, a project he worked on exhaustively during the era he lived in Elmhurst and worked in Chicago (from approximately 1919 until 1928).

Bucky Halker is a historian and folk, rock and alt-country musician with ten albums to his name including Folksongs of Illinois and The Ghost of Woody Guthrie. Halker has toured extensively and presented hundreds of music-history programs throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. He currently serves as director of Company of Folk, a non-profit organization that promotes folk and ethnic arts in the Upper Midwest through research and public programs.

In addition to the concert, ongoing kid-friendly exhibit tours in the museum’s first floor gallery will be available throughout the afternoon. And of course, birthday cake will be served at 3:00 the museum’s Education Center. This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.
Sandburg’s 136th Birthday Party is presented in conjunction with the Elmhurst Historical Museum’s current exhibit, Carl Sandburg in Elmhurst, which is open through April 20, 2014 on Tuesday through Sunday from 1 until 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Don’t miss the chance to celebrate one of America’s literary greats, a true Midwest original. Happy birthday, Carl!
For more information and a listing of additional programs planned throughout the exhibit’s run, visit or call the Elmhurst Historical Museum at 630-833-1457.