Presidents’ Day celebration a smash with kids

President Abe Lincoln, played by Arthur Bennett, arrives at the Whaling Museum

The Museum’s first annual Presidents’ Day Birthday Celebration was a big hit with kids today. The event, which

Olivia Quintin carefully completes her patriotic project

 wrapped up at 2pm, attracted hundreds of children from across southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. President Abraham Lincoln was the official guest of honor. Played by Arthur Bennett, a retired English teacher and a long-time a volunteer with New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, President Lincoln read stories and presented children with his official portrait, a bright copper penny.

‘Honest Abe’ also posed for pictures and enjoyed birthday cake with the children after the crowd, which packed the Jacobs Family Gallery, sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President!” Multiple craft tables offered many activities to make and take home, including sailors’ valentines, and patriotic picture frames.

A scavenger hunt for images related to presidents was held throughout the museum and had children and their parents exploring its 20 sprawling galleries.

In the Cook Memorial Theater, special programming was also offered.

“I haven’t had this much fun since the last time I visited New Bedford in 1848,” Mr. Lincoln declared.

President Lincoln gives out his official portrait, a penny

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