Last month in Kentucky, “Parks & Pages”—a yearlong book club hosted by Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park—kicked off its 2020 series with Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave by Jennifer Fleischner. In a 21st-century twist, the monthly meetings are streamed live on Facebook, opening up participation to anyone interested regardless of geographic location. Local history buffs can attend in person and support future educational programs by purchasing the next club selection at the America’s National Parks™ store.
This year’s Parks & Pages theme is presidential first ladies, making Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly the perfect choice for the club’s first meeting. Ranger Lucy led the inaugural discussion, which touched on topics ranging from Mary Lincoln’s indulgent spending habits to Elizabeth Keckly’s association with Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis. Enthusiasm for Parks & Pages is high, and the group has already received attention from US News and World Report.
The next club meeting will be on Friday, February 28 at 3:00 pm EST. Visitors to the park will find the February choice, First Lady of the Confederacy: Varina Davis’s Civil War by Joan E. Cashin, for sale at the park store.
Image: Those aren’t empty seats—those are virtual participants! Ranger Lucy leads the book discussion on the Facebook Live feed. Photo: NPS.