Doris Kearns Goodwin gives Lincoln lecture

November 19, 2012 by  

On November 15, the Seward House Historical Museum hosted speaker Doris Kearns Goodwin, who lectured before a sold out auditorium in Auburn High School. The lecture came a day before the nationwide release of Spielberg’s latest, and critically acclaimed, film, ‘Lincoln’.

The film prominently features William H. Seward, Lincoln’s U.S. Secretary of State and a dedicated abolitionist who shaped many of Lincoln’s policies. In fact, Spielberg spoke with Goodwin and decided to base much of his film on her book about Seward, prior to the book’s actual release.

This may seem like a clever marketing plan, but the incredibly perfect timing of the event was actually an accident. The museum did schedule Goodwin to speak at around this time, knowing that Spielberg’s film was slated for an end of the year release. Having the film’s release bumped up to right after Goodwin’s lecture, however, was sheer luck.

Goodwin is a famous Lincoln biographer and her lecture was scheduled in order to raise funds for the museum. She won the the Pulitzer in 1995 for her biography of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and she is also an ardent Red Sox supporter. The lecture began at 7:00 pm and had roughly 950 attendees. Tickets for the event were $50. Some history buffs were also able to purchase $75 VIP tickets for a 5:00 pm book signing and meeting with Goodwin.

Given the success of the lecture, there is little doubt that the museum had contacted printing companies to create flyers for the promotion of the event. The good timing most certainly drew more interest, but locals in Auburn, Liverpool, and Syracuse had to be informed that the event was happening at all.