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Liberty vs. Tyranny

Sun, MICA History Book Cover President Lincoln’s Speech at MICA 147 Years Ago, his only appearance in Baltimore as President

Posted 04.18.11 by MICA Communications

Center Market Building

BALTIMORE--On April 18, 1864 Abraham Lincoln made his only appearance as President in Baltimore at MICA's (then Maryland Institute) former building at East Baltimore Street and Market Place.

Speaking at the Ladies' State Sanitary Fair, an event held to benefit wounded Union troops on the eve of the three year anniversary of the Pratt Street riots, Lincoln spoke to thousands within the Maryland Institute's Great Hall.

His address began with a reference to the 1861 riots when federal troops were attacked on their way to Camden Station: "Calling to mind that we are in Baltimore, we cannot fail to note that the world moves. Looking upon these many people, assembled here, to serve, as they best may, the soldiers of the Union, it occurs at once that three years ago the same soldier could not so much as pass through Baltimore. The change from then till now, is both great and gratifying."

The Great Hall at the Maryland Institute had in the past been host to other significant national events like the 1952 Democratic National Convention, and in 1960, the first visit of the Japanese Embassy to the United States. Lincoln's speech that evening at the Maryland Institute would be his last while alive as he was assassinated just one year later.