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On Feb. 11, 1861, president-elect Abraham Lincoln left Springfield for Washington, D.C., for the inauguration. On the same day, Jefferson Davis left his home in Vicksburg, Miss., for Montgomery, Ala., to accept the presidency of the Confederate states.
For this reason, Feb. 11 has been chosen as the start of the sesquicentennial celebration of the Civil War. Many states have formed official commissions, and Illinois, for its part, is making an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.
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