LECOMPTON, Kan. — Cloaked in a top hat, frock coat, pleated shirt and cravat, Paul Bahnmaier is on a frenetic campaign to thrust his 625-person hometown into the spotlight by heralding its seismic yet little-known place in antebellum history: The first step towardAbraham Lincoln’s election as president took place here.
Over the past couple of weeks, Mr. Bahnmaier, the earnest president of the Lecompton Historical Society, has contacted every local newspaper and television station in this eastern Kansas market, urging them to publicize this blue-collar bedroom community’s story. He is reaching out to about 10 national media outlets and enlisting his sister in Wisconsin to contact the media there.
Although his passion for his hometown’s history started before he was old enough to drive, Mr. Bahnmaier, 70, deemed this a timely opening for a full-court publicity blitz because of the recent release of the Steven Spielberg movie “Lincoln.”
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