Thursday, September 29, 2011

Celebrating Abraham Lincoln in October

Two hundred years after his birth, Abraham Lincoln’s historical importance endures. A man of his time—humbly born, self taught, ambitious, and hardworking—he seized the opportunities of an expansive society to rise to the country’s highest office as a champion of free labor.
As president and commander in chief facing the dissolution of the United States, he led the nation to keep it “forever worthy of the saving,” orchestrating an end to slavery. A man for all times, Lincoln has become a global figure. People around the world take inspiration from the principles, words, and resolute leadership of the sixteenth President of the United States.
- From "Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man of All Times"
Throughout the month of October, we'll be celebrating and exploring the life and work of Abraham Lincoln, an extraordinary historical figure whose legacy is dominated by a few representative images: an Illinois log cabin; the preservation of the Union; his death in a theater. Who is the man behind these iconic stories? Through special exhibits, films, music, and programs, we'll be gaining a deeper understanding of the Great Emancipator.

Beginning Friday, October 7th, the Main Library will host a national traveling exhibit titled, "Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man of All Times." The exhibit, organized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, presents Lincoln's own words in speeches, letters, and proclamations to encourage a greater understanding of the President's life, accomplishments, and legacy. See this exhibit on display in the Dooley foyer from October 7th until November 1st.

"Civil War Redux," an exhibit of pinhole photography of Civil War re-enactments will also be on display at the Main Library during October. These photographs were captured by Richmond artist Willie Anne Wright using a style of photogtaphy from Lincoln's time.

Willie Anne Wright, 2nd Manassas: Women and Parasols, undated.
Stop by during First Friday festivities on Friday, October 7th between 6:30 and 9:00 to get an early look at these exhibits. From 6:30 to 7:30, you'll also hear music from Josiah Pearsall, who will be performing banjo songs from the mid-19th century.

There will be two other upcoming opportunities to hear music from Lincoln's time period. The Press Gang will perform music from the Civil War on Saturday, October 8th at the Main Library. You'll hear songs from both the North and the South. On Saturday, October 22nd, the Finnsbury Minstrel Group will perform songs by Stephen Foster, spirituals, and some of Lincoln's favorite music. The performances from The Press Gang and the Finnsbury Minstrel Group are both presented as part of the Gellman Room Concert series and both will start at 2 pm in the Main Library's Gellman Room.

For younger children, there will be a special Lincoln-themed storytime on Monday, October 17th at 3 pm in the Main Library's children's department. Kids will also get to make their own Stove Pipe Hat!

On Thursday, October 20th, from noon to 3 pm, join Michael Jones as he explores Lincoln's legacy in film during "Lincoln on Celluloid." Watch Young Mr. Lincoln and other films and afterward discuss what these movies say about Lincoln's place in American history.

How did the work of Lincoln affect your family history? Learn about genealogical research methods during an African-American genealogy workshop on October 29th from 1 to 3. The workshop is being taught by genealogy expert Pat Clark.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man of All Times, an inspiring and fascinating exhibit. We hope that you will have the opportunity to stop by to learn something new about Abraham Lincoln, maybe enjoy some American folk music, and spend some time learning about the story of our country. And did you know more books have been written about Abraham Lincoln than any other American? We've got some of those, too.

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