National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition Opens Feb. 12, 2009, At The Library of Congress

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Library of Congress announces the opening of "With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition" on Feb. 12, 2009, in celebration of the 200th birthday of America's 16th president. The exhibit will be at the Library of Congress through May 9, 2009, after which it will travel to five U.S. cities.

"With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition" opens at the Library of Congress on Feb. 12, 2009, in celebration of the 200th birthday of America's 16th president, offering the public the opportunity to view rarely seen treasures from the Library's collections. (NOTE TO MEDIA: High-resolution images of select exhibit objects are available upon request.)

This major exhibition, made possible through the generous support of Union Pacific Corp., runs through May 9, 2009, after which it will travel to five U.S. cities.

"With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition" will chart Lincoln's growth from prairie lawyer to preeminent statesman and address the monumental issues he faced, including slavery and race, the dissolution of the Union, and the Civil War.

The exhibit will reveal Lincoln the man, whose thoughts, words, and actions were deeply affected by personal experiences and pivotal historic events. By placing Lincoln's words in a historical context, the exhibition will give visitors a deeper understanding of how remarkable Lincoln's decisions were for their time and why his words continue to resonate today.

The exhibition will draw on the vast and varied collections of Lincoln material in the Library and will include letters, photographs, political cartoons, period engravings, speeches, and artifacts. The actual grammar book studied by Lincoln in his effort to master English, the notes he prepared in advance of his debates with Senator Stephen Douglas, and the personal scrapbook he assembled of newspaper clippings of the debates bring this iconic figure to life.

Other items include campaign and election ephemera and such treasures as an autobiography which Lincoln supplied to admiring biographers, his penciled "Farewell Address" as he boarded the train from Springfield, Ill., his first and second Inaugural Addresses, the Bible upon which he took the oath of office on March 4, 1861, his unforgettable Gettysburg Address, and his impassioned letter to Albert Hodges in defense of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Military enthusiasts will have the opportunity to see the highly critical letter Lincoln wrote but never sent to Gen. George Meade following the Battle of Gettysburg, the signed commission of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant as Lieutenant General, several inquiring and sometimes reprimanding letters to Gen. George McClellan, and the letter of thanks to Gen. William T. Sherman for the capture of Savannah, Ga. The exhibition will include the Lincoln family Bible, a caned chair from the Lincoln and Herndon Law Office, daguerreotype photographs of the Lincoln family and the contents of Lincoln's pockets on the night he was assassinated. A seldom-seen exchange of letters during the 1860 presidential campaign between the Republican candidate and Miss Grace Bedell concerning the possible benefits of his growing a beard will be loaned to the exhibition. Aspiring poets will enjoy Lincoln's early attempts at this difficult art form, as well as Walt Whitman's Civil War diary and verse.

A companion volume, "In Lincoln's Hand: His Original Manuscripts With Commentary by Distinguished Americans," will feature original essays about the most important Lincoln documents, including the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln's Second Inaugural, by people such as writers John Updike, E.L. Doctorow, and Walter Mosley; Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush; Lincoln and Civil War scholars Drew Gilpin Faust, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and James McPherson; and actors Liam Neeson and Sam Waterston. The book, published by the Library of Congress with Bantam Dell, goes on sale Jan. 27, 2009.

An all-day Lincoln symposium March 4, 2009 (the 148th anniversary of Lincoln's first inauguration), at the Library of Congress will feature six award-winning scholars: William Lee Miller, James M. McPherson, Douglas L. Wilson, Lucas Morel, Harold Holzer, and Elizabeth D. Leonard.

The Library of Congress also will hold teacher institutes Feb. 27 and 28, March 3-5, March 27 and 28, and April 6-8 to equip educators from across the country to teach about Abraham Lincoln through the use of primary and Web-based materials. Participants will develop strategies and curriculum materials they can use in their school districts, schools and classrooms.

"With Malice Toward None" opens to the public from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2009, on the second floor of the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington D.C. Normal visitor hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, recommence the following day.

After the exhibit closes in Washington, it will travel to The California Museum in Sacramento, Calif. (spring/summer 2009); the Newberry Library in Chicago (fall 2009); the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis (winter/spring 2010); the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta (fall 2010); and the Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha, Neb. (winter 2011).

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. It is home to the collections of 23 U.S. presidents and some of the most extensive collections of Lincolniana in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library's rich resources can be accessed through its Web site at and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at

PR 08-199
ISSN 0731-3527


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