(Columbia, Tenn. – Sept. 9, 2011) - - - Columbia State Community College will host “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition which opens Sept. 14 and runs through Oct. 28 at the John W. Finney Memorial Library located on the Columbia campus. This exhibition examines how President Abraham Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War – the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties and ultimately reinvented the Constitution and the promise of American life.
The grand opening of the exhibit will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22 and will feature two performances of “Meet Mr. Lincoln,” presented by Dennis Boggs, an award-winning Lincoln interpreter. The first performance begins at 10 a.m. and the second at 6:30 p.m. in the Cherry Theater located in the Waymon L. Hickman building located on the Columbia campus. A reception will be held in the Finney library at 4:30 p.m. and will feature a rendering of The Gettysburg Address by Boggs. Boggs was the first place winner of the National Abraham Lincoln Competition for best Lincoln interpreter and has appeared in several PBS documentaries as Lincoln. He will be available for photographs during the reception. The exhibition and performances are free and open to the public.
“We are delighted to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Kathy Breeden, library director at Columbia State. “As a new president, Abraham Lincoln was faced with enormous challenges. This exhibition shows how Lincoln struggled with issues of secession, slavery and civil liberties. Each section of the exhibit features information about a different aspect of Lincoln’s presidency. Most importantly, the exhibit helps visitors understand why Lincoln’s struggle with the Constitution still matters today.”
Although Lincoln is widely acknowledged as one of America’s greatest presidents, his historical reputation is contested. Was he a calculating politician willing to accommodate slavery, or a principled leader justly celebrated as the Great Emancipator? Rather than provide easy answers to these questions, the exhibition engages visitors by encouraging them to develop a better understanding of Lincoln’s struggle to reconcile his policy preferences with basic American ideals of liberty and equality. It also examines the Civil War as the nation’s gravest constitutional crisis.
The traveling exhibition is composed of informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Lincoln’s first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment.
The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the traveling exhibition, which was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.
For more information about this exhibition, contact the Columbia State library at (931) 540-2560 or by emailing email@example.com.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.