Keystone presentations to kick off Lincoln exhibition

Luis Martinez, Entertainment Editor

Booth Library is hosting a Civil War exhibition titled “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” focusing on Abraham Lincoln’s presidency during the war.

The exhibition covers Lincoln’s handling of the southern states’ secession, slavery and the aftermath of the war.

Elizabeth Heldebrandt, the public relations director for Booth Library, said the keynote presentation would be the first of several planned presentations for the Lincoln exhibition.

“The Civil War was a time period in American history that is very unique,” Heldebrandt said. “Nothing’s happened before that or since then in U.S history that can be compared to your own nation being spilt in half.”

The presentation is called “Liberty, Security, History: Lessons from Lincoln in the Civil War” and will be given by Lynne Curry, an Eastern history professor.

“President Lincoln as leader of the country and commander-in-chief had some very unique conflicts and problems arise because of this,” Heldebrandt said. “He had to make a lot of bold decisions during that time period, some of which people believe went against the rights guaranteed in the constitution.”

Curry’s presentation will take a close look at the legal challenges Lincoln faced and also look into the Constitutional issues that rose as a result.

“This is the first one, and then we’ll have several others for the next four to six weeks,” Heldebrandt said. “This program that Dr. Curry will be presenting is a very general look; it goes hand-in-hand with what is presented at the exhibit.”

Heldebrandt said the other programs would focus more specifically on the people from the time period including Mary Todd Lincoln and Dred Scott.

“Dr. Curry’s programs, with her research and things she’s written about in the past, are very specific to this topic about what conflicts, decisions, controversies arose from President Lincoln and the decisions he made during the Civil War,” Heldebrandt said. “It really seems to encapsulate what we are representing in our exhibit, so we thought it would be a good one to lead off with just to give people a feel for what the exhibit is.”

The keynote presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the West Reading room in Booth Library. There will also be an opening reception before the presentation at 7 p.m., which will include an appearance by President David Glassman.

“We are very glad that he will be able to come and participate in what will be his first major exhibit since he’s taken over the helm here at Eastern,” she said.


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]