Chesterfield County Public Library’s Central branch will host “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a national traveling exhibition, from Aug. 10-Sept. 18. The exhibit explores Lincoln’s struggle to meet the constitutional challenges of the Civil War. On Saturday, Aug. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., opening day events will feature numerous free activities, including re-enactors, library docent tours, a historical presentation about President Lincoln’s visit to Richmond, and a screening of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.”
By the time Lincoln took office in 1860, seven states had already seceded from the Union. The exhibition vividly evokes the president’s struggle to resolve the United States’ most basic national questions during a time of war: Was the U.S. truly one nation, or was it a confederacy of sovereign states? How could a country founded on the belief that “all men are created equal” tolerate slavery? In a national crisis, would civil liberties be secure?
The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the exhibit with the help of 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.
Exhibition programming will also include an Aug. 27 panel discussion about Lincoln in film, and a Sept. 14 talk by Virginia Historical Society’s Andrew Talkov entitled “Who Freed the Slaves?” For more information about these programs, or to register, go to library.chesterfield.gov or call Central Library at 748-1603. Central Library is located at 9501 Lori Rd., Chesterfield.