In 1860, at a time when the nation was falling apart, the people of the United States elected Abraham Lincoln as the sixteenth President of the United States. By the time he took the oath of office, seven states had already seceded from the Union. This exhibition vividly evokes Lincoln’s struggle to resolve the basic questions that divided Americans at the most perilous moment in the nation’s history: Was the United States truly one nation, or was it a confederacy of sovereign and separate states?
In commemoration of presidential leadership and sesquicentennial of the ending of the Civil War, the Fountaindale Public Library is pleased to host a special traveling exhibit Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War. The exhibition explores how Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the war: the secession of Southern states, slavery, and wartime civil liberties. Visitors will leave the exhibition with a more complete understanding of Lincoln as president and the Civil War as the nation’s gravest constitutional crisis. This unique exhibit will be on display on the 3rd floor of the library from Wednesday, May 13 through Saturday, June 27, 2015. Entry into the exhibit is free and open to the public.
A wide range of programming will be featured during the exhibit run for all ages and interests:
Family Night with the Exhibit – Wednesday, May 20
Hands on History: Civil War Artifacts – 6:00 p.m.
A Family Evening with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln – 7:00 p.m.
Little Lincoln and Little Mary Todd Look Alike Contest – 8:00 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln: Commander in Chief – Sunday, May 31, 1:00 p.m.
Examine the life and politics of Abraham Lincoln in a program hosted by local historian David Overeem. Look beyond the myth of ‘Honest Abe’ and you will find a shrewd and decisive leader who’s political influence can be felt today.
Celebrating Lincoln Reception – Thursday, June 11, 7:00 p.m.
Enjoy a performance by Chris Vallillo as he treats you to the popular songs of the Lincoln era. Dessert will be served, so stop in and enjoy the music!
Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil War was organized by the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office and made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil War is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center. Free teaching and homeschooling resources for Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War are available online.
A Yankee Private’s Civil War is a special exhibit featuring the wartime experiences of Pvt. Robert Hale Strong of the 105 Illinois Infantry. The exhibit will detail Strong’s Civil War service in his own words from enlistment through his arrival home to his family’s Royce Road farm, located between present day Bolingbrook and Naperville. Copies of Strong’s book are available for checkout at the library.
Interested in visiting the final resting places of the Strong family and their early pioneer neighbors? Strong’s parents and several of his siblings featured in his memoirs are buried in Bolingbrook’s historic Boardman Cemetery. Visit the cemetery this Memorial Day for special tours and programs on Monday, May 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To register for exhibit programs or for more information, contact the Fountaindale Public Library Reference Desk at (630) 685-4176.