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Press Information
December 21, 2006

The National Archives Celebrates Lincoln’s Birthday in February

Special programs, speakers, events and document displays

Washington, DC…The National Archives will celebrate President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in February with special films, public programs, lectures and document displays. These events are free and open to the public and will be held at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., which is located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW, and is fully accessible.

Films

Meet Mr. Lincoln
Friday, February 16, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater

Using thousands of archival photographs, woodcuts, drawings, engravings, and posters, this 1959 NBC television program tells Abraham Lincoln’s story from his birth in a log cabin to his assassination at Ford’s Theater in 1865. Presented by The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film in partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Institute. (60 minutes.)

Family Film—Young Mr. Lincoln
Saturday, February 17, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater

Young Mr. Lincoln, presented in partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Institute and in conjunction with Cultural Tourism DC’s "Warm Up to a Museum" campaign, follows a ten year period in Lincoln’s life before he became known to his nation and the world. From his boyhood days to his early law practice, director John Ford tells the story of the man who would eventually become known as "The Great Emancipator." This film, which stars Henry Fonda, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1940. (100 min., 1939)

Programs

An American Conversation with Tom Wheeler
Thursday, February 8, at 7 P.M., William G. McGowan Theater

Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Presidential historian Richard Norton Smith will host an American Conversation with author Tom Wheeler. The discussion will focus on Mr. Wheeler’s book, Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War. Mr. Wheeler’s book details the communications transformation that occurred during Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency. Lincoln led a divided United States during a period of technological and social revolution. Among the many modern marvels that gave the North an advantage was the telegraph, which Lincoln used to stay connected to the forces in the field. Tom Wheeler is president of the Foundation for the National Archives and a partner with Core Capitol Partners. Richard Norton Smith is a historian, biographer, and nationally recognized authority on the American Presidency.

From the Vaults: Lincoln’s Telegrams
Friday, February 9, at noon, Jefferson Room

Join archivist Trevor Plante as he highlights a variety of Lincoln Civil War–era telegrams in the National Archives. The presentation will include some of the telegrams featured in the book by Tom Wheeler, Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War, as well as some telegrams issued immediately following Lincoln’s assassination. This program is presented in partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Institute.

Becoming Free in the Cotton South
Wednesday, February 21, at noon, Jefferson Room

Author Susan O’Donovan will discuss her new book, Becoming Free in the Cotton South, which challenges our most basic ideas about slavery and freedom in America. Instead of seeing emancipation as the beginning or the ending of the story, O’Donovan explores the perilous transition between these two conditions, offering a unique vision of both the enormous changes and profound continuities in black life before and after the Civil War.

Featured Document Displays in the East Rotunda Gallery

Lincoln telegram, February 1–15, 2007
An original message, handwritten by President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, DC, and transmitted via telegraph to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in City Point, VA.

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, February 16–19, 2007
President Lincoln issued this milestone proclamation on September 22, 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, announcing that slaves in those states or parts of states still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be declared free. It was the first formal notification of President Lincoln’s intentions regarding emancipation of the slaves. The final Emancipation Proclamation, which includes some of the text from the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, was issued on January 1, 1863.

Related National Archives "Know Your Records" Programs

All programs are open to the public and are free unless otherwise noted.

On the Road to Freedom: Pre–Freedmen’s Bureau Records, 1862–64
Tuesday, February 6, at noon, Room G-24, Research Center
(Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)

Genealogy archives specialist Rebecca Sharp will examine records created by wartime superintendents of freedmen that shed light on the experiences of African Americans during the Civil War. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, on Thursday, February 8, at noon).

Using Federal Records for African American Genealogical Research
Saturday, February 17, 10:15 A.M.–1:15 P.M., Jefferson Room

Reginald Washington, staff archivist, will give a workshop on using Federal records for African American genealogical research. He will discuss census records, military service and pension files, Freedmen’s Bureau records, and other records. Reservations are required, and a fee of $20 is payable by cash or check at the door. Call 202-357-5333.

Federal Reports Relating to Civil Rights in the Post–World War II Era (Reference Information Paper (RIP) 113
Tuesday, February 20, at noon, Room G-24, Research Center
(Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)

Archivists Walter Hill and Lisha Penn will discuss their work on RIP 113, which provides descriptions of the records of Federal agencies, commissions, and courts that formulated civil rights guidelines, programs, and judicial decisions between 1945 and 1981. Penn will cover records of the Justice, Labor and Commerce Departments dealing specifically with records about the integration of the University of Alabama; the murders of Civil Rights workers Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner; and the problems that African Americans experienced in the South while registering to vote. Hill will give a historical overview of the modern Civil Rights era and will cover Congressional and Supreme Court records. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, on Thursday, February 22, at noon.

Electronic Records for Genealogy
Tuesday, February 27, at noon, Room G-24, Research Center
(Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)

Lynn Goodsell will offer an introduction to electronic ("digitally born") records of interest to genealogists and how to access the records online via the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) resource. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, on Thursday, March 1, at noon).

From the Records Book Group
Wednesday, February 21, at noon, Room G-24, Research Center
(Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)

The From the Records Book Group will discuss Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Home, by Matthew Pinsker. This free discussion is open to staff and the public. Please check the Archives Shop (202-357-5271) for book availability and a special discount for book group participants.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

To verify the date and times of the programs, the public should call the Public Programs Line at: (202) 357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events on our web site. To contact the National Archives, please call 1-866-272-6272 or 1-86-NARA-NARA (TDD) 301-837-0482.

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