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Press Release
December 22, 2008

National Archives Celebrates Lincoln’s Bicentennial in February

Special Showing of the Original Emancipation Proclamation, Programs, and Films

Washington, DC…The National Archives will celebrate the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth in February 2009 with a special showing of the original Emancipation Proclamation, as well as programs, lectures and films. These events are free and open to the public and will be held at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, which is located on the National Mall at Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, and is fully accessible. National Archives Experience Exhibit Hours are 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily.

The Emancipation Proclamation!
**February 12-16, 2009 - Featured Document Display: The Emancipation Proclamation**

Thursday, February 12 through Monday, February 16, 2009
National Archives East Rotunda Gallery
In celebration of Lincoln's birthday and the Presidents' Day holiday, the National Archives will display the original Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln. The special display of the Emancipation Proclamation is free and open to the public.

Special hours: Open extended hours until 6:30 p.m. on February 14–16for viewing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing.

Saturday, February 7, 2009, noon to 3 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln Family Day
Noon to 3 pm, throughout the National Archives Experience

Join the National Archives Experience in celebrating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth with “hands-on” activities featuring the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, including:

  • Create Your Own “Presidential Proclamation” (Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery Lobby)
  • Archival Adventures (Boeing Learning Center)
  • Decipher Secret Telegrams Sent to the Union Army (Presidential Conference Room Lobby)
  • Listen to Stories About Abraham Lincoln, Especially for Younger Audiences (Madison Room)
  • Don a Top Hat and Beard and Step Up to the Podium to Declare the Gettysburg Address (Jefferson Room)
  • Build Your Own Log Cabin (Jefferson Room)
  • Play Games from the Lincoln Era and Create Your Own Whirligig (Jefferson Room)
  • Meet President Abraham Lincoln and First Lady Mary Lincoln
  • Listen to the Songs of Lincoln’s Era

Monday, February, 9, 2009, at noon
Lecture: Lincoln the Inventor
Noon, Washington Room

Abraham Lincoln is the only President to hold a patent. Jason Emerson, author of Lincoln the Inventor, is the first historian to treat the subject of Lincoln’s “device to buoy vessels over shoals” as more than a historical footnote. While detailing and examining this mostly unknown aspect of Lincoln’s life, Emerson also discusses how Lincoln’s penchant for inventions and inventiveness helped to shape his political beliefs. A book signing will follow the program.

Thursday, February 12, 2009, at 6 pm
Lecture and discussion with Senator George McGovern on Abraham Lincoln
6 pm, William G. McGowan Theater

Author discussion with political figure, veteran, and historian Senator George McGovern speaking on his book, Abraham Lincoln, the latest in the Times Books American Presidents series. Sean Wilentz, editor of this series, will join Senator McGovern in the discussion. A book signing will follow the program. Please note the time change from usual evening programs; this program begins at 6 p.m.

Saturday, February, 14, 2009, at noon
Film: Young Mr. Lincoln
Noon, William G. McGowan Theater

The film Young Mr. Lincoln follows a 10-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.” Stars Henry Fonda. (100 min., 1939)

Related Exhibition

Public Vaults permanent exhibition
The Public Vaults exhibition of the National Archives Experience features a Lincoln telegram, an image of Lincoln and his general after Antietam, a facsimile of all five pages of the Emancipation Proclamation, a letter congratulating Lincoln on his re-election, and an interactive exhibit about the Lincoln assassination and the Booth conspiracy.

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 online. To request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a public program please e-mail public.program@nara.gov or call 202-357-5000 two weeks prior to the event. To contact the National Archives, please call 1-866-272-6272 or 1-86-NARA-NARA (TDD) 301-837-0482.

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

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