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Press Release
February 5, 2009

National Archives Continues Year-Long Celebration of Lincoln’s Bicentennial in March

Special events, programs, and films celebrate important anniversary

Washington, DC…The National Archives continues its celebration of the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth in March with special programs, films, and a symposium on Lincoln scholarship. These events are free and open to the public and will be held in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC and at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

The National Archives Building is located on the National Mall at Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. The National Archives at College Park, MD is located at 8601 Adelphi Road. Both locations are fully accessible. National Archives Experience Exhibit Hours are 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily. After March 15, Exhibit Hours are 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., through Labor Day.

Wednesday, March 4, at noon
Film: The Great Comeback: How Abraham Lincoln Beat the Odds to Win the 1860 Republican Nomination
Noon, William G. McGowan Theater

In the fall of 1858, Abraham Lincoln appeared to be anything but destined for greatness. He was depressed over his loss to Stephen Douglas in the 1858 senatorial campaign and was taking stock of his life. In The Great Comeback, Gary Ecelbarger describes the journey of Abraham Lincoln from the last weeks of 1858 until the end of May in 1860, on the road to his unlikely Republican Presidential nomination. A book signing will follow the program.

Saturday, March 14, at noon
Film: The Prisoner of Shark Island
Noon, William G. McGowan Theater

A few short hours after President Lincoln has been assassinated, Dr. Samuel Mudd gives medical treatment to a wounded man who shows up at his door. Mudd has no idea that the president is dead and that he is treating Lincoln’ assassin, John Wilkes Booth. But that doesn’t save Dr. Mudd when the Army posse searching for Booth finds evidence that Booth has been to the doctor's house. Dr. Mudd is arrested for complicity and sentenced to life imprisonment, to be served in the infamous Shark Island. (1936, 95 minutes)

Saturday, March 21, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
The Latest in Lincoln Scholarship Symposium
National Archives at College Park, MD

The Symposium is free and open to the public. The symposium is sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Institute, Inc; the National Archives; the Foundation for the National Archives; the Illinois State Society of Washington, DC; and the generosity of individual donors. Lunch will be provided.

Sessions will include the following:

  • The Life of Abraham Lincoln: New Findings, Fresh Perspectives by Michael Burlingame, Professor Emeritus of History at Connecticut College, and author of the two-volume Abraham Lincoln: A Life;

  • Gustavus Vasa Fox and Abraham Lincoln: An Intimate Relationship by Ari Hoogenboom, Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and author of Gustavus Vasa Fox of the U.S. Navy: A Biography;

  • Lincoln at the Turning Point—From Peoria to the Presidency by Lewis Lehrman, chairman of The Lincoln Institute and co-founder of the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History and the Lincoln & Soldiers Institute;

  • Lincoln, the North, and Secession by Russell McClintock, author of Lincoln and the Decision for War: The Northern Response to Secession; and

  • The Conservative as Radical by James Oakes, author of The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics.

While the symposium is free of charge, advance registration is required. Register by e-mail; by mail, at Abraham Lincoln Institute, Inc., c/o John R. Sellers, 30333 Portobago Trail, Port Royal, VA 22535; or by phone, at 202-707-1085. Please provide contact information for each registrant, including e-mail and postal addresses, and day and evening phone numbers.

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 and the original 1850 census volume that lists Abraham Lincoln as an attorney in Springfield, Illinois.

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 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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