Discover the Drama of Our Nation’s Darkest Days in the National Constitution Center’s New Lincoln Exhibition

PHILADELPHIA, May 26 /PRNewswire/ — The story of America’s darkest days – when the country was tearing itself apart over the issue of slavery and a wartime president was suppressing civil liberties – is a gripping and largely unknown drama. On display June 10 through November 4, 2005, the National Constitution Center’s new exhibition, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” will take visitors along a tense, exciting reconstruction of how President Abraham Lincoln succeeded in saving the nation during this time of unparalleled turmoil.

The Center’s first new exhibition since opening on July 4, 2003, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” has been made possible by a $1 million grant from Lincoln Financial Group as part of its 100th anniversary celebration.

Developed in partnership with The Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the exhibition is presented in cooperation with the congressionally chartered Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” is a 2,500-square-foot exhibition that highlights the three constitutional crises which Lincoln faced as President: secession, slavery and civil liberties during the Civil War. While staying true to the Center’s signature combination of fun, interactive elements, artifacts, text, photographs, and more, this exhibition explores how Lincoln met the enormous challenge of the Civil War and why his very human struggle still matters to us today. From families to Civil War buffs and history scholars, everyone is sure to be engaged by this new exhibit.

As the first interactive museum on the Constitution’s history and contemporary relevance, the National Constitution Center is uniquely positioned to present this story in a fresh and compelling way. “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” features more than 100 images, historical documents and artifacts from The Lincoln Museum and other nationally prominent institutions, incorporated into a variety of innovative and interactive exhibit formats. In addition, Lincoln’s voice – excerpts from his writings and speeches, as recorded by acclaimed actor Sam Waterston – will enable visitors to hear first-hand his thoughts on issues such as equality, slavery, freedom, democracy, justice and the Constitution’s rule of law.

The exhibition is organized into seven areas: The Impending Crisis, Meet Mr. Lincoln, Presidential Oath of Office, Crisis of Secession, Crisis of Slavery, Crisis of Civil Liberties, and Lincoln’s Legacy: The Gettysburg Address In His Time and Ours. Through media and interactive elements, visitors will hear Lincoln being sworn in as President, view Civil War battles and Lincoln portraits through a replicated 1860s box camera, play a genuine 1862 board game called “The Secession Game,” vote in the 1864 election, experience a replicated jail cell for citizens arrested for dissent or disloyalty and decide their fates, and more!

The National Constitution Center is open seven days a week, and admission is $9 for adults and $7 for seniors and children ages 4-12. Group rates are available. For tickets, call 215.409.6600 or visit http://www.constitutioncenter.org/.

To augment the exhibition, the Center will present special programs for visitors, including daily gallery walks and monthly Lincoln Family Fun Days. Sponsored by Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Lincoln Family Fun Days will give kids the opportunity to participate in family-oriented activities that complement the exhibit. Held one Saturday a month, Lincoln Family Fun Days are free and do not require museum admission tickets.

After its showing at the Constitution Center, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” will be on display at The Lincoln Museum from February through June 2006, and the Connecticut Historical Society from July through December 2006. There are also plans for additional showings across the country.

The National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch Street on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution and its relevance to Americans’ daily lives. The museum dramatically tells the story of the Constitution from Revolutionary times to the present through more than 100 interactive, multimedia exhibits, film, photographs, text, sculpture and artifacts, and features a powerful, award- winning theatrical performance, “Freedom Rising.” For information, call 215.409.6600 or visit http://www.constitutioncenter.org/.

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