Las Cruces – Branigan Cultural Center announces that it has been selected as one of forty institutions nationwide to host "Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America." The world-class traveling exhibit, organized by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, will be in Las Cruces November 20 - December 18, 2009. The next nearest stops for the exhibit are in Dallas, Denver, and the Los Angeles area.
"Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America" was created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of America's greatest presidents. The "We, the People" program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency, provided major financial support for the exhibition and accompanying programs. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and the History Channel provided additional financial and in-kind support.
The exhibit covers Lincoln's childhood, his self-education, his careers as a surveyor and lawyer, his family life, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the 1860 Presidential election, the Civil War, the 13th Amendment, the Emancipation Proclamation, his assassination, and other important periods and events in his life. The reproduction artifacts on display, all modeled from originals in the Presidential Library and Museum, include: Lincoln's favorite books; his son Tad's toy cannon; the nameplate from his Springfield home; his stovepipe hat, which he used like a briefcase to hold important papers; a Presidential campaign banner; an axe that Lincoln used to chop wood; the bloody gloves found in Lincoln's pocket the night of his assassination; and many other unique and interesting items.
Abraham Lincoln, the son of a subsistence farmer, came of age during a dramatic transformation in America's economic life. Like many of his contemporaries, he embraced a new emphasis on personal initiative, risk-taking, and ambition. He was only 22 when he left his family home to find his own way. After enduring a series of personal failures in business, he became a prosperous attorney, devoted husband and father, successful politician, and, finally, the 16th President of the United States. While Lincoln benefited from close association with a number of powerful friends, his own talents and ambitions combined with hard work and a dedication to self-improvement to produce a unique American specimen - the self-made man.
The American Library Association of Chicago and the Tribeca Film Institute of New York made strong contributions to the exhibit programming. Locally, the Branigan Cultural Center will work with Thomas Branigan Memorial Library and NMSU faculty to provide supplemental programming for the exhibit.
For more information about the "Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America" exhibit, visit www.alplm.org/learning_station/exhibit.html Additional information will be added to the Cultural Center's web site, www.las-cruces.org/museums in the coming months.
Events planned in association with the exhibit include:
November 14, 2009: Screening of 1939 Movie "Young Mr. Lincoln" at Fountain Theater
November 20, 2009: Opening Reception, featuring 1860 Union Army Color Guard escorting President Lincoln (in a Chautauqua performance) and opening remarks by Dr. Dwight Pitcaithley former Chief Historian for the National Park Service and current NMSU professor.
December 2, 2009, "Read More About Him", a discussion of Abraham Lincoln biographies available that delve deeper into the life of one of America's greatest presidents.
December 5, 2009 at 1pm, Dwight Pitcaithley will speak on Abraham Lincoln's connection with New Mexico. BCC Shannon Room
December 6, 2009 at 3pm, the Las Cruces Friends of Chamber Music will perform a concert of music favored by Abraham Lincoln. BCC Shannon Room
December 12, 2009 at 3pm, the Las Cruces Friends of Chamber Music will perform a concert of Civil War period music. BCC Shannon Room
Book displays at Thomas Branigan Memorial Library and Barnes & Noble Booksellers