Press/Journalists

Press Release
March 12, 2009

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

Special 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 April with special programs, book talks, and films. These events are free and open to the public. They will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, which is located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Exhibit Hours are 10 am-7 pm, through Labor Day.

Friday, April 17, at 7 pm
Book talk:  The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators: Their Confinement and Execution, as Recorded in the Letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft
7 pm, William G. McGowan Theater

On May 1, 1865, two weeks after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, President Andrew Johnson appointed John Frederick Hartranft to command the Washington Arsenal military prison, which housed the eight civilians accused of complicity in the shooting. Hartranft was responsible for the most notorious prisoners in American history and kept a meticulous official account of his duties. Join editors Harold Holzer and Edward Steers, Jr., as they discuss this National Archives record for the first time and provide a “behind the scenes” glimpse of the assassination’s aftermath. A book signing will follow the program. This program is presented in partnership with the National Archives regional archives in Philadelphia and the Foundation for the National Archives.

Wednesday, April 8, at noon
Book talk:  Lincoln and the Speeds: The Untold Story of a Devoted and Enduring Friendship
Noon, William G. McGowan Theater

Bryan S. Bush discusses his book Lincoln and the Speeds and tells the story of how the close friendship between Lincoln and the brothers Joshua and James Speed helped to secure the state of Kentucky for the Union after the attack on Fort Sumter in April 1861. The Speeds were instrumental in helping Lincoln deal with the delicate political issues in Kentucky by keeping him informed on both political and civilian affairs. After his death, the Speeds helped to preserve Lincoln’s legacy at every opportunity. A book signing will follow the program.

Saturday, April 18, at noon
Film:  The Horse Soldiers
Noon, William G. McGowan Theater

Based on an actual Civil War incident, The Horse Soldiers tells the rousing tale of a troop of Union soldiers who force their way deep into Southern territory to destroy a rebel stronghold. In command is Colonel Marlowe (John Wayne), a man who is strikingly contrasted by the company’s gentle surgeon (William Holden), and the beautiful but crafty Southern belle (Constance Towers) who is forced to accompany the Union raiders on perhaps the most harrowing mission in the war. (115 minutes, 1959)

Saturday, April 25, at noon
Film:  The Littlest Rebel
Noon, William G. McGowan Theater

Shirley Temple stars as the daughter of a rebel officer who is arrested when he sneaks back to his rundown plantation to see his family. A Yankee takes pity and sets up an escape, but everyone is captured, and the officers are to be executed. Shirley takes matters into her own hands and begs President Lincoln to intercede. (70 minutes, 1935)

Related Exhibitions

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, 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.

BIG! Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the National Archives
Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, through January 3, 2010

The National Archives celebrates its 75th year in 2009 with a new exhibition featuring big records, big events, and big ideas. The exhibition features a number of Lincoln-related items, including a section on the Gettysburg Address with an enormous map of the Gettysburg battlefield, and a rare photograph of President Lincoln at the dedication of the Civil War cemetery at Gettysburg. Also on display is a huge (175 page) telegraph from James W. Nye, governor of the Territory of Nevada, to President Lincoln, and a very large original design proposal for the Lincoln Memorial.

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. The National Archives is fully accessible. 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 Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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