2015 Press Releases

National Archives Welcomes Harold Holzer to Discuss Lincoln and the Press October 23
Press Release · Thursday, October 16, 2014

Washington, DC

Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

On Thursday, October 23, at 7 p.m., the National Archives welcomes Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer and Newseum journalist Frank Bond to discuss Holzer’s new book Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion. The program is free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. A book signing will follow the program.

Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion
From his earliest days, Lincoln devoured newspapers. As he started out in politics he wrote editorials and letters to argue his case. He spoke to the public directly through the press. Lincoln alternately pampered, battled, and manipulated the three most powerful publishers of the day: Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, James Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald, and Henry Raymond of the New York Times.

When war broke out and the nation was tearing itself apart, Lincoln authorized the most widespread censorship in the nation’s history, closing down papers that were “disloyal” and even jailing or exiling editors who opposed enlistment or sympathized with secession. The telegraph, the new invention that made instant reporting possible, was moved to the office of Secretary of War Stanton to deny it to unfriendly newsmen.

Holzer shows us an activist Lincoln through journalists who covered him from his start through to the night of his assassination—when one reporter ran to the box where Lincoln was shot and emerged to write the story covered with blood. Holzer shows politicized newspaper editors battling for power, and a masterly president using the press to speak directly to the people and shape the nation.

Harold Holzer, a leading authority on Lincoln and the Civil War, is chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and a Roger Hertog Fellow at the New-York Historical Society. Widely honored for his work, Holzer earned a second-place Lincoln Prize for Lincoln at Cooper Union in 2005 and in 2008 was awarded the National Humanities Medal. Holzer, senior vice president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, lives in Rye, New York.

Frank Bond, now a journalist with the Newseum and the Freedom Forum, had an extensive career in television, first with WBAL in Baltimore, and then with the Gannett News Service. While at Gannett, at the dawn of satellite news-gathering, Frank covered hurricanes, the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, the 1988 Republican National Convention, the San Francisco earthquake, three Super Bowls, and numerous space shuttle launches. He joined WUSA in 1990, and co-anchored the weekend newscasts. Since joining the Freedom Forum, he has co-produced numerous videos, moderated panel discussions on First Amendment issues, and has interviewed journalists before live audiences at Newseum events.

The National Archives Museum is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Metro accessible on Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., daily. Free admission. Additional information on exhibits and programs at the National Archives Museum can be found online.

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