Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Tour to visit Antietam National Battlefield


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News Release Date: February 10, 2009
Contact: J.W.Howard, Superintendent, 301 432-7648
Contact: Chris Sparks, Tour Concact, 217 558-8926

One-of-a-kind “Abraham Lincoln: Self Made in America” mobile exhibit touring the nation in honor of his Bicentennial will stop at Antietam National Battlefield.

Superintendent J.W. Howard announced today that “Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America” Bicentennial Tour, a mobile museum exhibit developed by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) in Springfield, Illinois, will stop at Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland on Thursday, February 12, 2009 and people are encouraged to visit free of charge. “Self-Made in America” is supported by the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009 in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

The exhibit will travel the United States over the next two years inspiring visitors with the story of Lincoln’s life and accomplishments. The only exhibit of its type in the country, the mobile museum uses an engaging mixture of interactive elements, graphics, facsimile documents and artifacts inside a 53-foot long, double expandable trailer to commemorate the Lincoln Bicentennial.    

Superintendent Howard said in announcing the visit, “We are honored to host this wonderful mobile museum particularly on President Lincoln’s 200th birthday, honoring a man who changed this nation at a place that changed our nation forever.”

“The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s success attracting 1.5 million visitors to Springfield in just three years has been remarkable, but many interested in the life and times of our 16th President have yet to make the trip,” said Illinois State Historian Thomas Schwartz. “With this mobile exhibit, we are bringing the legacy of Abraham Lincoln to the people and offering visitors a taste of the experience they will have when they visit the Springfield museum.” 

The exhibition examines Lincoln’s life from his poor beginnings to his ascension to the presidency and his assassination.

The “Self-Made in America” mobile exhibit was funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, with corporate sponsorships being sought. It was developed by ALPLM curators and historians working in concert with MRA (www.gomra.com), a Michigan-based leader in creating custom mobile exhibition tours. The exhibit debuted April 27 at the American Association of Museums Convention in Denver, and is visiting key Bicentennial events through August 2010, as well as the 2008 national political conventions, major sporting events, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and other venues.

For up-to-the-minute tour dates and locations, additional information about the mobile exhibit, or to learn more about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit www.abelincolnmuseum.org.

   SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 50 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at www.sites.si.edu.

     Antietam National Battlefield is the site of the bloodiest one day battle of the American Civil War. The battle was fought on September 17, 1862 and five days following Antietam, President Abraham Lincoln released the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This was the first time abolishing slavery was mentioned as a Union War objective. 

     President Abraham Lincoln visited Antietam two weeks following the battle and spent four days meeting with General George McClellan, touring the battlefield, and visiting Union and Confederate wounded.


The battlefield is also hosting two days of Lincoln talks: February 12 & February 16.    


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