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Treat the kids to a lesson on Lincoln at new Calvert County Library exhibit

jim getty
Jim Getty
Calvert County will soon be overrun with Confederate soldiers with the opening of the Calvert Library exhibit “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” Thursday, July 12. The exhibit will run through Aug. 24.

The opening weekend, Saturday, July 14, will bring the Federal City Brass Band in full uniform with period instruments to perform music of the time as well as share a historical narrative. The library will also host the man many people describe as “Abraham Lincoln reincarnated,” Jim Getty, who is frequently the face and voice of Lincoln and is the nation’s leading Lincoln impersonator.

Getty will do two presentations at the library. The first will be for the younger crowd (ages 5-13) at 11:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m. he will perform for ages 13 and up answering sophisticated questions about Lincoln’s decisions and life. He will talk about why he believed in the constitutionality of his decisions to suspend various civil liberties and be open to questions.

For those interested in diving into the challenging questions that Lincoln faced, Dr. Chretien Guidry from the College of Southern Maryland will moderates a discussion using the online interactive game Lincoln’s Crossroads at 3:30 p.m. What would have happened if Lincoln had chosen differently?

Throughout the day, librarians will have period activities for kids to try out such as creating a yarn doll or a ball-and-cup. There will also be Civil War era games like draughts (checkers), Hide and Seek the hidden object (you are getting warmer, warmer…), and more. There will be period recipes, such as hard tack, that kids can take home to try out.

The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibit of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The traveling version explores Lincoln’s struggle to resolve the basic questions that divided Americans at the most perilous moment in the nation’s history: Was the United States truly one nation, or was it a confederacy of sovereign and separate states? How could a country founded on the belief that “all men are created equal” tolerate slavery? In a national crisis, would civil liberties be secure? President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties. Lincoln’s decisions about these three intertwined crises of war reinvented the Constitution and the promise of American life. This exhibition develops a more complete understanding of Abraham Lincoln as president and the Civil War as the nation’s gravest constitutional crisis.

The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the exhibit with the help of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): Great Ideas Brought to Life.

For more information about the complete schedule of events over the six weeks of the exhibit go to http://calvert.lib.md.us/lincoln.html or call Robyn Truslow at 410-535-0291.

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