10/09/12 The national traveling exhibit “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” will begin a five-week stay at the Culver Academies’ Huffington Library with a grand opening on Sunday, October 14, from 2 to 4 p.m.

At the opening, visitors will step back in time as Academies’ students in Civil War dress guide them through the exhibition and the displays highlighting events from the era. Period music will be provided by an Academies ensemble, and refreshments will be served.

The exhibit is free and will run through November 16. Hours for the public are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.

Composed of informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents, such as a draft of Lincoln’s first inaugural speech and the Emancipation Proclamation, the exhibit examines how President Lincoln struggled with issues of secession, slavery, and civil liberties — all questions the U.S. Constitution left unanswered. Each section features information about a different aspect of Lincoln’s presidency. For example, the slavery portion examines the various policy options Lincoln once embraced and how his thoughts about slavery evolved over time.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Huffington Library Director Susan Freymiller. “As a fan of Abraham Lincoln, I am personally looking forward to being able to consider anew the challenges faced by Mr. Lincoln and to appreciate his struggle to address these monumental issues in light of the Constitution. The exhibit along with our discussions and other events will hopefully provoke some thoughtful dialogue on what the Constitution truly means in our lives.”

Three special programs are scheduled during the exhibit’s five-week stay, Freymiller said. These programs will be held in the Presentation Room of the Huffington Library.

• Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. – Coordinated with the Academies Global Studies Institute (GSI), Nicole Etcheson (Ph.D., Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History at Ball State University) will present: “Swift, Zealous, Radical or Tardy, Cold, Indifferent? Abraham Lincoln as The Great Emancipator.”

• Nov. 6 (Election Night) at 7 p.m. – The GSI will host a seminar addressing “Lincoln’s Constitution & Civil War: A pivotal point in becoming a world power.” Guest speaker will be Valparaiso University’s Samuel Graber, Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa.

• Nov. 11, 2 to 3 p.m. – The Academies championship Quiz Bowl team will take on a team of Academies’ faculty/staff in a friendly competition focused on Lincoln, his presidency and the Civil War.

The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the traveling exhibition, which was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.