Tuesday, August 24, 2010


On Saturday, August 28, at 3:00 p.m. the National Archives will host historian and lecturer Dr. Bryan Le Beau for a program coinciding with the opening of two exhibitions celebrating the life of Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America and Lincoln Lives On. Le Beau will provide an introduction to the exhibits by exploring the theme of the first exhibit, Abraham Lincoln: Self -Made in America. He will speak on the origins of the myth of the self-made man in America and how and why Lincoln came to be associated with that myth.

Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America is a traveling exhibit featuring reproduction artifacts from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln Lives On is an exhibit created by the National Archives at Kansas City featuring original materials from the local community.

Created to commemorate the 200th anniversary and birth of one of America’s best presidents Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America is a learning station exhibition and covers Lincoln’s childhood, self-education, careers as a surveyor and lawyer, family life, political career, election to the Presidency, and his assassination. The reproduction artifacts on display, all modeled from originals in the Presidential Library and Museum, include: Lincoln’s favorite books; his son Tad’s toy cannon; the nameplate from his Springfield home; his stovepipe hat, which he used like a briefcase to hold important papers; a Presidential campaign banner; an axe that Lincoln used to chop wood; the bloody gloves found in Lincoln’s pocket the night of his assassination; and many other unique and interesting items.

Lincoln Lives On explores how Abraham Lincoln’s persona has been built up to create a larger than life figure over the past 145 years, and examines the man behind the myth. Telling Lincoln’s story from a local perspective, the exhibit features original letters, signed documents, photographs, campaign buttons, and more from the holdings of the National Archives at Kansas City, Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, University of Saint Mary, and private collections.

Bryan Le Beau is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at the University of Saint Mary. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University and has been a professor of American history since 1982. He has held an endowed faculty chair at Creighton University, as well as various administrative positions, and he has authored seven books and dozens of articles on various topics in American history.

For more information or to make a reservation for this free event call 816-268-8010 or register by emailing: kansascity.educate@nara.gov.

Additional Information

Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America and Lincoln Lives On are free exhibitions. Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America will be on display through September 24, 2010, and Lincoln Lives On will run through October 30, 2010. Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America was created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of America’s best presidents by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The We, the People program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency, provided major financial support for the exhibition and accompanying programs. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and the History Channel provided additional financial and in-kind support. For additional information call 816-268-8000 or visit: www.archives.gov/central-plains/kansas-city

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for research, with the exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit: www.archives.gov/central-plains.

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