The Delta Cultural Center's current exhibition, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War—the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties.
Lincoln is widely acknowledged as one of America's greatest presidents, but his historical reputation is contested. Was he a calculating politician willing to accommodate slavery, or a principled leader justly celebrated as the Great Emancipator? This exhibition provides no easy answers. Rather, it encourages visitors to form a nuanced view of Lincoln by engaging them with Lincoln's struggle to reconcile his policy preferences with basic American ideals of liberty and equality. 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 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 composed of informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Lincoln's first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment.
An opening reception is scheduled for Sunday, May 5, from 4:00-5:30 at the DCC Visitors Center in conjunction with the Warfield Music Festival. Additional programming includes the following films and lectures with Civil War themes:
• May 10 – Showing of the 2012 Steven Spielberg film, Lincoln, at the Malco Theatre; 7:00 p.m.
• May 15 – Trey Berry, vice president for academic affairs for Southern Arkansas University, will present a program titled "Abraham Lincoln and Arkansas: The President's Influence and Interest in the State" at the Beth El Heritage Hall; 6:00 p.m.
• May 17 – Showing of the 1940 John Cromwell film, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, at the Malco Theatre; 7:00 p.m.
• May 22 - . Mark Christ, community outreach director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, will discuss the Battle of Helena at the Beth El Heritage Hall; 6 p.m.
All events are free and open to the public. Contact Paula Oliver at (800) 358-0972 or visit www.deltaculturalcenter.com for more information. “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” will be on display at the DCC until May 31.