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National Lincoln Exhibit Makes Stop at RRHS


Lincoln Exhibit Open to the Public

Rocky River High School hosts the Lincoln Exhibit from October 8 through November 14, 2013.

The public is invited to attend these programs and/or to view the exhibit free of charge at the following times:

  • Oct. 8 7 - 9 pm Opening Program
  • Oct. 10 7 - 9 pm Robert Brugler, Lincoln Impersonator
  • Oct. 17 7 - 9 pm Western Reserve Historical Society presentation of “Cleveland and the Civil War
  • Oct. 24 7 - 8 pm Steve Ball, Civil War Music
  • Oct. 30, Nov. 7 & 13 6 - 8 pm Viewing Hours



“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition opening at the Rocky River High School Media Center on October 8, 2013,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.  While the exhibit is stopping at locations all over the country, the Rocky River High School library is one of only two high school libraries to host it.  

The exhibit’s month-long stay will kick off on October 8 at 7:00 PM with a program for the community featuring a keynote talk by James L. Swanson, author of the adult nonfiction bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer and a young adult version entitled Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. 

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. 

Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States in 1860, at a time when the nation was on the brink of war. Lincoln struggled 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 these three crises of war, ultimately reinventing the Constitution and the promise of American life. 

“We are delighted to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Yvonne Morbitzer, Rocky River High School Media Specialist.“As a new president, Abraham Lincoln was faced with enormous challenges. This exhibition shows how Lincoln struggled with issues of secession, slavery and civil liberties—all questions our country’s founding charter left unanswered. Each section of the exhibit features information about a different aspect of Lincoln’s presidency. For example, the section about slavery examines the various policy options Lincoln once embraced and how his thoughts about slavery evolved over time. Most importantly, the exhibit helps visitors understand why Lincoln’s struggle with the Constitution still matters today.” 

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. 

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.

The media center staff at RRHS has teamed up with Rocky River Public Library, Rocky River Historical Society, and the Rocky River Education Foundation to provide programming for the exhibit. Free programs and other events will be available for the public in connection with the exhibition.