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Library exhibit will showcase Lincoln's legacy





One hundred and forty-nine years after President Abraham Lincoln died in the nation's capitol, his legacy soon will come to life in an exhibit at Hays Public Library.

Cut short after being assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, the 16th president and his leadership during the Civil War have been examined countless times.

"Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War" will be on display from Feb. 7 to March 21 and feature panels of information and visuals about the president's tenure in office.

"I'm excited because Lincoln is such a pivotal figure in American history," said Lucia Bain, Kansas Room librarian.

"He's someone that no matter where you live or what your background is, most Americans have some kind of appreciation for Abraham Lincoln."

The traveling exhibit is organized by the American Library Association Public Programs Office and the National Constitution Center.

The National Endowment for the Humanities provided the grant to arrange the program.

The library does not host this type of program often, Bain said. It seeks to explore how the president's decisions altered the course of the Civil War and America's future.

"It's going to kind of look at Lincoln's role in the Civil War and how his leadership really came to define what happened in the Civil War and also with the constitutional changes that were going on at the same time," she said.

Although the exhibit is geared towards adults, Lincoln's lessons can resonate with all ages.

"He believed in human rights, and he believed in every man being created equal," she said. "That's something that I think is ever-present in our society. We're always working towards that even today."

Library staff might explore how parallels can be drawn from Lincoln's circumstances to modern political situations. Age-appropriate programs to supplement the exhibit will be offered to children and adults.

Bain said she expects the exhibit will be successful.

"I think that because Hays is such a historical place and the people here have such an appreciation for history, historical exhibits are always well-recieved," she said.