2015 marks the 150th anniversary of two pivotal events in our nation’s history: the end of the Civil War marked by after Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender on April 9, and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, both in 1865.
The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall is host to a unique part of that story, a room in the building that was built for and dedicated to the service of Civil War veterans who served in the Grand Army of the Republic for the northern states, the Capt. Thomas Espy Post 153 of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Each year the facility hosts a Civil War Living History Day with re-enactors, speakers and activities. This year will be even bigger, with events each month, which is what this post card announces.
What kind of an image do you choose to convey all that happened that war-torn spring 150 years ago? The image of Abraham Lincoln is so easily recognizable and intrinsically tied with all events and memories of that time. Much of what the ACFL&MH will host this spring involves him and so an image of him, specifically this one most recognizable image, could stand to represent all of it.
Already one event has been seen, but five more are to come:
- The Lincoln Gallery Opening: Monday, February 16 at 2:00- 7:00 p.m. This new permanent exhibit features 100 compelling photographs of Abraham Lincoln taken from 1847-1865 range from the iconic to the unexpected.
- A Lincoln Portrait: Monday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m. Congressman Tim Murphy will narrate Aaron Copland’s haunting orchestral tribute to the 16th President of the United States. The piece and other works from the Civil War era will be performed by the Allegheny Brass Band. Tickets required.
- Road to Appomattox: Saturday, March 7, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The ACFL&MH’s first Civil War Symposium features four keynote speakers examining the end of the War and Lincoln’s assassination. Lunch included. Advanced registration and payment required.
- The Civil War: Friday, Saturday (8:00 p.m.) & Sunday (2:00 p.m.), April 10-12. A stirring Broadway musical exploration of the searing drama of the War, with a score that included gospel, country, rock and folk motifs.
- Annual Civil War Living History Day: Saturday, April 11, 10:00 – 5:00 p.m. Tours of the Espy Post, Lincoln Gallery, Chartiers Cemetery; Re-enactors, Speakers, Sutlers and more.
The image we chose is called the “cracked plate image”, and to read more about it, and about the connection between early photography, President Lincoln and the Civil War, read this article in the Washington Post. And make sure you stop to see our next event on the list, the opening of The Lincoln Gallery featuring reproductions of 100 photographs of Lincoln throughout his life, which I will be hanging and for which I will be designing signage (you’ll see those posts as I complete those projects). We did a small, temporary version of it in 2010, but the collection now belongs to the facility and the gallery will be a permanent installation.
For more information about the Library & Music Hall you can visit the website at http://www.carnegiecarnegie.org/ and visit the performance page to read about the benefit performance (scroll down when you get there).
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission.