rolls across the state
to celebrate Lincoln history
access to the traveling exhibit is free
Helen E. McKinney
(February 2008) When a 45-foot semi-trailer
pulls into town with a larger-than-life blazing image of Abraham Lincoln
on the side, people take notice. The Kentucky Historical Societys
HistoryMobile will traverse the state for the next two years with an
exhibit titled, Kentuckys Abraham Lincoln.
HistoryMobile has presented
hands-on exhibits about Abraham
Lincoln to at least 1 million
Kentuckians since 1973.
The exhibit will debut on Feb. 12 during official kickoff
ceremonies for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial at the Abraham Lincoln
Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Ky. Free and open
to the public, this inaugural program begins at 10:30 a.m., with the
site opening up at 7 a.m. Public parking and bus transportation will
Each HistoryMobile exhibit is created by a team of research historians
and museum curators who serve on the staff of the Kentucky Historical
Society, said Stuart Sanders, Community Services Administrator
for the Kentucky Historical Society and Assistant to the Director for
the Lincoln Bicentennial.
Kentuckys Abraham Lincoln will provide an excellent
overview of Lincolns Kentucky connections and will highlight many
of Kentuckys important Lincoln sites, said Sanders, who
is also a Civil War Heritage Specialist for the Kentucky Historical
Society. Depending upon the exhibits popularity, Kentuckys
Abraham Lincoln may remain in the HistoryMobile longer than the
usual two year run before being replaced by another exhibit.
The Kentucky Historical Society is sponsoring this 300-square-foot exhibit
that explores Lincolns frontier childhood, his career as a lawyer,
rise to the White House, and his struggles to end slavery and guide
the United States through the turbulent Civil War. The exhibit contains
artifacts, audio, video and interactive elements.
Feb. 12: Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site,
Feb. 14: 10 a.m.: Capitol Rotunda, Frankfort
Feb. 20: Highlands Museum, Ashland
Feb. 22: National Quilt Museum, Paducah
Feb. 27: Lexington Public Library, Lexington
Feb. 28: Northern Kentucky University (Tentative)
Feb. 29: 10 a.m.: Frazier International History
All of the artifacts in the HistoryMobile exhibit are
reproductions. Our real artifacts usually arent used in
traveling exhibits, said Sanders. Instead, a special-use collection
is presented in the traveling exhibits, one that allows for hands-on
The HistoryMobile is an excellent way to get schools involved,
said Lisa Cleveland, Public Relations and Marketing Director for the
Kentucky Historical Society and spokesperson for the Kentucky Lincoln
Traveling the Commonwealth from border to border, the HistoryMobile
has presented exhibits since 1973 to at least 1 million Kentuckians.
Presentations have been given at schools, fairs, festivals, libraries,
parks, and community centers and it is a regular at the Kentucky State
Fair each year.
The HistoryMobile is a wonderful way to engage students who cannot
travel to one of Kentuckys Lincoln sites, Sanders said.
The HistoryMobile is accessible to people with mobility disabilities.
There is no cost to book the HistoryMobile, and no charge to the public
for going through it. The Lincoln exhibit is made possible through a
grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation, said Sanders.
Even though other states such as Indiana and Illinois are hosting Lincoln
bicentennial events, the HistoryMobile will remain in Kentucky through
early 2009. Sanders said the possibility exists for the HistoryMobile
to travel to southern Indiana if any sites express an interest in hosting
Pre-visit classroom materials on the Lincoln
exhibit will be available upon request for teachers. For more information
or to schedule a HistoryMobile stop contact David Whealdon, HistoryMobile
program coordinator at (502) 564-1792, ext. 4503.
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