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Mrs. Lincoln to stay a little longer

'First Lady of Controversy' exhibit extended through November

New publication highlights world-class exhibit and never-before-seen artifacts

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[September 01, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum has invited the first lady to stay a little longer.

The "Mary Todd Lincoln: First Lady of Controversy" exhibit has been extended through Nov. 30. The world-class exhibit, including many items publicly displayed for the first time, was originally scheduled to conclude Oct. 28. In addition, a new publication is available that highlights the exhibit with photographs and historical information.

"The tremendous response to the Mary Todd Lincoln exhibit convinced us to keep it another month, which will allow thousands more people the opportunity to see this once-in-a-lifetime display of Mrs. Lincoln's life and times," said Rick Beard, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. "Visitors may also take Mary Todd Lincoln home through a new book that has been developed featuring the exhibit's history and artifacts."

The Mary Todd Lincoln Exhibit Catalog is available at the ALPLM Museum Store or online at The $19.99 publication was written by Illinois State Historian Dr. Thomas Schwartz, one of the world's top Lincoln experts, with a foreword written by Beard. This exclusive book includes full-color photographs of documents and artifacts from the exhibit and keen insights into Mrs. Lincoln's often misunderstood life and role as first lady.

"Mary Todd Lincoln: First Lady of Controversy" is the first major retrospective of Mrs. Lincoln. Visitors can explore her childhood, courtship of Abraham Lincoln, her role as wife and mother, and her tumultuous tenure as first lady. The exhibit examines the tragedy surrounding the Civil War; the death of her son, Willie, and the assassination of her husband; and the estrangement from her eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln.

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Guests may see dozens of artifacts, some never before displayed, that provide an intimate look at Mrs. Lincoln, such as her clothing, accessories, jewelry, photos and letters. The exhibit also showcases newly uncovered documents relating to two special elements of controversy: the first lady's precarious finances; and her insanity trial, confinement to the Bellevue Sanitarium and release.

The ALPLM's next exhibit, "Packaging Presidents," opens on "Super Tuesday," Feb. 5, 2008. The exhibit will run through the November general election and will explore the change in the electoral process spanning 200 years of presidential campaigns. The nation's pre-eminent private collections will be the foundation for displays that trace the evolution of American presidential politics from the sedate campaigns waged by our first chief executives to the often cutthroat electoral battles that have characterized recent runs for the White House.

For more information on "Mary Todd Lincoln: First Lady of Controversy" or other events at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit

[Text from Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum news release received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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