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Category: Civil War

Several small items arrayed on a gray desk, including a wallet and two pair of glasses.

Treasures Gallery: What Did Lincoln Have in His Pockets the Night of His Assassination?

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The contents of Abraham Lincoln's pockets the night he was assassinated -- a gathering of the ordinary and everyday -- have long been one of the Library's most fascinating holdings. They, along with Lincoln's work on the Gettysburg Address, are featured in "Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” the inaugural exhibit of the Library's new Treasures Gallery, opening June 13. 

Womens History Month: Filling in the (Almost) Lost World of Maggie Thompson

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Margaret Virginia “Maggie” Thompson spent most of her life in tiny Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, more than a century ago. When a Library genealogist came across Thompson's long-lost scrapbook recently, she set out to solve a mystery: Who were the other people pictured in her scrapbook?

John and Jacqueline Kennedy pose on a grassy lawn on their wedding day, her white gown flowing behind her

Black Dressmakers for First Ladies

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Two Black seamstresses have left their mark on White House fashion history, as Elizabeth Keckley and Ann Lowe designed dresses for two of the nation’s most famous first ladies, Mary Todd Lincoln and Jacqueline Kennedy, respectively. Both designers developed their craft despite the brutal influences of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. This piece tells their stories.

Color photo of a man wearing a colorful shirt, seated at a desk with two computer monitors in front of him showing different images of Abraham Lincoln.

160 Years Later … Where Did Lincoln Stand While Delivering the Gettysburg Address?

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Christopher Oakley, a prominent film animator turned university historian, used his knowledge of computer modeling -- and his research at the LIbrary of Congress -- to help solve a small but important mystery: Where exactly did Lincoln stand while delivering his famed Gettysburg Address?

Douglas Brinkely and Carla Hayden, both seated, speak on stage, with an American flag in the background

“Books That Shaped America” Series Starts

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Some of the most important works by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston and Cesar Chavez will be the focus of a new television series being produced by C-SPAN and the Library. The 10-part series — “Books That Shaped America” — starts on Sept. 18 and will examine 10 books …

Full portrait of a clean-cut young man, standing very erect and with a serious expression, in a photo studio.

John Phelan and the Sinking of the USS Oneida

Posted by: Neely Tucker

One of the LIbrary's genealogy specialists was struck by reading the elaborate inscription on a 19th-century cemetery marker in her hometown. It spurred deep research and an extensive Library research guide into the 1870 sinking of the USS Oneida, costing the lives of 115 sailors, including the young man whose memorial caused her to pause: John Phelan. This is his story.

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

The Library Reimagined, with You in Mind

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

"A Library for You" is the Library's multi-year initiative to connect readers and patrons to our collections in new ways. These new galleries, exhibits and showcases will present some of the Library's most stunning items, whether they are recent or thousands of years old. These include Lincoln's handwritten first draft of the Gettysburg Address, fragments of the ancient Greek epic the "Iliad," cuneiform tablets that are among the oldest examples of writing, pre-Columbian artifacts, Rosa Parks' papers and watercolors by Diego Rivera. They'll begin to open in 2024.