Abraham Lincoln & the Passage of the Thirteenth Amendment

New Videoconference from HEC-TV Live!:
Abraham Lincoln and the Passage of the Thirteenth Amendment

Date:  March 21, 2013
Times: 10 to 11:00 a.m. or 1 to 2:00 p.m. CDT
Grade Levels: 7-12
Complete information and registration online

Join us for this exciting exploration.  Ask your questions of archivists and historians & bring history to life!

It’s January 1865.  Abraham Lincoln has just been re-elected President of the United States in November of 1864. With the Union public hoping against hope for an end to the seemingly endless Civil War and results on the battlefield looking to make that result more and more likely, President Lincoln decides to move forward for passage of Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the historic legislation to end slavery in America.  This program will focus on the story of the passage of this historic legislation.

In conjunction with their upcoming Social Action Campaign, “Stand Tall: Live Like Lincoln,” which kicked off on February 12, Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed film Lincoln, a DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox film, in association with Participant Media, will be distributed to all middle and high schools, both public and private, throughout the United States when the film becomes available on DVD.  As part of that initiative, this program will include excerpts from the film Lincoln as well as pre-recorded interview excerpts from Steven Spielberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tony Kushner and others.  Students will also interact with, and ask questions of, Lincoln scholars joining us for the program.

The program will focus on three major areas related to passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. First, we’ll look at Lincoln’s motives for the amendment.  Why did he believe it was necessary when he had already issued the Emancipation Proclamation?  Second, we’ll explore the timing of the historic passage. The Amendment had already passed in the Senate in the spring of 1864 but failed that same spring in the House of Representatives. Flush with re-election victory and an increased number of Republicans elected to the new Congress that was set to start its session in March of 1865, why did Lincoln decide to pursue passage in January 1865 in a lame duck final session of the outgoing Congress rather than waiting until March?  And third, we’ll explore the political process of getting the legislation through the House of Representatives. What deals were made? What politicians made a difference?

The videoconference program will consist of several segments. Student questions and comments for our expert guests will be included in each segment of the program. The program will include excerpts from the film Lincoln as well as pre-recorded interview excerpts from Steven Spielberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tony Kushner and others.

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