NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The first of two programs connected to the special exhibit at Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus will be Sunday, March 3.
The traveling exhibition, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” opened to the public Feb. 23.
William Rich of Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, will present a lecture on “The Gettysburg Address: Lincoln’s Framework for a New American Constitution” March 3 at 3:30 p.m. in the Kauffman Museum auditorium. The program is free and open to the public.
Rich notes that the Gettysburg Address highlighted the importance of equality, liberty, national unity and democracy. Yet our original constitutional text had been found wanting with respect to each of these topics. The resulting conflicts gave rise to the Civil War.
Rich will describe some of those early conflicts along with Civil War Amendments to the Constitution that addressed them. He will then discuss ongoing struggles over the interpretation and implementation of this “new Constitution.”
Rich, a native of Newton, has worked with Washburn Law Clinic students representing inmates in constitutional challenges to Kansas prison conditions. His publications address a wide range of constitutional law topics, including federalism, sovereign immunity, prison conditions and race relations. He authored the three-volume treatise Modern Constitutional Law (3rd Edition), published in 2011.
The program complements “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” which was organized by the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office and made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on one of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.
“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” which is co-sponsored by the Newton Public Library, will be on display at Kauffman Museum through April 5. For more information, contact Rachel Pannabecker, Kauffman Museum director, at 316-283-1612.
Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the special “Lincoln” exhibit is free; admission to the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website, www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/.