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Civil War History 51.1 (2005) 119-124

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News and Announcements

In 2002 Mississippi State University announced the creation of the Marszalek Lecture Series, courtesy of an endowment from the John F. Marszalek, Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, and Jeanne A. Marszalek, a long-time leader in community relations and Mississippi politics. The series consists of an annual talk addressing the Civil War and Reconstruction, Jacksonian America, or race relations by an established historian and by a Mississippi State student. The first two Marszalek Lecturers were Jane "Budge" Weidman, project manager of the Civil War Conservation Corps at the National Archives, and Vincent DeSantis, Professor Emeritus of History at Notre Dame. The Marszaleks also established a fund for the purchase of primary-source documents for the University's libraries.

John David Smith was recently named the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

In May 2003 the "Servitude and Emancipation Archival Research Clearing House Act" was introduced in the U.S. Congress. If enacted, this legislation will direct the National Archives and Records Administration to create "a national database consisting of historic records of servitude and emancipation in the United States to assist African Americans in researching their genealogy." The bills are currently being considered by the House and Senate committees on Government Affairs and Government Reforms.

In May 2004 the U.S. Senate approved the "Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act," which will expand the boundaries of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park by up to 1,200 acres, providing further [End Page 119] protection to endangered Civil War battle sites. A House companion bill is pending action before the House Resources Committee.

In June 2004 the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission presented its recommendations for the national and international celebration of Lincoln's bicentennial to Congress. The commission was charged by Congress with determining how best to commemorate Lincoln's legacy in February 2009. The commission's recommendations for congressionally mandated activities include minting a bicentennial penny, issuing a Lincoln postage stamp, convening a joint session of Congress, hosting a major celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, and acquiring artifacts associated with Lincoln for preservation. Other suggestions include a teachers' guide for grades K-12, a Lincoln-themed youth summit, a television documentary, town hall meetings and state celebrations, and a virtual Lincoln "trail" that would inform online visitors how to visit Lincoln sites around the country. To follow the commission's activities, visit

The Library of Congress recently announced the final release of the Frederick Douglass Papers, available on the American Memory Website. The online collection from the LOC's Manuscript Division now contains 7,400 items relating to Douglass's life as an escaped slave, abolitionist, orator, editor, and public servant. To access the Douglass Papers online, visit

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The center addresses 500 years of freedom-related stories through an introductory film and exhibits like "Escape! Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad" and "Brothers of the Borderland." The center also includes a space called "Reflect, Respond, Resolve," where visitors may engage in discussions about what they have learned and experienced in the museum. For information, visit

The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center celebrated the grand reopening of the U.S. Army Military History Institute in its new research facility near Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, in September 2004. Ground was also broken for the Army Heritage Museum, to be completed by 2006 on the same site. For information and how to conduct research there, visit [End Page 120]


The 48th Annual Missouri Valley History Conference will be held March 3-5, 2005, at the Embassy Suites Old Market in Omaha, Nebraska. The Society for Military History will sponsor several sessions at the meeting. For information, visit the conference website at

The 26th Annual Conference of the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association will be held in...


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pp. 119-124
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