Lincoln and Grant series launches Monday

A lecture and reception Monday, Feb. 27 at Mississippi State will kick off a series of statewide events examining "Lincoln and Grant in Mississippi."

Renowned historian and author Gerald J. Prokopowicz will be the featured speaker at the 2:30 p.m. event in the Grisham Room at Mitchell Memorial Library, which is free and open to all. MSU Libraries and the Office of the President are ongoing sponsors.

MSU President Mark Keenum and Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman also will make remarks.

The series is funded through a grant awarded by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation to the campus-based Ulysses S. Grant Association. Emerging from a body that was congressionally appointed to commemorate Lincoln's bicentennial in 2009, the foundation is dedicated to perpetuating and expanding Lincoln's vision for America.

John F. Marszalek, executive director and managing editor of the Grant Association, said the project is timely as it comes during the Grant Association's observation of its own 50th anniversary.

"We are so glad to have the opportunity to share unique perspectives from Civil War scholars who have national acclaim. The timing of the project not only coincides with the Grant Association's anniversary, but also the Civil War sesquicentennial," Marszalek added.

Prokopowicz is the author of "Did Lincoln Own Slaves?" (2008) and "All for the Regiment: The Army of the Ohio, 1861-1862" (2001), in addition to serving as the online host of Civil War Talk Radio. He formerly served as the resident Lincoln scholar at the Lincoln Museum, in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he helped create the award-winning exhibit, "Abraham Lincoln and the American Experiment," and edited "Lincoln Lore."

A member of the Advisory Board to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the Lincoln Forum, Prokopowicz holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and a doctoral degree in history from Harvard University. He currently is chair of the history department at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.

A question and answer session will follow his presentation.

Other planned events for the Lincoln and Grant series include:

-- May 18-20, lectures during the Ulysses S. Grant Association Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration at Mississippi State University Libraries.

-- Sept. 11, author Edna Greene Medford of Howard University will speak on the Emancipation Proclamation at noon at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson. Robbie Luckett of Jackson State University will moderate a discussion including panelists former Gov. William Winter, NAACP state president Derrick Johnson, and Michael Williams of MSU's history department.

-- Oct. 18, Mike Ballard, author and MSU coordinator of the Congressional and Political Research Center, university archivist and associate editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Publications, will speak on Lincoln, Grant, and the Vicksburg Campaign, 7 p.m. at Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg. Marszalek will then moderate a panel discussion with Terry Winschel of the Park and Parker Hills, a retired Army officer and preservationist from Raymond.

-- Nov. 2, author Tim Smith of the University of Tennessee at Martin will speak on Lincoln, Grant and Northern Mississippi at 5:30 p.m. at the Civil War Interpretive Center in Corinth. Marszalek will moderate a panel discussion with Tom Parson of the Center, Kristy White of Corinth Tourism, and Van Hedges, a noted Civil War collector. This event opens the annual Corinth Luminary.

Additionally, a touring library exhibit will be available to local libraries and school libraries throughout Mississippi.

Allison Matthews | University Relations

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