Civil War Summer Programs 2019
This summer, visitors to the National Constitution Center can experience special Civil War-themed programming in conjunction with the Center’s new exhibit, Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality.
As part of the National Constitution Center’s Civil War-themed summer programming, the Center’s Main Lobby will be transformed into a Union Army encampment. Visitors to the Center will be able to try on replica Civil War soldier uniforms and examine the kinds of supplies soldiers would have had at war camps. Every Thursday and Saturday, special activities will include Meet and Greets with historic figures like Henry “Box” Brown, as well as Union soldiers and battlefield nurses. Visitors can attend Town Hall programs with President Abraham Lincoln, enjoy a theatrical performance highlighting Frances E.W. Harper, and participate in interactive Military Muster activities.
Also this summer, visitors can experience FOURTEEN, a moving theatrical performance that sheds light on the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the 14th Amendment. FOURTEEN runs Thursdays through Saturdays at various times throughout the day. This production has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Civil War Encampment, Make-and-Take Craft Activities, and 19th Century Lawn Games
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
At the Civil War encampment in the National Constitution Center’s Main Lobby, visitors can learn about the various types of medicine that were practiced by camp doctors, the harsh conditions of Civil War-era camps, and how President Lincoln tried to raise money to support the troops at Sanitary Fairs. Visitors can then venture into the new Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit to learn about and view some of the items that were auctioned off at Sanitary Fairs. Additionally, daily programs will include arts and crafts activities, a hands-on artifact cart, and 19th century lawn games (weather permitting).
Thursdays and Saturdays
Kids’ Town Hall with Abraham Lincoln
Thursdays at 12 p.m.
At a special Town Hall program for kids, visitors will get to hear from President Abraham Lincoln and learn about his life, including what it was like to be president during the Civil War and famous events in his presidency—like delivering the Gettysburg Address and issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.
Historic Figure Meet and Greets
Henry “Box” Brown: Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Civil War Nurse: Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Union Soldier: Thursdays and Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
At the Center’s recreated encampment, visitors can learn about the Underground Railroad while meeting figures from the 19th century, including Henry “Box” Brown, an enslaved man who shipped himself in a box from Virginia to Philadelphia to escape slavery. Visitors can also hear from a Civil War-era soldier or nurse and learn about his or her experience fighting in the Union Army or working in the battlefields and hospitals.
Frances E.W. Harper Theatrical Performance
Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
As visitors explore Civil War and Reconstruction, they will encounter a one-actor performance in the 14th Amendment section of the exhibit highlighting Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a key African-American figure from the Reconstruction era. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a staunch abolitionist, suffragist, poet, teacher, writer, and public speaker, speaks out in this 1875 address to the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, outlining the work yet to be done in the cause for African-American freedom. This production has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
American Flag Workshop: Civil War Edition
Thursdays and Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
This American Flag Etiquette Workshop takes a look at the American flag during the Civil War period. Museum educators will explore the history of the American flag, including the additional stars that were added to the flag during the Civil War. Following the program, visitors will have the opportunity to view a fragment of the American flag that Abraham Lincoln raised in Philadelphia at Independence Hall in 1861.
Thursdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.
Visitors can learn the art of marching and musket etiquette from a Civil War-era soldier in the Union Army.