FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 8, 2013) – The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) will loan Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch and several other artifacts to a major West Coast exhibition about the Kentucky native. “The Life and Times of Abraham Lincoln” will open at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on June 1 and run until Sept. 30, 2013.

This exhibition will explore the life of Abraham Lincoln, commemorate the Civil War and mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. It includes significant Lincoln artifacts from around the country, including pieces from the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress and the National Archives, in addition to those from the Kentucky Historical Society. Artifacts include some of his earliest childhood writings, a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln, the autopsy report from his doctor the night of the assassination, and one of only two existing life masks of President Lincoln.

Artifacts from the KHS collections will include Lincoln’s pocket watch, a campaign medal from the 1860 presidential election, a campaign ribbon from the 1860 presidential election, a World War I-era poster reading “Books Build Character” that features Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, and a print of Lincoln’s early home in Kentucky.

Lincoln’s pocket watch has already been removed from KHS’s signature exhibition, “A Kentucky Journey,” for a complete condition report and to be packed for transit. Two staff members will soon courier the items to California and will do the same for the items’ return to Kentucky in October. The pocket watch will be back on display at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in November. In the interim, the sound of the watch ticking, used by Steven Spielberg in the recent film “Lincoln,” will remain in the exhibition and is also available online at www.history.ky.gov/objects.

To learn more about KHS, its programs and exhibitions, visit www.history.ky.gov.


An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history by providing connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for the future. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit www.history.ky.gov.



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