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Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum sponsors student art contest on Lincoln and baseball

Children across the country will get to use their imaginations and artistic skills to celebrate two American institutions – Abraham Lincoln and baseball – in an art contest sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

What did it look like when Lincoln and his son Tad watched a game together? How would a favorite baseball hero look in a beard and stovepipe hat? Would Lincoln cheer and do the wave if he attended a modern game?

Kids can imagine all that or something completely different in their art.

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 16. Winning entries will go on display at the presidential museum in February, around the time of Lincoln’s birthday.

Submissions must be on poster board 14 inches high by 11 inches wide in portrait orientation (that is, taller than it is wide). They cannot feature copyrighted characters such as Batman. More details are available at bit.ly/ALPLMart2016.

Learning history is about more than memorizing dates and taking tests. Producing art is a great way for students to connect with historic events and consider their meaning. This art contest connects to a baseball-themed exhibit the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will host next year.

The contest is open for students from kindergarten through the end of high school. Winners and honorable mentions will be selected in three categories: Grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

Lincoln and the Civil War have numerous ties to baseball, or “base ball” as it was still called back then.

One amateur team played at a park near the White House, and Lincoln is said to have watched some games, taking Tad at least once. The war helped make baseball a national game by introducing it to soldiers who later took it back to their hometowns. An early editorial cartoon portrayed Lincoln playing baseball with a bat labeled “equal rights and free territory.”

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, a division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology.

The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history. The museum uses traditional exhibits, eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling techniques to educate visitors.