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February 5-June 12, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. (January 21, 2011) -Florida in the Civil War, on display at the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Fla., from February 5 through June 12, 2011, highlights the state's rarely acknowledged sacrifices and contributions in the "War between the States." The exhibit is the second in a series of three exhibits presented as part of the museum's yearlong 10th anniversary celebration. Florida in the Civil War, created by the History Center, has been newly curated to include rare artifacts not previously shown at the museum.

Although often overlooked, Florida played an important role in the Civil War. Florida in the Civil War reveals how Florida overcame adversity to ship salt and beef to the Confederacy and how the state's citizens survived the Union blockade of its coastline. A doll featured in the exhibit with a hollow papier-mâché head used to smuggle medicine and supplies to the South illustrates how Confederates tried to "trick" Union soldiers to get supplies past the blockade. Visitors can view artifacts including items from the wreck of the Union steamship Maple Leaf that was sunk by a Confederate mine in the St. Johns River, a noncommissioned officer's sword from the 7th New Hampshire Infantry captured during the Battle of Olustee, a Colt revolver, personal items belonging to a family, and other artifacts.

Additional components throughout Florida in the Civil War encourage guests to discover which Lincoln assassination conspirator has ties to Central Florida and is buried here, confront the difficult decisions facing both a slave and a soldier, hear music of the era, and listen to touching letters exchanged between a soldier and his wife during the war. Children can try on Union and Confederate uniforms, girls' period costumes, and other clothing.

Civil War Experience
On Sunday, April 10, 2011, in conjunction with Florida in the Civil War, visitors will have a unique opportunity to step into vignettes with costumed Civil War reenactors and make personal connections with people of this era - men, women, children, civilian and military, North and South, Black and White. Guests can speak with a new young bride and her soldier groom, ask African American slaves about their experience and compare that to free African Americans of the period, and travel through time into different moments in the 1860s to discover the issues that Americans faced living in a divided country at war. Families can play parlor games and enjoy desserts popular at the time. 1-4:30 p.m. Included in general admission. Call (407) 836-8500 for information or check website http://www.thehistorycenter.org/exhibits/civilwar.

The Orange County Regional History Center, housed in a restored historic five-story 1927 courthouse in downtown Orlando, showcases the vast collection of the Historical Society of Central Florida, Inc. The museum features three floors of permanent exhibitions and also presents nationally important limited-run exhibitions. The museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The History Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $9, seniors (60+), students and military with I.D. $7, and children ages 5-12 $6. Historical Society Members and children ages 4 and under are free. Special exhibition prices apply March 19-May 29, 2011: $12; seniors (60+), military and students with valid I.D. $9; and children ages 5-12 $7. Historical Society Members and children ages 4 and under are free. Parking is available at the adjacent Orlando Public Library garage on Central Blvd. A self-guided Audio Tour of the museum's permanent exhibits is available free of charge with admission into the museum.

Dates, times, prices subject to change. For more information, visit www.thehistorycenter.org or call (407) 836-8500.

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