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Exhibit: ‘The Civil War in America’

As the country remains virtually divided over politics, it’s a good time to remember that 150 years ago, such a division could have broken the country in half. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War — which is being marked from 2011 through 2015 — the Library of Congress has unearthed documents, letters, maps, photographs and other rarely seen artifacts from its vast collection for an exhibit opening on Veterans Day. “The Civil War in America” will highlight people and events from the North and South, telling the story through the eyes of key political and military players and young soldiers alike. The items range from President Lincoln’s reading copy of his Second Inaugural Address, to personal diaries and letters describing life on the battlefields. The library also will host a series of gallery talks at noon Wednesdays to discuss specific items, as well as music, book and film programs.

Through June 1 at the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE

Phone: 202/707-9779


Concert: Yemen Blues

The mix of musical traditions influencing the “supergroup” Yemen Blues seems unusual: Melodies from Yemen and religious chants from Israel are mixed with the distinct sounds of West African soul, Mississippi Delta blues and even classical opera. Yet the complex sound makes sense when you learn the band’s story. The founding musician, Ravid Kahalani, grew up in Israel in a traditional Yemenite family. Though his family left Yemen generations earlier because of the persecution of the Jews, Mr. Kahalani learned the language and traditional music of his family’s country. After mixing blues, soul and opera into his own sound as a popular musician in Israel, he teamed up with New York-based bass player Omer Avital to create Yemen Blues. Today, the group consists of nine musicians from Israel, New York and Uruguay who create a sound that is unique and, by all accounts, uplifting.

Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 601 I St. NW

Phone: 202/408-3100