LEWISTON – The Lewiston Public Library is hosting a new exhibit on former Maine Sen. William S. Cohen. The exhibit, which was loaned to LPL by the William S. Cohen Papers at the Raymond H. Fogler Library, seeks to shed light on how Congress is designed to work and what politicians actually do on a day-to-day basis in Washington.

Titled “Cohen, Congress and Controversy: Rediscovering Civics in the Archives,” the six-panel exhibit uses facsimiles of photographs, handwritten notes, speeches and campaign memorabilia from the former congressman’s political papers to bring the legislative branch into focus.

Topics include Cohen’s successful 1972 bid for Maine’s second congressional district seat; the powers of Congress granted by the Constitution; the busy life of a senator, using Cohen’s book about his first year there; and the oversight role of Congress, illustrated with documents from the Watergate and Iran-Contra investigations.

The freestanding exhibit includes interactive panels designed to appeal to young children.

“The Cohen Papers are open for research,” said Fogler Library Dean Joyce Rumery. “This traveling exhibit invites people all across Maine to glimpse the richness of the collection.”

Cohen donated his political papers, 1,500 boxes of documents and photographs, to Fogler Library at the University of Maine in 1996. He added a selection of Department of Defense material on 16 compact disks in 2001. The University of Maine is also home to the William S. Cohen Center for International Policy and Commerce.

The exhibit will travel to venues along the route of Cohen’s 1972 campaign walk from the New Hampshire border to Fort Kent. It is in the lobby of the Lewiston Public Library through Dec. 5.

More information about the exhibit and its schedule can be obtained by calling Paige Lilly at 581-2665 or e-mailing [email protected]

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