Minnesota History Center features Lincoln letter as film opens in theaters

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The Minnesota History Center is spotlighting President Abraham Lincoln's ties to Minnesota as the new film by Steven Spielberg opens in theaters nationwide, KARE-TV reported.

The center is featuring a handwritten letter by the 16th president of the United States that ties to one of the darkest days in Minnesota and U.S. history. In the letter, Lincoln condemned 39 Dakota braves to death -- although one of the men got a last-minute reprieve.

Dan Spock, the director of the Minnesota History Center, told KARE that "38 were hanged simultaneously in what is today the largest mass execution in American history."

The letter, which is part of the center's exhibit on the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, is open to the public until September of 2013.

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role, "Lincoln" the film examines the president's last four months in office as he tries to round up support for the 13 Amendment to abolish slavery.

Local critics are divided on the merits of the film. Get their takes here.

See KARE's video on the Lincoln letter below.

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