Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lincoln Lives at 200 Years

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-B8171-7929 DLC
Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and General John McClernand at Antietam.
October 3, 1862.

Today celebrates 200 years since the birth of President Abraham Lincoln. The event was celebrated with a grand re-opening of the restored Ford's Theatre in Washington DC, where Lincoln was assassinated, and numerous other events being held today. Also, prior to his inauguration, President Obama retraced, via train, a trip that Lincoln himself once made prior to his inauguration, and President Obama also used the Lincoln bible at his inauguration. There was also news today that a manuscript of a speech by Lincoln calling on the country to unite during the civil war sold at auction today for 3.4 million dollars.

Abraham Lincoln is a hot commodity these days. And that is something to be happy about. While the civil war was a horrific time for Americans fighting on both sides of the war, and for those that were held in slavery, Lincoln’s drive to unify the United States was the stuff of legends. He didn’t go out and fight the battle himself with guns or cannons, but with his words. His words are still relevant today, as the country still sometimes struggles with racial inequities and with war, our military off fighting in another country in the name of democracy and freedom. While Lincoln was born 200 years ago and is long dead, he continues to have life in the legacy of his actions and words.

With President’s Day coming up on Monday, this could be a good time to reflect on some of the writings of President Abraham Lincoln, and pause and think about what this man did to help make this country strong. USA Today compiled a nice list of links and referencesthat relate to Lincoln, one of them being a link to the Abraham Lincoln Papers from the Library of Congress. And if you don’t have time to read much, take a listen to an audio of the Gettysburg Address that I posted on one of my other blogs quite some time ago, as read by Sam Waterston (of Law & Order fame).

Sometimes we get so caught up in the present that we forget about the distant past, and the events that happened long before us that helped shape out great country into what it is today. Take a few moments to learn and appreciate the past, you may be surprised on what it can teach you!

Gettysburg Address

Note: New video of Sam Waterston from CNN doing three Lincoln readings on my other blog, These Are Their Stories, here.

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