The U.S. Capitol will host a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s second inaugural on March 4. Stephen Lang will deliver the same speech Lincoln wrote for his 1865 swearing-in, and the event will also feature remarks from Congressman Ray LaHood, historian Edna Greene Medford, and prominent Lincoln authority Frank J. Williams.
Category Archives: Lincoln and Memory
John McKee Barr, author of Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present, takes an interesting look at ex-slaves’ memories of the Great Emancipator at his blog. Their notions of Lincoln were not uniformly positive; as Barr states, “many African Americans still praised Lincoln, but some did not, for very specific – and instructive – reasons.”
In the first installment of a two-part article at National Parks Traveler, Richard Sellars examines the religious imagery at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana:
Several of the most prominent Lincoln sites, such as his home in Springfield, Illinois, Ford’s Theatre in Washington, and across the street the Petersen House where he died, portray aspects of the historic Lincoln, the gifted mortal—husband, father, lawyer, president. Other places are more clearly shrines: The imposing neoclassical marble temples found at the Lincoln birthplace in Kentucky and the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., reflect his deification in the public mind.
In Indiana, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial also suggests his deification, but in a distinctive way. Reflecting a devoted public’s high tribute to Lincoln and his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the memorial’s designers rejected neoclassicism and chose traditional Christian symbols.
Ellison says in her new book, The True Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography (McFarland: $39.95), that the first lady was both frugal and outspoken, her son Robert a priggish manipulator who had his mother committed while Mary Todd Lincoln masterminded her own release from an asylum by gathering together friends and supporters who did not want to see a first lady humiliated.
“No person should have had to experience what she did, perpetuated by her own son and Lincoln’s so-called friends,” Ellison said in a recent interview at her Lexington home.
In Wisconsin, the party of Abraham Lincoln will be deciding this weekend whether it favors not only the right to secession but also the right to nullify federal laws.
Delegates at the state Republican convention are set to vote Saturday on a proposed resolution that directs lawmakers to push through legislation nullifying Obamacare, Common Core educational standards and “drone usage in the state of Wisconsin.”
“Be it further resolved,” the proposal concludes, “that we strongly insist our state representatives work to uphold Wisconsin’s 10th Amendment rights, and our right to, under extreme circumstances, secede, passing legislation affirming this to the U.S. Federal Government.”
…The proposal — which has garnered national attention — was originally approved in March by the GOP’s 6th Congressional District caucus and forwarded to the state party’s resolution committee. The panel approved a slightly modified version of the suggested resolution and forwarded it to the full convention.
Rohn Bishop, treasurer of the Fond du Lac County Republican Party, said he was booed at the March caucus meeting when he brought up Lincoln’s name while arguing against the secession and nullification provisions. He said he also noted that the meeting took place two days after the 160th anniversary of the party’s founding in Ripon.
“I was completely blown away that at a Republican Party event, the presidency of Abraham Lincoln would be controversial,” Bishop said Wednesday.
This month marks 150 years since Lincoln signed into law a bill authorizing the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind to award college-level degrees. The institution, located in the District of Columbia, was the forerunner of today’s Gallaudet University. The college is marking the anniversary with a special history exhibit.
An Illinois man named David Kloke is commemorating the sesquicentennial of Lincoln’s assassination by building a full-scale replica of the president’s funeral train car. He hopes to recreate part of the 1865 funeral train’s journey, followed by an educational tour with stops across the country. You can learn more at the project’s official website.
Asking what Lincoln would do in a given situation has become a venerable American political tradition. Bill O’Reilly recently criticized President Obama’s appearance on a comedy website, saying, “All I can tell is you is Abe Lincoln would not have done it. There comes a point when serious times call for serious action.” Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer disagreed, telling Media Matters that Obama’s use of a humor site to get his message across “is absolutely in the Lincoln tradition.”