Abe Lincoln in Springfield (Virginia, that is)
Springfield Travel Blog› entry 49 of 108 › view all entries
This Thursday, February 12, marks the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th and perhaps most famous President of the United States. (By coincidence, the date is also the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. I find it fascinating that both of these influential individuals were born on February 12, 1809.) Numerous observations of Lincoln's 200th birthday are taking place across the USA in the Lincoln Bicentennial year. One such celebration is the traveling exhibition "Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America" a joint project of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The traveling museum exhibit is unique in that it travels in its exhibit space--a 53 foot long tractor-trailer rig! The exhibit has been on the road across America since April 2008.
The Lincoln tractor-trailer pulled up on the campus of West Springfield High School. Students visited the exhibit on Friday and the public was invited on Saturday. The exhibit presented an overview of Lincoln's life. Much of it, of course, concerned his Presidency and the Civil War, but there was also a conderable information about his life before he found himself thrust into history.
One learned that Lincoln's forebearers had come from England to Massachusetts in the 17th century. From there they progresed through the colonies and the new states to the frontier and Kentucky, where Abraham Lincoln was born.
But it is Lincoln as President and his role in preseving the Union during the Civil War and in ending slavery that he is most noted.
We spoke at some length with the exhibit docents. (I couldn't resist telling them of my recent experience viewing the Lincoln Inaugural Bible up close--and showed them my photos still on my current memory card.) They are a husband and wife team. (He drives the rig.) They have spent two months in the Washington region--and say they enjoy the opportunity to travel as a job!