Monday, December 29, 2008

Lincoln Bicentennial in 2009

Here's the famous sculpture on Abraham Lincoln's grave monument in Springfield, IL. Probably every last person who visited the gravesite has rubbed Lincoln's nose to make it so shiny. This is a likeness of Lincoln that I love. You can see the sadness and compassion in that beautiful homely face.

Lincoln was born on Feb. 12, 1809. On Feb. 11, the night before his 200th birthday, PBS will show "Looking for Lincoln," a documentary hosted by noted Harvard scholar, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. You can see lots more about the year-long celebrations at the Lincoln Bicentennial website, including details of the release in 2009 of new Lincoln pennies with 4 different designs for the reverse sides.

I never tire of reading about Lincoln. There are more books published about him every year, so I'll never run out of possibilities. The more I read about him, a man both reviled and loved, the more I admire his deep understanding of people and all their foibles. He was probably one of the most emotionally intelligent people who ever lived. Nonetheless, his profound humanity did not prevent his willingness to subject the country to the horrors of war in order to preserve the United States first, and end slavery second. This makes for an endless supply of literary assessments! I'm giving myself a break from Lincoln biographies for a little while, but there'll be plenty to think about this next year, even if it's not from a book.

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