Monday, September 10, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Exhibit

There is a traveling Abraham Lincoln exhibit at our library that opened up about a month ago. This past weekend I had a little bit of time to go and see it. I can't say that I know a lot about Lincoln, other than what any other person learned in school and remembers. 

I found the exhibit to be very thought provoking, especially with this year being an election year. What I noticed was that people had the same heated opinions that we have currently. These days you can't go on Facebook without seeing a post from a person who favors one party or the other. I had started to think this was a modern or Facebook phenomenon, of being able to voice ones opinion to the masses without any regard to what their beliefs are. However, during Lincoln's election years and terms, there were factions that  questioned Lincoln's policies and politics relentlessly, published "cartoons" that were in poor taste (in my opinion anyway), and had demonstrations/uprisings about these policies. The most noted uprising of course being the Civil War.

Ever wonder what Lincoln looked like without the beard? I always did.

It's a mid-1800's version of a before and after picture.

A political cartoon of the times. It seems they were just as tasteless then as they are now.

And finally, if you thought that the only time in history the draft caused so much controversy was Vietnam... was a problem for the Civil War too.

Overall, I think Lincoln was a pretty courageous fellow. He had a vision of this country being better and he followed through with it. Lincoln recognized that as a country that touts, "all men are created equal" it was not upholding that ideal. His policies and beliefs evoked passionate responses and actions from all parties. Lincoln was so unpopular that he didn't think he would be elected for a second term, but he still held fast to his purpose. Sadly, Lincoln would not even get to serve a full year of his second term. There was at least one man who hated Lincoln so much and for what he stood for, that he killed him.

If this exhibit comes to your area, I highly recommend that you see it. I thought it was fascinating. There were all sorts of other facts and tid bits that I haven't mentioned here. It also made me realize that being President during any time period in America has not been the greatest job to have. You never get to "clock out" and you always will have people who literally hate you, even though they don't know you. I'll stick with genealogy, thank you very much. 

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