Monday, February 12, 2007

The Original Man from Springfield: Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it."
-- April 6, 1859 - Letter to Henry Pierce

Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday, a fact not lost on Barack Obama when he chose to announce his campaign from Springfield on Saturday. This is a state holiday in a state where every vehicle license plate reads "Land of Lincoln," and features Lincoln's portrait as well. It is only recently that President's Day has overcome the importance of two holidays in Illinois: the birthday of Lincoln and the birthday of Washington. In earlier years, around Lincoln's birthday, Illinois newspapers featured enough articles on Lincoln around his birthday to give residents of Illinois a strong education on Honest Abe, and it was a popular time of year to read a book on Lincoln.

In honor of Abraham Lincoln's 198th birthday, we are recommending the Journals of the Abraham Lincoln Association. As is Wilmette's way, we only recommend reading that is free, and that is especially fitting today, the birthday of a President who loved reading so much that in his poor childhood would walk miles to borrow a book. All 27 journals are available to you, online, by clicking here. We are particularly recommending that reading to those who are seduced by the idea that Barack Obama is the "new Lincoln, " an idea that we consider downright audacious on Obama's part, not to mention the fact that Abe Lincoln was a Republican, the party of George Bush and not Barack Obama.

We still like our last year's post on Lincoln, Of interest there is a comment with a link to a web page that contains Lincoln information from the traditional (and very negative) Southern point of view. The Civil War, waged primarily in the Southern United States while Lincoln was President, left the region so devastated that (with the exception of oil-rich Texas) only in the past few years has any real economic recovery taken place.


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