Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln’s Tomb’

“The tower of books about Abraham Lincoln, symbolizing that the last word about this great man will never be written.” – Ford’s Theatre

Last month we were in Washington, D.C. and we visited the Ford’s Theatre Museum and Center for Education and Leadership.  One of the most amazing sites was the 34-foot tower of books about Abraham Lincoln.  Fifteen thousand books about our most honored and reveled president in history proves that it is unlikely that the fascination and desire to learn about Lincoln will never end.  My son and I are definitely intrigued to learn every detail about Abraham Lincoln’s life just like all the authors of those books and the millions that have read them.

Of course I have read some great books on Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln on Leadership, Killing Lincoln, and Presidential Courage which highlights Lincoln’s presidency in three chapters) and my son has read Chasing Lincoln’s Killer in school.  Learning about Lincoln from the written page combined with our love of historical travel has put us on a “Lincoln Expedition” over the last couple of years.  Below is a picture gallery of the places we visited to learn about one of our country’s greatest presidents who had the character and courage to preserve our country and abolish slavery.  I wish I could tell you that I had a favorite place, but seeing his humble home in Springfield, Illinois, going to Gettysburg, following his second inaugural ball dance steps in what is now the National Portrait Gallery, or seeing where he lost his life at the Ford’s Theatre makes it too difficult because each place had their own historical significance and I felt a connective pull to history at each visit.  One place I will never get tired of seeing is the Lincoln Memorial and I can’t help but stand in awe each time I visit.  I love it so much I want to go to Chesterwood in Stockbridge, Massachusetts to learn about Daniel Chester, the sculptor of the memorial.  In addition to visiting Chester’s home, believe it or not, there are numerous other places we want to visit to increase our knowledge about Lincoln and making our way to Kentucky is on our list of places to see.

Until our next trip, we have countless memories of a president that I sometimes feel like I personally met.  We are also counting down the days to two new movies. On November 16th Daniel Day-Lewis will star in the new movie LincolnKilling Lincoln which is based on O’Reilly’s book is set to air on Nat Geo Channel in early 2013 with Tom Hanks.

 Lincoln’s legacy will forever live.

Abraham Lincoln’s Home in Springfield, Illinois

2009 – Celebrating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth by visiting his home in Springfield, Illinois.

Great Western Depot

After a short speech to his friends and family who came to see him off, Abraham Lincoln left the Great Western Depot on his inaugural journey to Washington with his oldest son Robert.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

David Wills House 

Abraham Lincoln crafted the Gettysburg Address at the David Wills House.

Lincoln at Gettysburg

This monument marks where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery used to be the U.S. patent office…it is one Washington’s oldest public buildings, being built only after the white house and capitol. When we visited, we were lucky enough to enjoy “The Honor of Your Company Is Requested:  President Lincoln’s Inaugural Ball” Exhibit.

Ford’s Theatre 

2012 – In front of Ford’s Theatre

The Presidential Box at Ford’s Theatre

Petersen House

The bed in the Petersen House where President Lincoln took his last breath.

National Museum of American History

The hat that Lincoln wore the last night of his life is on view at the National Museum of American History.

Lincoln’s Tomb

The final resting place for Abraham Lincoln and all of his family except his eldest son. Robert Lincoln rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Lincoln’s Memorial

One of the most beautiful places in Washington, D.C.

What books have you read about Abraham Lincoln?  After I read Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln, I had to see the Ford Theater and the Petersen house for myself!   Have you ever read a book that lead you to a historic site?   

The quote says it all.

At the Gettysburg Visitor Center

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February 2009 commemorated the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.  There were many articles on the internet at that time and one of them focused on the top five presidents. The top five ranked presidents were:

Abraham Lincoln

George Washington

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Thomas Jefferson

Theodore Roosevelt

Since my son had enjoyed learning about the president’s in the third grade, I read him the article and was struck with the idea that we should embark on our own presidential tour.

George Washington's Home

Over the last year we hit the road and took to the air for our presidential adventure.  The first road trip was to Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.  I was surprised that we spent the entire day at his home.  We started off in the Ford Orientation Center and viewed a 20 minute film and then moved onto his 18th century home that sat above the Potomac River.  We toured the estate taking in the gardens and visiting Washington’s tomb.  We ended the day by spending hours in the The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center.  There were many videos from the History Channel through out the exhibit and artifacts including George Washington’s family bible.  There were several gift shops for souvenirs and two dining options; the food court at Mount Vernon or the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant.  I left feeling that every American should have this experience.

Living in New York made it easy to visit Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s home.  Both homes are National Park Service sites.  Theodore Roosevelt’s home is in Oyster Bay, New York and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s home is in Hyde Park, New York.  Each had visitor centers and museums, but the homes were the main attraction.  Another attraction at Theodore Roosevelt’s home was the nature trail.  FDR’s car and the room with letters during the depression were standouts at the FDR museum.  Both trips made learning about these fifth cousins enjoyable.

FDR's Home

Teddy Roosevelt's Home

Abraham Lincoln’s home is also a National Park Service site.  His brown Quaker home was very small in comparison to all the large estates we had seen.  It sat in the midst of a four-block historic neighborhood.  Since we made the trip to Springfield, Illinois we made sure we saw everything Lincoln.  We visited Lincoln’s Tomb, the Lincoln Train Depot and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.   The museum was as equally impressive as the museum at Mount Vernon. (Check out the Lincoln activities in Springifield on the video tab.)

Abraham Lincoln's Home In Springfield, IL

We hit the road one final time and journeyed to Charlottesville, Virginia to see Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home.  The home and grounds were beautiful.  My favorite room was the entrance hall which was decorated with gifts from Lewis and Clark.  After visiting four other presidential museums and education centers, Jefferson’s was the least climatic.  Since we were in the area, we did visit the nearby Michie Tavern and had dinner at the Clifton Inn.

Thomas Jefferson's Home

This historical adventure that we took over the last year was more fun than I could ever imagine.  Highlights ranged from taking in the same view of the Potomac River that George and Martha Washington did from the porch of Mount Vernon to rubbing the nose of Lincoln’s bronze visage for luck.  These visits turned into more than just a historical home tours.  Each trip allowed us to learn about each president’s unique life and how they shaped our nation.  Our presidential home tour provided us with an appreciation that could not have been gained through any textbook.

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