Friday, July 3, 2009

" God Bless America and Mr. Lincoln Too!"

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Letter To Henry L. Pierce and Others" (April 6, 1859), p. 376.

I thought that I would begin my one hundredth post with a quote from my very favorite historical figure, Mr. Abraham Lincoln. I became fascinated with Mr. Lincoln a few years ago when my daughter Ginny received her Masters Degree from The University of Illinois at Springfield. We went there for her graduation and while we were there visited a few of the many historical site's that are devoted to President Lincoln and his wife Mary. Unfortunately this was before Springfield's latest addition of the Lincoln Library. But I do hope to some day return there as I was completely fascinated and in awe of all of the history there.

Lincoln's home is amazing. It has been meticulously renovated over the years. Each time great care has gone into removing and storing all of our former presidents belongings while the home's structure has been maintained.

I took many, many photos of the interior of the Lincoln's home. The furnishings I found to be extremely fascinating.Unfortunately my scanner is not hooked up so these photos I got off of the web. The above photo is of Mary's tiny kitchen. I had to laugh about this as my kitchen is about the same size! However, I am fortunate enough to have a few more modern conveniences then Mary had!

Mary Todd Lincoln was quite a character in her own right. After reading her biography I came to the conclusion that she was a very complicated woman. Very devoted to her husband and family. Yet she seemed to suffer a number of maladies that today we know are common among us women. Not discussed back in her day however. She suffered great loses in her life. Also her uncontrollable spending left her the target of much ridicule. I always felt that her over spe
nding was filling a void for her loneliness.

This next photo is of the Appellate Courthouse in our town. It is just three blocks from my home.

In 1854 , $6000.00 was appropriated for the erection of one of three grand divisions of the supreme court of Illinois to be built in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
On August 27, 1840, before the erection of the court house, Abraham Lincoln, then 31 years old, came to Mt.Vernon to debate John A. McClernand. This was only one of several visits that Mr. Lincoln made to Mt.Vernon.
Nineteen years later on November 18, 1859, Mr. Lincoln again visited Mt. Vernon. Only this time it was at the above court house to argue
a case involving The State of Illinois vs. Illinois Central Railroad. It was a tax case in which Mr. Lincoln argued for the railroad. The railroad won.
This court house is quite beautiful inside and out. You can really feel history as you walk through it. The staircase in the front of the building took three weeks by ox cart from St. Louis to arrive.
One other interesting note about this court house. In 1888 there was a great tornado that created quite a bit of destruction in Mt. Vernon. So much so that Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, set up a make shift hospital in this very same court house to help tend to the

This fine statue is the latest addition to the court house's grounds. I remember the day that it was being unveiled. I drove right by it as I was taking my daughter home from school. I was so excited! My Katie was so embarrassed! But I didn't care because I love old Abe. Somewhere there are photos of my daughter Ginny and I playing around this statue. I will have to find out what happened to them. At least I have one daughter that enjoys being silly wit
h her mom!

Well I could go on and on about Mr. Lincoln. His life, his politics, his homes, his family, his wife and his death. But it would take hours so I am going to end my thoughts about Abraham Lincoln by saying that I find him a fascinating historical character and it's a shame that politicians today do not emulate Mr. Lincoln. What a better place we would live in if they did. Certainly not perfect, but better.

"What I Did on my Fourth of July Vacation"

Well I went to see the fireworks of coarse! I did not want to go. Not only have I been feeling horrible but I have seen enough fireworks to last me a lifetime. My stepfather was a pyrotechnic. Every year we would go to several shows. The families would go along, from sun up to sun down to each and every show. These guys would work for hours on end digging holes and setting up. We would go along to spend the day with them and also to cook. We would get to where ever the show would be at about 6:00 a.m. and didn't end up leaving until after midnight. It was fun for awhile and then it got old. So now I don't care about them at all. As you can clearly see from this photo. Please keep in mind that I was also feeling yucky!

My husband, so excited!

I will say that these guys work very hard to put the shows on. It takes many hours of work and lots money to put on a great show. And there are occasional injuries. Being on the ground where the bombs are being lit is like being in a war zone and much caution and care goes into it. So I do appreciate what they do despite my boredom with the fireworks anymore.

Jake and I were tricked, finagled, and guilted into going to the fireworks display. Katie had her friend over for the weekend and they wanted to see the fireworks. Or so we thought. It rained all day and stopped for awhile before show time. It was so wet out that Jake and thought it might be better to go to my mom's town the following night to watch the show with her. Well the girls through a fit because they were supposed to meet all of their friends at the airport where the show was being held. They really could care less if they saw the show itself or not! Can't disappoint the girls now can we?

As things turned out, Jake and I spent the whole evening alone. Which was alright. There was a band playing by us, they weren't bad at all. We, Jake and I, were nothing more than a taxi service. The next day my oldest daughter, Ginny reminded me that it would only be a year and a half before Katie would be her own taxi. My but time flies when your having fun!

I will leave you now with some pretty darn cool photos of the fireworks that I took myself. Not too bad, I must say!

Good Night and God Bless!


Eileen said...

Diana, I loved this post! I share your interest in this type of history and especially in Abraham Lincoln. Years ago I went on a trip with my youngest daughter's class to Washington DC, it was amazing, and we did so many tours, and of course the theater box, and then the house across the street where Lincoln died.

I read a great book about Lincoln a few years ago, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, it's funny because I'm not really a history buff, and I hate politics, but this sort of thing interest me very much!

The fireworks display sounds nice, but I understand what you mean about being able to take it or leave it, especially understandable with your background.
And I understand what you are saying about your daughter and her friend too! Sometimes I feel like we jump through hoops for these kids!

I loved all the pictures and I thought you looked very nice, and I really liked your top! Very festive!

Don't forget to let us know what the doctor has to say this week! 'Hope it's something good and/or helpful!
Love and Prayers,

Diana said...

Hi Eileen,
My hubby went to D.C. when he was in school and still talks about how much he loved that trip. I was envious of all that he was able to see there and someday I'd like take a trip there too!
Thanks for thinking about me Eileen, I will let you know when I find out!

Anonymous said...

Diana...I have been interested in Abraham Lincoln since I was a child. I guess most of us remember those old Reader's Digest Books...the thick hard-backed ones that used to come once a month to our home... There was one volume that had a story about Abe Lincoln....and that I read it over and over again..I am not a history least favorite subject in school, actually, but I have always been fascinated by Abraham Lincoln. I didn't know the information you shared about his wife...and I found that enlightning....
Your shots of the firework bursts are fantastic. I'm glad that you had a happy Fourth of July. I always look forward to returning to your blog.
Smiles from Jackie

Wanda said...

You have been on my mind Diana...was watching and waiting for a post these past few days...and was glad to see a comment from you this morning at my blog...
Abraham Lincoln must be a favorite of everyone's...seeing their kitchen was grandmother cooked on a wood burning stove...and I have one of those old irons...
Hope your visit to the doctor provides answers for you...

Take care Diana!

Diana said...

Hello Jackie,
I am no history buff either, but all it takes is for me to be in a historical place and I just can't help myself! I guess I'm better at feeling the history then imagining it! And in some ways I found Mary to be more interesting than Abe.

Diana said...

Hi Wanda,
I couldn't help but imagine how hot it would be in the Lincolns kitchen, the day we visited it was so hot outside that it wasn't hard to imagine. They say that Mary did all of the cooking for her family. With all of those clothes on in all of that heat, YUCK!

Bernie said...

Diana, I was so glad to see your post, I was a bit worried. I hope your doctor is able to help you soon.
I loved your post, I love history and have always been fascinated with Lincoln and his wife Mary. Strange as I am a Canadian but I have spent hours at museums reading plaques and many books. I found on one trip to Boston I spent two days just going to historical places, my poor husband was so bored but I loved it. Take care of yourself sweetie, and I hope you feel better real soon.
Have a great day......:-) Hugs

Cindy said...

Happy 100th post! Loved seeing all the Lincoln house pics.

Jerelene said...

Did I see right? Your 100th post? My goodness...if that is correct then a congrats is in order! I loved all your info on Lincoln. My family did a family tree book years ago and found out that we are related to the Lincolns! I felt very honored :)
I am so sorry to hear you aren't feeling well, still...I sure wish they'd fix you up so you wouldn't have to feel badly. Your fireworks pics are beautiful!
I'll continue to keep you in my prayers!! (My mom is home now..bruised up and crooked nose..but she is home :)Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!!
Love, Jerelene

Barb said...

Hi Diana,
Here is what I know about Mr. Lincoln: The ENTIRE Gettysburg Address! I stood in my best dress on the small (but, to me on that long ago day - large) elementary school stage and recited the whole address. I was in 6th grade.

I love your photos of the fireworks - did you use a tripod?

Hope you're feeling better.

PS I can still recite the address - does that tell you what a Nerd I was (am)?