Today is the day that Abraham Lincoln was born, in 1809. I grew up in central Illinois and just about every school field trip was connected to Lincoln. I still have a growing reverence for him.
As a kid the log cabins and museums tended toward boring, but where do I return when visiting my mother and sisters in Illinois? Ventured down to Springfield for a day to check-in on this mighty man, the 16th President of the United States. I visited his tomb, home, and work places; and also enjoyed the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Lincoln started his law career and politics in the Springfield area. He eventually became Congressman Lincoln splitting his time between Washington DC, Springfield, and on the road in central Illinois trying cases. It is in Springfield where he eventually married Mary Todd and raised a family, in the only house he ever owned. You can still visit the house at Eighth and Jackson Streets; that day I also walked from his house to his law office, gazing up into the big midwestern deciduous trees, wondering if any of those leaves ever saw Lincoln. The Lincolns moved to Washington in 1861 when he became president. In 1865, after he was tragically assassinated, his body came back to Springfield where he now rests in an enormous tomb.
It was a great day when this man was born; the giant who abolished slavery, held our nation together through the brutal Civil War, and dedicated his life to democracy and the American people.
February 12, 1809-April 15, 1865