Today is the 203rd anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. It’s a sunny but cold day here in Springfield, and before too long I’ll be at the Old State Capital, speaking in the chamber of the House of Representatives, introducing our speakers Chandra Manning and Ethan Rafuse, who will speak on the president and his relationship to soldiers and generals.
Before that, however, I’ll be heading over to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to see various important Lincoln documents on display. With me will be Howard Jones and James Oakes, our two other speakers. The ALPLM was a subject of some controversy when it opened; now we learn that we are on the eve of another Lincoln museum opening, this one in Washington, D. C., next to the house where Lincoln died on the morning of April 15, 1865. This New York Times review of the museum raises some interesting questions about the messages and purposes of museums, and I commend it to you.