America is a nation dotted with monuments to its achievements and national heroes. In this theme few individuals have been honored with as many monuments and memorials as Abraham Lincoln. From local and state initiatives to the grand Lincoln Memorial that graces the National Mall, and has become a prime attraction in the United States Capital, Abraham Lincoln is heralded as one of our greatest presidents and a national icon. Interestingly, Abraham Lincoln is also one of the only American figures whose youth is widely commemorated. Even George Washington, the “Father of our Country,” has no statues dedicated to celebrating him as a child. Lincoln is unique in the fact that his childhood remains a critical part of what made him a great national hero. There are under a dozen statues to Lincoln as a youth and they were all completed in the early twentieth-century. Six out of the nine statues were completed in the period between 1930 and 1944, the time of America’s Great Depression; two of these statues are featured here. During the Depression, Abraham Lincoln meant more to the country than a great president, he was a symbol of hope and the American Dream, and in this period Lincoln statuary reflected the attitudes and needs of the American people.Read More
“There’s Still Life in the Old Boys Yet!,” a newspaper article emphatically exclaimed. An accompanying photograph portrayed Union veteran Tim Flaherty, well into his nineties, dancing a jig for his comrades. The year was 1938, the July heat sweltering, and the final grand reunion of the blue and gray well underway. Seventy-five years after the battle of Gettysburg, 1,845 veterans were able to reach the rolling hills of southern Pennsylvania to once more commemorate the defining four years of their generation.
However, this reunion was different than the others.Read More