So I promised to let you know the thing that moved me the most on my whole vacation. There were so many things that were emotional for me, including seeing Lincoln’s Tomb, and touring the replica of his Funeral train. But I have to say the museum has some of the best, most realistic displays I have ever seen. And when I walked around the corner after seeing a sign for the Ford Theater, it felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I literally had to take a minute and compose myself, take a couple deep breaths, and tell myself I could get through this.
You would not expect something about a person you never met, and an event that happened 150 years ago, could personally affect you. It certainly did for me.
For those of you who may not know, I am a huge fan of Abraham Lincoln. Okay; slightly obsessed, but in a good way! I could not give you any one specific reason why this is, it just is. I have adored him for as far back as I can remember; meaning, I did a speech about him in kindergarten or first grade! I think one of the things I admire about him more than anything was his quick wit, and ability to reply to any comment or question with a brilliant quip; many of which are still repeated today. I will be making my first ever visit to this library, as well as Lincoln’s Tomb, and so many other historical sites, in three months!
At 98,000 square feet, this library holds over 12 million books and publications. 47,000 of these are part of the Lincoln Collection, and is the largest collection of artifacts for Lincoln in the world. The library also holds numerous documents and artifacts for all things Illinois. I have a feeling when I step foot in that library, I am going to be telling someone to ship all my clothes, and my cat, because I will not want to leave!
The library contains what is called the “Whispering Gallery”; a dark, crooked hallway full of pictures and actual political cartoons and articles demonstrating the difficulty and hatred that the Lincoln’s faced both during his elections and his terms. While walking through, you hear whispering of actual things that were said to Mr. Lincoln throughout his political career.
2015 is the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and my boyfriend, my children, and I will be in Springfield, Illinois for “The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Train”. They are currently constructing a replica of the Lincoln funeral train, which will be travelling from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois. Obviously there will be some detours and reroutes happening due to the limitation of the railroad system compared to the 1860’s, but it is making several stops in major cities along the way, identical to the original route of President Lincoln’s funeral procession.