It’s the sesquicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. He is arguably our best president, and showed a wisdom and compassion that is rarely seen. There was an interesting article in the paper the other day that suggested he wouldn’t have accomplished much of his plan to “bind up the nation’s wounds” and reintegrate the South back into the Union “with malice toward none and charity for all.” had he lived, because of the thirst for vengeance that the Radical Republicans and others in the North felt after the Civil War. Yesterday was Thomas Jefferson’s birthday (and the anniversary of the dedication of the Jefferson Memorial, my favorite memorial in the DC area). He was a very interesting man (and deeply flawed, but aren’t we all). His Declaration of Independence is soaring rhetoric, but then he kept slaves (and fathered children by them). His Monticello is a wonderful experiment in architecture, where he hid the slave’s quarters from view of the guests. He founded the University of Virginia, one of the world’s great universities (and a monument to public education), and bought Louisiana from Napoleon, so we can now visit, visa free, places like Missouri, Nebraska, Montana, and, well, Louisiana. He also gave his books to re-found the Library of Congress after the fire of 1814. Oh, yeah, and he was also President of the United States too.