Still on the Lincoln kick, and drew some more pictures of him today, on the day he died. Obama ordered the flags at half staff in commemoration, which is a nice gesture. There was also a candlelight vigil outside Ford’s Theater and the Petersen house, which was also a nice gesture. Sadly, it seems most Americans don’t know a thing about history and I imagine this sad anniversary mostly went unrecognized in much of the country.
A year or so ago I read Doris Kerns Goodwin’s book Lincoln: Team of Rivals, on which the recent Lincoln film was very loosely based, and there’s a great story toward the end:
“In 1908, in a wild and remote area of the North Caucasus, Leo Tolstoy, the greatest writer of the age, was the guest of a tribal chief “living far away from civilized life in the mountains.” Gathering his family and neighbors, the chief asked Tolstoy to tell stories about the famous men of history. Tolstoy told how he entertained the eager crowd for hours with tales of Alexander, Caesar, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon.
“When he was winding to a close, the chief stood and said, “But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world. We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock…His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived. Tell us of that man.”