Thursday, 12 February 2009

Happy Birthday, Abe!

To celebrate Abraham Lincoln's Bicentennial on 12 February 2009, the VHL is running a small exhibition. Exhibits include an account of the day of his birth (in a blizzard as well as a log cabin), two early 20th century treatises questioning his lineage and parentage (no, he does not descend from the Linkhorns), an illustration of a patent he was given for "A contrivance for Lifting a Boat over Shoals" and a reproduction of the earliest known photograph of Lincoln (a 37-year old Congressman).

Some Lincoln curiosities:
1. Lincoln was the first president to be born outside the original thirteen colonies.
2. Lincoln shares his birthday with a certain Mr Charles Darwin.
3. He is the tallest president at 6 feet 4 inches. Obama is believed to be 6 feet 2 inches.
4. Lincoln is the only president to be issued with a patent. On 22 May 1849, he received Patent 6469 ("A Contrivance for Lifting a Boat over Shoals"). In the end, his invention was never manufactured.

Some Lincoln soundbites:
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
"Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

The Exhibition will run until 31 July 2009.

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