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Abraham Lincoln at 200: Emancipation Chic?

Lincoln

Kempt does an analysis of a recently-uncovered photo of Lincoln, taken a few months before he died, in which it's been noted that #16 is sporting a "surprisingly contemporary hairstyle." Adds Kempt: "There’s a lot more to like here than just his hair. Check out the peak-but-not-too-peak lapels, the floppy cravat, and the duster-style double-breasted jacket, for starters. And given the proliferation of ironic facial hair, we’re amazed the chinstrap hasn’t had more of a revival."

ObamafordToday, as you may know, is Lincoln's 200th birthday. It's being celebrated in Washington D.C. as well as the state of Illinois, and this week there are no less than three major documentaries about Lincoln on TV.

Obama paid tribute to Lincoln at an event last night at Ford's Theatre, standing below the flag-draped box where Lincoln was assassinated. Said Obama: We know that Ford’s Theatre will remain a place where Lincoln’s legacy thrives, where his love of the humanities and belief in the power of education have a home, and where his generosity of spirit are reflected in all the work that takes place...The American people needed to be reminded, he believed, that even in a time of war, the work would go on; that even when the nation itself was in doubt, its future was being secured; and that on that distant day, when the guns fell silent, a national capitol would stand, with a statue of freedom at its peak, as a symbol of unity in a land still mending its divisions...It is this sense of unity that is so much a part of Lincoln’s legacy. For, despite all that divided us -- north and south, black and white -- he had an unyielding belief that we were, at heart, one nation, and one people."

Linccover184In 2004, C.A. Tripp published a controversial book suggesting Lincoln was gay:

According to the NYT review, among Tripp's assertions are that Lincoln had a "youthful affair" of four years with Joshua Speed, had a homosexual relationship with bodyguard David V. Derickson, shared a bed with a man named Billy Greene who told Lincoln's law partner that the president's thighs "were as perfect as a human being Could be," and "wooed" fellow lawyer Henry C. Whitney "to close intimacy and familiarity."

The book argues that it was Lincoln's homosexuality that led to his volatile relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln and describes an account by bodyguard Derickson's commanding officer: "Captain Derickson, in particular, advanced so far in the president's confidence and esteem that, in Mrs. Lincoln's absence, he frequently spent the night at his cottage, sleeping in the same bed with him and — it is said — making use of his Excellency's night-shirts!"

Every known photo of Abraham Lincoln, from 1846 to his death in 1865, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously on Lincoln...
Obama-Lincoln Gets the Rainbow Treatment in Boston [tr]
Is it Abraham Lincoln? [tr]
Abe Lincoln's Intimate Encounters [tr]

Continue reading "Abraham Lincoln at 200: Emancipation Chic?" »


Obama on Tom Daschle Withdrawal: 'I Made a Mistake'

Anderson

Obama did something yesterday that Bush rarely did over eight years — admitted he "made a mistake" with regard to the Tom Daschle debacle that went down over the past few days.

Said Obama: "Well, I think my mistake is not in selecting Tom originally, because I think nobody was better equipped to deal both with the substance and policy of health care -- he understands it as well as anybody -- but also the politics, which is going to be required to actually get it done. But I think that, look, ultimately, I campaigned on changing Washington and bottom-up politics. And I don't want to send a message to the American people that there are two sets of standards, one for powerful people, and one for ordinary folks who are working every day and paying their taxes."

At the end of the interview, Anderson threw in a few questions with regard to Obama's first days in the White House.

COOPER: What's the latest on the dog search?

OBAMA: We are going to get it in the spring. I think the theory was that the girls might be less inclined to do the walking when it was cold outside.

COOPER: Portuguese Water Dog? You don't know yet?

OBAMA: You know, we're still experimenting.

COOPER: Coolest thing about your new car?

OBAMA: You know, I thought it was the phones until I realized that I didn't know which button to press. That was a little embarrassing.

COOPER: Have you had a cigarette since you've been to the White House?

OBAMA: No, I haven't had one on these grounds. And I -- you know, sometimes it's hard, but, you know, I'm sticking to -- sticking to it.

COOPER: You said, on these grounds. I'll let you pass on that. And final question, you've read a lot about Abraham Lincoln. What is the greatest thing that you've learned from your studies of Lincoln that you're bringing to the office right now?

OBAMA: You know, when I think about Abraham Lincoln, what I'm struck by is the fact that he constantly learned on the job. He got better. You know, he wasn't defensive. He wasn't arrogant about his tasks. He was very systematic in saying, 'I'm going to master the job, and I understand it's going to take some time.' But in his case, obviously, the Civil War was the central issue, and he spent a lot of time learning about military matters, even though that wasn't his area of experience. Right now I'm learning an awful lot about the economy. I'm not a trained economist, but I'm spending a lot of time thinking about that so that I can make the very best decisions possible for the American people."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Obama on Tom Daschle Withdrawal: 'I Made a Mistake'" »


Obama-Lincoln Gets the Rainbow Treatment in Boston

Obamalincolnwarhol

A show called "a politic" opened over the holiday weekend at Gallery XIV in Boston. Accompanying it was a legally-posted Warholized billboard installation of Ron English's "Obama-Lincoln" fusion portrait. Given its prismatic tints, it's a shame it wasn't up for gay pride.

UPDATE: The enthusiasm of English fans, who have pasted the image all around the city, has caused a major stink among local businesses and residents.

AnimalNewYork has a slide show of the installation, and you can check out a video
AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Obama-Lincoln Gets the Rainbow Treatment in Boston" »


Is it Abraham Lincoln?

Lincoln

Recently-discovered stereoscopic photos reveal a man in a stovepipe hat in the midst of a procession at Gettysburg. Some claim it is Abraham Lincoln on horseback, on his way to deliver the Gettysburg Address.

Others note the presence of many men in stovepipe hats surrounding Lincoln just after his speech.

The two photos together nevertheless provide a fascinating glimpse of that moment in 1863.

Here's how the discovery happened, according to USA Today: "John Richter, 51, of Hanover, Pa., had loved Gettysburg since he was a kid; for 20 years had been collecting stereoviews or stereographs, which use special viewers to turn pairs of images into a 3-D view. A board member of the non-profit Center for Civil War Photography, he had always been interested in the Gettysburg stereoviews, available free for the past several years on the Library of Congress website. When he saw negatives 1159 and 1160, taken seconds apart, he said to himself, 'I think I see something going on.' Like the scientist who discovered Pluto because he knew where to look, Richter knew from historic descriptions of the ceremonies that the 4-by-7-inch plates of the troop procession ought to have Lincoln in there somewhere. 'If I wouldn't have seen Lincoln there, it would have been a surprise,' he said. So he asked the center's president, Bob Zeller, to request much larger, more richly detailed computer files. Richter zoomed in tight and found what he was looking for: Lincoln on horseback — or so he believes."

This is the kind of situation where you believe what you want, and it'll make you much happier.

Related
Abe Lincoln's Intimate Encounters [tr]
Assassinated Presidents [tr]


Abe Lincoln's Intimate Encounters

Linccover184A new book, The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln, concludes, as has long been proposed, that Abraham Lincoln was a gay man. The book is understandably being met by controversy with scholars that disagree, but is also being met with as much, if not more, agreement.

According to the NYT review, among author C.A. Tripp's assertions are that Lincoln had a "youthful affair" of four years with Joshua Speed, had a homosexual relationship with bodyguard David V. Derickson, shared a bed with a man named Billy Greene who told Lincoln's law partner that the president's thighs "were as perfect as a human being Could be," and "wooed" fellow lawyer Henry C. Whitney "to close intimacy and familiarity."

The book argues that it was Lincoln's homosexuality that led to his volatile relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln and describes an account by bodyguard Derickson's commanding officer: "Captain Derickson, in particular, advanced so far in the president's confidence and esteem that, in Mrs. Lincoln's absence, he frequently spent the night at his cottage, sleeping in the same bed with him and — it is said — making use of his Excellency's night-shirts!"

Finally, Larry Kramer is quoted regarding the book, which he says will change history. "It's a revolutionary book because the most important president in the history of the United States was gay. Now maybe they'll leave us alone, all those people in the party he founded."

It's more likely they'll exorcise the Lincoln bedroom.

"Finding Homosexual Threads in Lincoln's Legend" [NYT]

The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln [Amazon]


Assassinated Presidents

These have been around for a while, but now seems as good a time as any to trot them out again. Eerie similarities between the lives of John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, both assassinated.

Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Lincoln's wife lost a child while living in the White House.
Kennedy's wife lost a child while living in the White House.

Both were directly concerned with Civil Rights.

Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy who told him not to go to the theater.
Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln who told him not to go to Dallas.

Lincoln was shot in the back of  the head in the presence of his wife.
Kennedy was shot in the back of  the head in the presence of his wife.

Lincoln shot in the Ford Theatre.
Kennedy shot in a Lincoln, made by Ford.

Both were killed on a Friday.

Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was known by three names, comprised of fifteen letters.
Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was known by three names, comprised of fifteen letters.

Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and fled to a warehouse.
Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and fled to a theater.

Booth was killed before being brought to trial.
Oswald was killed before being brought to trial.

Lincoln's successor was Andrew Johnson, born in 1808.
Kennedy's successor was Lyndon Johnson, born in 1908.


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