Day 22, Monday, August 6, 2018
Springfield is home to the Lincoln Museum and Library, a fascinating place! The museum has many interactive exhibits, which are fun for the whole family.
When you first go into the museum, there is a performance in the museum’s theater. It is probably best described as a play, but features a live actor interacting with holograms as the other characters! It takes place in the museum’s library and shows the viewer several items of historical significance to Lincoln’s life. The technology also allows the live actor to fade out of the scene, and they literally disappear in front of the viewer’s eyes! If you go, make sure you check this out!
The Lincoln Museum also has a number of exhibits. I really enjoyed the live actor who discussed Lincoln’s draft of the Emancipation Proclamation and the events leading up to it. The actor portrayed Francis Carpenter, the actor who painted the portrait of Lincoln and his cabinet members. He was very well informed, and coherently expressed the arguments for and against issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. I watched for quite a while and was impressed by his level of knowledge.
Another favorite of mine was the map that moves through the Civil War time period, showing the movement of battles throughout the country, the territory held by the Union and the Confederacy, and tallying up the toll of casualties. The map moves at a consistent pace, so you can see how some periods of the war were much more active and deadly than others. It is punctuated with significant events of the war – it was very well done!
There are also exhibits of Lincoln artifacts, as well as an interesting exhibit on the cartoons that ran in the media outlets during his presidential campaigns and presidency. If you think the media is ruthless and not neutral now, well, it wasn’t any different back then.
And last, but certainly not least, the Lincoln artifacts. The museum displays a number of items that once belonged to Lincoln and his family members, including letters Lincoln wrote, jewelry he gave to Mary, and various memorabilia associated with the family. There are also Lincoln items of historical significance, like sculptures and photographs of Lincoln throughout his life. It is powerful to be so close to these articles that Lincoln once held in his own hands and see items that are 160 years old.
Across the street from the Lincoln Museum is an additional exhibit in the historic train station. The exhibit when I visited was the movie Lincoln. They had costumes and props that were used in the movie. They also showed photos of the original clothing that the costumes were based upon. Sally Field bears a resemblance to Mary Lincoln, especially when she was made up and costumed for her role in the movie, and it shows in the photos of the two that were displayed side by side. They did a great job in the movie making things historically accurate, and it was interesting to see some of the props up close.
After I left the Lincoln Museum, I continued my journey east and arrived in Indiana. I was going to be staying two nights in Dana, Indiana, with Marilyn, my brother’s mother-in-law. It would be nice to be sleeping in a real bed, in a real house!
I got to Dana around dinner time, and Marilyn and I went out for dinner at a brewery in Terra Haute. It was nice to be a passenger in a car and not have to drive!