Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dining with Abraham Lincoln

It isn't every day you get to eat lunch with a sitting President of the United States.  Or, to be more exact, the sitting statue of a former President.

Today, February 12, would have been the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, and our country's President during the United States Civil War.

I enjoyed some vintage photos of the late President and then remembered I had a couple of pictures of my own.

In the summer of 2013 my spouse and I drove from our home in upstate New York to Arkansas for a visit.  On the way back home, we stopped for a rest break in Vandalia, Illinois.

Back in the 1830's, Vandalia was the capital of the state of Illinois - the second capital of Illinois,  from 1819 to 1839.  It no longer is the capital and you may be surprised to learn who is partially responsible for that.
This was the Vandalia state capital building, built in 1836.

In the city of Vandalia, a young Illinois state legislator got some of his early political experience.  His name was Abraham Lincoln.  (One day, I will blog more about Lincoln).  Ironically, this particular statehouse was built to try to convince Lincoln and some of his colleagues to keep the capital in Vandalia.  Lincoln and some of his colleagues wanted the capital closer to the geographic center of the state.  It replaced a different building that was torn down while the legislature was in recess.  The hope was, the building would so impress the legislature that they would stay in Vandalia.
Looks nice, but Lincoln never tried any cases in this room.
The bribe (if you could call it that) didn't work, and Lincoln was not a beloved figure in Vandalia for his actions in moving the capital away from their city.  But, time has a way of dimming memories.  Now, Lincoln is quite beloved in Vandalia.

In 2001, Lincoln Park was built near the statehouse. It features a statute called "Sitting with Lincoln".

On this bench, I ate lunch with Abraham Lincoln in 2013- a tuna sandwich we had purchased in Missouri that morning, to be exact.  It was a hot sunny day, a day I would treasure today, when I think of the subzero wind chills outside at this moment.

I hope Lincoln enjoyed that wonderful Missouri tuna sandwich as much as I did.

Have you ever met a famous person, or a person who became famous later in life?

11 comments:

  1. Hi Alana,

    Fantastic share and great story :) Very interesting facts about Abe :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It was a pleasure to write about, thanks.

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  2. Another interesting story, always love popping by. How fun that you got to have lunch with Lincoln :)

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    1. It was a unique experience. Probably a lot less nerve wracking than if it had been a living President!

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  3. Fancy sitting beside such a famous man to eat your sandwich, if only in statue form. No, I can't recall meeting anyone really famous. I saw Elizabeth 2nd, the Queen of England and her mother Mary drive by in a car once when I was 14. She visited Melbourne, Australia when she was a young woman. I still remember their flawless complexions and radiance as they drove in the crowded streets, waving and smiling.

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    1. The incredible thing about the Queen is that she has been the Queen for my entire life. It would have been a thrill for me to see her then, and it would be a thrill even now.

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  4. A tuna sandwich with Abe Lincoln is too cool! I have met Amitabh Bachchan at an airport and took his autograph too. Have seen a lot of celebrities while traveling :)

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    1. Amitabh Bachchan is such a distinguished looking man. That he was willing to sign an autograph impresses me greatly. Not sure how many American actors would have done that.

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  5. Thanks for this interesting insight into Abe Lincoln. ☺ Loved the bench and I bet that sandwich was good!
    My famous people sightings include Debbie Allen of "Fame", touring Pompeii with her hubby, Walter Matthau, pretending to be a tourist during a Universal Studios Tour (L.A.), Prince Philip in a gold Jaguar, when he was in Germany, inspecting the troops of the RCR, (my father's regiment) and numerous rock stars on stage. Never met any of them, though. I have met a couple of my NHL hockey heroes.

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    1. That is a lot of sightings. My father and I were chased out of an area in Manhattan - turns out for a Presidental motorcade. But I never saw it. Incidentally, wanted to let you know I can finally access your blog - hurray!

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  6. That is a beautiful place. That is so awesome! A place to visit and add to my list of things and places to experience. Thanks for sharing

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