America is a different world on Abraham Lincoln’s 209th birthday

Abraham Lincoln’s 209th birthday is more than a Monday with closed government offices.

At no time since the 16th president’s tumultuous tenure during the Civil War, has the nation been as bitterly divided as it is today.

This undated portrait of a young Abraham Lincoln, shows him without a beard. (Library of Congress via AP)

Unlike many of today’s politicians, Lincoln was receptive to advice from ordinary people, and he enjoyed having diverse opinions offered from his counselors.

Grace Bedell of Westfield, New York, is credited with suggesting a beard to Lincoln, who was a presidential candidate when the 11-year-old girl wrote an October 1860 letter suggesting that he grow whiskers because “your face is so thin.”

Of course, Lincoln held the nation together through a bloody war that was fought over the issue of slavery. Today’s conflict seems in some respect an extension of that fight.

But many of those who argue seem eager to enter into the service of masters, rather than fighting for freedom. The fears and ignorance of the past it seems are too strong to break even in this age of global information.


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