Today we visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Even if you're not an Abraham Lincoln fan, it's impossible to deny that he's had a significant impact on the history of the US. This museum is a tribute to all that is Lincoln, and a way to learn more about his life from birth to death. It does an excellent job of educating the public through creative exhibits and life size dioramas of Lincoln's life, legacy and accomplishments.
The museum has more than 40,000 square feet of galleries, theaters and historic displays. We started our visit and thoroughly enjoyed 'Ghosts of the Library', a special effects theater experience that uses Halovision to conjure Lincoln & his contemporaries, their transparent images drifting through the "Library". Now how on earth did they do that??? Our second theater presentation was a larger one, with three large screens that sought to address Abraham Lincoln in a three-dimension way, and I mean that literally and figuratively. The seats shake, there's strobe lights, and cannons fire smoke from the sides of the theater. Yep, it was cool!
Moving on we watched a film presentation on the wall in the Civil War section that presents the whole war in highlights and fatalities in 4 minutes. It really makes a profound impact in terms of human lives lost and the toll of the war. It's hard to imagine the difficulties Lincoln faced in attempting to abolish slavery and manage the country through the Civil War.
Next we witnessed the 1860 Presidential Election as though it were happening today. Tim Russert's mock newscast, complete with political ads for Lincoln and the men he was running against for the presidential election, was quite entertaining. Well done.
Among the items we saw on display were Lincoln's famous stovepipe hat, the evening gloves in his pocket the night he was assassinated, the quill pen used to sign the Emancipation Proclamation and an original hand-written copy of the Gettysburg Address.
The replica of his boyhood cabin was fun and the partial reproduction of the 1860's White House was amazing. I think that personally, I was most struck by the large room in which a replica coffin represents what it was like to see Lincoln lying in state. I found it deeply moving and sad, especially after learning as much as I did about the real man that Lincoln was. It really helped me to understand the grief and loss of a nation, and of those who knew him personally. We plan to visit the Lincoln Tomb tomorrow so I'll share more about that later.
Well, I hope you enjoy today's pics. Unfortunately they don't allow anything to be photographed past the front exhibit hall so you won't get to experience a true picture of this wonderful museum. But, the one & only home President Lincoln ever owned is just a few blocks from here and photographs are allowed there. So come back tomorrow for that visit and have a great day!