The visit to Abraham Lincoln's Presidential Museum was definitely worth the little detour on our move. Here we are with the manikins of the Lincoln family. We spent two days driving, and we were right back at the White House! HA HA! (From left to right: Me, Bubby in red, Tad in blue, Robert, Mary Todd Lincoln, Princess holding her Bitty Baby, Willie in blue, and The General. Abe and my honey are standing in the back.) They are so life like it is amazing. Left: The General and Princess pose with young Abe. They have the museum set up in two "journeys". One is of Lincoln's younger years, up to the White House Years. The second journey is from the time he was elected until he laid in state at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield. Throughout those "journeys" they have the life-like manikins depicting significant scenes. They did a fabulous job of telling his story, and also teaching history. I know the thing I found most surprising when The General, Princess and I were studying Lincoln this year is how controversial he was as a president.
Today, we love Lincoln and herald him as one of the greatest presidents ever. However, in his day he was not well liked. He and poor Mary Todd Lincoln had to put up with A LOT of criticism. The other thing that really moved me is the tragedy and loss the Lincolns experienced. Imagine Mary, she lost 3 of her 4 children and had her husband assassinated. What a burden of grief she must have endured.
Along with the "journey" displays, there were two very well done theatre experiences. One was called the Ghosts of Lincoln. It explained the importance of the Presidential Museum, and how we are still learning about the past. This show was amazing, with unbelievable special effects. There is only one actor and a chair on the stage, but it looks like a full library, and then a battle field. The big kiddos went twice just to figure it out. Incredible!
The other show is called Lincoln's Eyes. This was also a first class presentation. They did a great job of explaining Lincoln, his life and the difficulties he had to overcome. Whenever I see pictures of Lincoln at the end of his life, I cannot believe how much he aged during the Civil War. He goes from being a middle aged man, to a very worn out looking man. I wonder if I would ever give that much of my family and myself to this country that I love.
Now, a very cool part of this fabulous museum was Mrs. Lincoln's Attic. It was a hand's on play area for children. Bubby had a ball here. In fact he spent most of the day here, which worked out beautifully. We took turns supervising the toddler, while the other adult took the big kiddos out exploring and learning in the rest of the museum. They thought of everything here!
Unfortunately it was cold and windy, and we didn't pack for winter. Therefore we stayed inside the museum, without a lot of walking around the city checking out everything Lincoln. If you visit, they have tours of his home, his grave, his law office, the state capitol and the train station. For us, the museum was enough. We have studied Lincoln pretty thoroughly, and seen many exhibits in DC. I figured we could skip freezing to death, and leave with a good feeling. :o) I can be pretty relentless when it comes to field trips, but I'm not heartless!