One of the most tender and compassionate of men, he was forced to give orders which cost thousands of lives; by nature a man of order and thrift, he saw the unutterable waste and destruction which he could not prevent. The cry of the widow and the orphan was always in his ears; the awful responsibility resting upon him as the protector of an imperilled republic kept him true to his duty, but could not make him unmindful of the intimate details of that vast sum of human misery involved in civil war.
–John Hay on Lincoln
. . . during this annual rite in which the National Pastime returns belongs to David Eisenhower:
Following baseball is like keeping tabs on the neighbors. Attending a game is like dropping by for a visit to see how everyone is getting along. Sustaining interest is easy because of the ever-present potential for an abrupt change of fortune.
–Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969
I am right now listening to the Indians-Bluejays opener from Toronto on MLBTV. So good to have baseball back.
In the evenings when Washington was quiet, I would often go to the Lincoln Memorial and talk to Mr. Lincoln. In those days you could drive right up and park at the foot of the steps of the memorial . . . I loved that majestic seated figure surrounded by his eloquent words. I found him to be a wonderful listener.
–Cynthia Helms, An Intriguing Life: A Memoir of War, Washington, and Marriage to an American Spymaster
You don’t understand anything about this. You have no idea what it feels like to stand on a battlefield pretending to fight for something you believe in.
–Everybody Loves Raymond’s Frank Barone on Civil War reenacting
Harriet Ward Foote Hawley
I do not believe we shall ever conquer till we proclaim emancipation; and yet I suppose there are people in the world who think President Lincoln knows more than Mrs. Hawley.
–Mrs. Harriet Ward Foote Hawley, outspoken wife of Joseph Hawley in a private letter; July 3, 1862
(image/Harriet Beecher Stowe Center)
There was a cheering crowd at the Auburn train station in August 1870 to send Seward and the Risleys on their way. In Salt Lake City, Brigham Young introduced them to eleven of his sixteen wives and almost all of his forty-nine living childrem.
–Walter Stahr, Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man
Lincoln inaugural at the unfinished U.S. Capitol Building, March 1861
From April 1850 until the day he abandoned Washington to become president of the Confederacy eleven years later, [Jefferson] Davis would be the new Capitol’s political champion, benefactor, and shepherd. Without him the modern Capitol, recognized throughout the world as an enduring symbol of republican democracy would never have existed.
–Guy Gugliotta, Freedom’s Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War
A litte irony to go with your coffee
(image/Library of Congress)
“I hope no one takes it strictly as a history lesson,” he said. “There’s much more to the movie than that. It gives you an opportunity to think about the fact that politics is still dirty. And that great things are done by people, working hard. Great things are not hurled from the heavens like lightning bolts by an old man with a gray beard in a white robe. They don’t spring from the earth full-blown. Great things are the achievement of sometimes lowly people working very hard.”
–Tommy Lee Jones discussing Lincoln, opening nationwide today
(Hat tip: the Hayfoot)
(image courtesy Dreamworks and Twentieth Century Fox)
“You have to know some facts, but the most interesting things are uncertain.”
Frank’s not here anymore. We should be clapping just for that.
–Magic Johnson at today’s press conference announcing that his new ownership team has now officially taken over from the ethically-challenged Frank McCourt