A look back at the “Lincoln News Digest.”

Lincoln as sculpted by Cashwan

Lincoln as sculpted by Cashwan

I find it a lot of fun reading past issues of periodicals like the excellent “Lincoln Herald.” Every issue featured the “Lincoln News Digest” containing interesting news of things in the Lincoln world. Here are some of the items I pulled out from the Fall 1981 issue:
*Between April and November the outside lights in the Lincoln Memorial will no longer be turned on until an hour after sunset. This is not primarily to save energy but rather to prevent MIDGES, tiny, gnat-like insects swarming from the Potomac River only at twilight, from coming into the building’s colonade and covering its marble walls with greasy eggs…
*Some 400,000 people visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois, each year. Approximately one in 33,000 is deaf…
*Ludwell H. Johnson wrote an article for “Civil War History” in which he maintained that Jefferson Davis ‘ “talents and character have been obscured by the cult of Lincoln and the fact of Confederate defeat,” and that when the “correct story” of him is told, he will be seen as “one of the most remarkable men of his day, and …in all of American history.”
*Harrison E. Salisbury wrote a review of David S. Lifton’s book “Best Evidence” in the February 23 New York Times in which he recalled a theory he heard pertaining to Abraham Lincoln that the “White House-wearied President” staged the “murder,” but was not really killed. Rather there was some sort of coverup while Lincoln went back to Illinois and lived on a farm until the 1880’s. According to him some seven million people saw an empty coffin moved from Washington to Illinois.
*Ronald Reagan is pictured in the New York Times’ February 13 edition placing a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial.
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