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Archive for the ‘ABRAHAM LINCOLN’ Category

Hat’s Off?

Posted by Mr. President on August 2, 2007


Trouble Lincoln Land?

The Lincoln Library wants the city of Springfield to front for them in issuing $25 million in bonds to pay for a substantial collection of Lincoln odds and ends, the star of which is one of three stovepipe hats known to exist. But museums don’t usually go into debt to build their collections. And while issuing tax exempt bods makes the funds cheaper for the museum, someone [ie the feds] gets the tax loss.

The Lincoln’s Executive Director assures the “Springfield Journal Register” that it’s all magic money. “This collection is, essentially, a gift to the people of the state of Illinois. The foundation is paying for it.” But the paper says the foundation has some $19 million in the bank, and fund-raising is nowhere near where they projected it.



This Always To Tourists

Posted by Mr. President on July 17, 2007


No end of woe as Springfield Illinois lumbers from loss to loss. Fewer tourists are visiting the home of the Abraham Lincoln Library and other, actual Lincoln sites, in a year when Chicago and downstate Illinois as a whole are up.

Hopes of turning it around may rest on a tourist guide where children can collect stamps from all the local sites, from the Museum of Funeral Customs [motto: “Death is Only the Beginning!”] to The Edwards Place, home of the Lincoln Courting Couch. Scattered early reports in the Springfield Journal Register have “a handful” or “two or three a day” tourists visiting sites bearing the guides, with 20,000 on the streets.

Citizens of Springfield! You can’t get a break.

The latest indignity to befall the Land of Lincoln is it’s snubbing by the producers of The Simpsons Movie, who held a bake-off of the nation’s Springfields to decide where to premiere the film next week.

Illinois’s effort was brightened by referencing the classic episode where Groundskeeper Willie doused the eternal flame on Adlai Stevenson’s grave. springfield-lincoln-simpsons.jpg

The full entry is really quite bad:

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Posted by Mr. President on July 5, 2007

Lincoln Lore & Legends


Slate excerpts the Lincoln museum chapters of Andrew Ferguson’s “Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America”

hall-of-presidents-disney.jpgHis summary of the Disney Treatment:

“In the end what you come up with is that he’s interesting because a lot of people over the past 150 years have been interested in him. He’s been hated and loved, pondered and studied, honored and mourned so intensely for so long that it doesn’t seem to matter why. He’s reached the zenith of American celebrity. He’s famous for being famous.”

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Posted by Mr. President on June 19, 2007

Seance In Springfield


Fresh on the heels of their hundred thousand dollar purchase of a Lincoln portrait by artist cheezemeister LeRoy Neiman, the Lincoln Museum is aiming higher. They are now spending as much as twenty million dollars for a private Lincoln collection.

Museum officials claim the presence of relics such as Lincoln’s hat will allow future visitors a “personal relationship with their historical figures,” letting “ghosts arise.”

Pinch me. Carried along by their own powerful vision, the museum gets cloudy on who pays. The Executive Director told the AP that “no tax money is involved. Instead, the foundation is working with the city of Springfield to issue bonds to pay for the collection now, and private fundraising will pay off the bonds in years to come.”

Or won’t, and twenty years or so hence taxpayers may.

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Posted by Mr. President on June 14, 2007

The Abe Effect


As Clinton was to cows, Lincoln is to the Korean War? The Clinton Library is often credited with bringing Heifer International to Little Rock as neighbor. Now Korean War vets hope to catch museum mania across the street from Springfield Illinois’s Lincoln Library.

Perfect. Springfield will gain a new tax expenditure black hole in addition to Honest Abe’s local, state and federal subsidies. The prospective museum’s planners are already angling for Congressional earmarks, and Springfield is sprinkling tax increment financing [TIF]on a downtown lot with buried gas tanks.

The beauty part of TIF is it allows a body like the City of Springfield to beggar all the other taxing districts which draw from local property taxes. TIF takes the taxes on increased property values in an area, attributes them to X project, and usually dumps the cash back on X as a subsidy. The City forgoes any benefit from the development and hopes that someday somehow they make it back in sales taxes on tourists, or something.

In this case the other local taxing bodies include the Lincoln Land Community College District, Springfield Community Unit School District, Capital Township, Sangamon County, Springfield Park District, Springfield Metropolitan Sanitary District, Springfield Airport Authority, Springfield Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, and the Springfield Mass Transportation District.

Enjoy your museum folks!

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Posted by Mr. President on May 31, 2007

Lincoln Logs Off


The Lincoln Library was billed as Disney on the prairie when it opened, and like the Magic Kingdom they’ve discovered the joys of copyright.

A video produced for the museum illustrating the course of the Civil War was briefly popular on YouTube, and you’d think they would be grateful for the attention. Instead they had it yanked.

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