To Build a Better Lincoln


We intended to post this yesterday, seeing as it’s sort of all about Americana, but, probably like many of you, we were busy doing absolutely nothing of importance. But hey, July 5th is close enough, right? Anyway, over at Slate, Andrew Ferguson has a really great excerpt from his new book, Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America, which take an interesting, very funny look at the creation of the Lincoln Museum and Library, from how Disney got involved to making a believable animatronic robot. It’s great and would have been just perfect yesterday. Or if we’d saved it until next year’s Lincoln’s Birthday. Either way: dang. Here’s some:

Through her political contacts, Cellini arranged for Disney “imagineers,” as the theme-park designers are called, to come to Springfield. They scouted the sites, drew preliminary sketches, and made economic projections for “heads on beds.” She kept Disney’s involvement with Lincoln “under the radar,” as she put it. Only a few years before, Disney’s plan for a historical theme park in rural Virginia, outside the Washington Beltway, had been canceled, at great expense to Disney, after appalled historians joined in a nationwide protest — a kind of scholarly upchuck. “We simply could not have sold this project — to anybody, politicians, Lincoln people, scholars — if it had been a quote-unquote Disney project,” she said.