Obama and Lincoln

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Presidential Obama's Inauguration
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Many details of the days leading up to the inauguration of Barack Obama echoed events in the political life of President Abraham Lincoln, one of Obama's heroes:

  • In 2007, Obama announced his presidential candidacy on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., where Lincoln made a similar announcement in the mid-19th Century.
  • Obama has quoted Lincoln many times in recent months, including at his two most famous speeches thus far, at the Democratic National Convention and on Election Night.
  • Much has been made of Obama's fondness for the book Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin's account of Lincoln's assembly of his Cabinet from his former rivals for the presidency.
  • On January 17, Obama played host to a town hall meeting in Philadelphia, Pa., then traveled by train to Washington, D.C., as Lincoln did in 1861.

  • The next day, Obama played host to a celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Obama was sworn in using the same Bible that Lincoln used in 1861.
  • The lunch menu after the inauguration was in keeping with many foods that the Lincolns served in 1861. The china will be a replica of the one used by First Lady Mary Lincoln.

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White