Lincoln 1860

Lincoln 1860

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Continued Fallout Over Closure Of Lincoln Museum

I've been somewhat remiss in keeping up with my posts over the past few days or so. We here in Northeastern Ohio were nearly buried on Friday night and Saturday by over 14 inches of snow and I've been trying to keep up with shoveling, etc. In the meantime, though, I've been keeping informed about the ramifications of the scheduled closure of the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The eminent and nationally known Lincoln expert, Harold Holzer, published an impassioned editorial on March 9, urging the operators of the musem (Lincoln National) to find a home for the valuable and irreplaceable collection of Lincolnania. As Holzer points out, the museum serves as a primary source of information to countless authors, researchers, and fans of Lincoln. It's an excellent editorial and I urge my readers to read it.

From an article published yesterday, March 10, by a Fort Wayne television station comes word that the Lincoln Museum Board Of Directors has voted to try every way possible to keep as much of the collection in Fort Wayne as possible. They will present a plan with various proposals to Lincoln National, based in Philadelphia over the next few months.

Like any good politician, the mayor of Fort Wayne, Tom Henry, weighed in with a statement of his own concerning the closure of the museum. Unfortunately, he probably won't have any impact whether the collection stays or goes.

Finally, there is yet another hard-hitting editorial in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, strongly criticizing Lincoln National for not only turning its back on a community, but for also shutting access to perhaps the finest collection of Lincolnania publicly available. The author, Scott Bushnell, implies (with justification in my opinion) that corporate greed on the part of new management at Lincoln National is the primary reason for the closure.

Of course, it remains to be seen what effect, if any, these pleas and proposed plans will have on the decision by Lincoln National. Let's hope that the management at Lincoln National sees the light and remembers the goodwill and corporate citizenship it has established over the decades. Only an American company, with its focus on the short-term bottom line, would cut off access to such a National treasure.

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