Lincoln’s Legacy

As we approach the bicentennial of his birth, leading historians look at the man and his achievements

During the campaign of 1860, and throughout what Henry Adams would justly call the “Great Secession Winter” that fell like a shadow after that year’s momentous presidential election, a convincing case could be made that Abraham Lincoln was totally unprepared to assume the nation—s highest office, particularly at the hour of its gravest domestic crisis. Read more »

A Bicentennial Sampler

COPYRIGHT © 1976, WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

In an imposing observance of the nation’s Bicentennial the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City has devoted its entire building to a huge, exciting exhibition celebrating “200 Years of American Sculpture.” The show opened in March of this year and will run until mid-September. Altogether, more than two hundred sculptors are represented. Read more »

Commitment To Posterity

WHERE DID IT GO?

As we commemorate the anniversary of the founding of our nation we are conscious of a paradox: we have almost miraculously maintained the continuity of those institutions which the Founding Fathers created, but in large measure we have betrayed the principles that animated them.Read more »

The Great Detroit Clock

There seems to be a paucity of ingenious Bicentennial projects, especially compared to the ones that flourished during the 1816 Centennial. Consider, for instance, Felix Meier, a Detroit clockmaker who, imbued with the spirit of the time, produced this masterpiece. He spent ten years constructing his clock, which stood eighteen feet high and weighed two tons. It indicated the time in thirteen cities, as well as the day, month, season, the signs of the zodiac, and the revolutions of the planets around the sun.Read more »

A Bicentennial Monument ToOur Fumbling Foes Of ’76

Although the bicentennial of American independence is just over a year away, it is the unhappy fact that the United States has not yet expressed the slightest appreciation to those who did the most to make that independence possible. Read more »

The Most Successful Revolution

WHAT IS THERE TO CELEBRATE?

As we approach the bicentennial of the American Revolution we find ourselves in a paradoxical and embarrassing situation. A celebration of some kind certainly seems to be in order, but the urge to celebrate is not exactly overwhelming. Though many will doubtless ascribe this mood to various dispiriting events of the recent past or to an acute public consciousness of present problems, I think this would be a superficial judgment.Read more »

1876: The Eagle Screams

HISTORICAL REGISTER of the CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION 1876.

Philadelphia’s vast Fairmount Park stretches acre after acre, plateau after ravine, all empty now under the brittle blue of a winter sky. The people that came here in crowds a century ago to celebrate the country’s centennial are hard to imagine, however many faded photographs and woodcut illustrations one has seen of them. The some two hundred Exhibition buildings they massed in front of and wandered through are gone—torn down or changed utterly.Read more »