Monday, December 29, 2008

The Hands of History: Lincoln, Obama, Ream

From one hand on a Bible, that of Abraham Lincoln during his first Presidential inauguration in 1861, to one hand on the same Bible, that of the first inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009, almost 148 years later.

That is not only history, but history in the making. All that Lincoln strived for in our country has come to be with the choice of our President-elect by voters.

I believe it is fitting that Obama has chosen to use Lincoln’s Bible to take his oath of office. President-elect Obama will be the first president to be sworn in using this Bible since Abraham Lincoln. Presidents are not constitutionally required to be sworn in using a Bible, though most choose to do so.

The Lincoln Bible, now in the Library of Congress, is burgundy velvet with a gold-washed white metal rim around the three outside edges of both covers. All its edges are heavily gilded. In the center of the top cover is a shield of gold wash over white metal with the words "Holy Bible" chased into it. The 1,280-page Bible was published in 1853 by the Oxford University Press and was purchased in 1861 by Supreme Court Clerk William Thomas Carroll for use in Abraham Lincoln's inauguration because the president-elect's family Bible was packed away in Illinois and was en route to Washington.

Today in doing research on Lincoln for my newest series of ebooks,
I discovered information I did not previously know. And that had to do with women’s rights, and position in the mid 1800’s and with another pair of hands...the hands of Vinnie Ream, the young sculptor who did a marble bust of Lincoln and then after his death was awarded the commission to sculpt the statute of Lincoln which now stands in the Capitol Rotunda.

Although I had photographed the statue on a visit to the Capitol a few years ago, I did not know the history of the sculptor. And I was surprised to learn it was a very attractive young woman. At the time Lincoln sat for the bust she sculpted, she was 18 years of age, and then at 23, commissioned to do the Lincoln statue.

Vinnie Reams’ hands left an imprint on history, also.

She wrote: “Congress appropriated money to erect a marble statue of the martyred President in the Capitol, it never occurred to me, with my youth and my inexperience, to compete for that great honor; but I was induced to place my likeness of him before the committee having the matter under consideration, and, together with many other artists--competitors for this work--I was called before this committee. I shall never forget the fear that fell upon me, as the chairman (the Hon. John H. Rice, of Maine, who had a kind heart, but a very stern manner) looked up through his glasses, from his seat at the head of the table, and questioned and cross-questioned me until I was so frightened that I could hardly reply to his questions: "How long had I been studying art?'' and had I ever made a marble statue?'' My knees trembled and I shook like an aspen, and I had not enough presence of mind even to tell him that I had made the bust from sittings from life. Seeing my dire confusion, and not being able to hear my incoherent replies, he dismissed me with a wave of his hand, and a request to Judge Marshall, of Illinois, to kindly see the young artist home! Once there, in the privacy of my own room, I wept bitter tears that I had been such an idiot as to try to compete with men, and remembering the appearance before that stern committee as a terrible ordeal before unmerciful judges, I promised myself it should be my last experience of that kind."
"Judge then of my surprise and delight when I learned that, guided by the opinion of Judge David Davis, Senator Trumbull, Marshal Lamon, Sec. O. H. Browning, Judge Dickey, and many others of President Lincoln's old friends, that I had produced the most faithful likeness of him, they had awarded the commission to me-the little western sculptor. The Committee on Mines and Mining tendered me their room in the Capitol, in which to model my statue, because it was next to the room of Judge David Davis, and he could come in daily and aid me with his friendly criticisms. His comfortable chair was kept in readiness. He came daily, and suggesting ‘a little more here--a little on there--more inclining of the bended head--more angularity of the long limbs,’ he aided me in my sacred work by his encouraging words and generous sympathy.”

She wrote this after the unveiling of the Lincoln statue in January, 1871.

“This night when the Lincoln statue was unveiled in the rotunda of the Capitol was the supreme moment of my life. I had known and loved the man! My country had loved him and cherished his memory. In tears the people had parted with him. With shouts of joy and acclamations of affection they had received his image in the marble. Upon the very spot where a few years before they had gathered in sorrow to gaze upon his lifeless body lying there in state while a nation mourned, they had gathered again to unveil his statue. ‘The marble is the resurrection,’ say the old sculptors, and now the dead had arisen to live forever in the hearts of the people whom he loved so well.”

And I like what she wrote about Washington D.C. and the Capitol, which, of course, she had a special feeling for.

“We have a country the chosen of the earth, rich in the best of gifts and prosperous beyond all expectation. Our lines are cast in pleasant places. Those of us who live in Washington are particularly blessed. The sun has never shone upon a more lovely city. Beautifully situated, with healthful and favoring airs stealing up from the sea, between the picturesque banks of the Potomac, and with beautiful buildings rising on every side.”
"The grand old Capitol, with its majestic dome, towers above them all--a star by day and a pillar of fire by night. It is truly a picture for the artist always, whether in the sun, the storm, the rain, the mist or the moonlight. The Congressional Library is a never-failing fountain of knowledge. It is receiving now a new impetus and reaching out its arms in every direction. Its growth is so rapid that the Capitol cannot much longer contain it and it must soon build a temple unto itself. A storehouse of treasures is encompassed by the picturesque walls of the Smithsonian and the new museum will eventually become a second Kensington. The portals of art have been thrown wide open by the generous hand of Mr. Corcoran and the nation will preserve with gratitude and affection his noble gift: the Corcoran Art Gallery. We who live here cannot say that we lack advantages.”

"Our country's history and the grand destiny awaiting it, inspire us to action. Our beautiful Capitol will some day lay its proud head low, the grass will grow on our bright avenues and our pictures and statues will crumble into dust, but the recollection of great and good deeds will not die. Where are now the houses and the streets which the illustrious men of the past have inhabited? They have melted away into thin air. They have vanished, but the memory of these great men remains and the heart of youth beats high with aspiration and enthusiasm when listening to the recital of their glowing deeds. Let us all try to do something and do the very best we can. Some can make of themselves great men--all can be good men. Who can say there may not be in this very assemblage some boy who, striving to be good and great, may be revered in story and in song, when the ashes of centuries shall envelope this now fair city."

Vennie Ream lived from 1847-1914.

~ Linda

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Choosing A Presidential Cabinet

Should a candidate for President, once he is nominated, tell the voters who will become members of his Cabinet, if he is elected? There has been quite some discussion over this subject. Does the general opinion seem to be that as a Cabinet has so much to do with the shaping of an Administration that advance information should be given? But apparently it is not done, although there have been some elections which cast tell-tale Cabinet selection shadows before them. All in all, it seems likely that the plan of the future will be one we have always followed, but in all cases to bend our energies to the selection of candidates whose judgment is to be relied upon in the making of wise Cabinet choices. It cannot be otherwise than true that a splendid Cabinet might make a success of a weak executive’s Administration. Such things have been witnessed by men and women still living.

When the Convention nominated the young man, he had not been well known, almost an unknown outside the Midwest and had not enjoyed a wide reputation among political activities. His term in Illinois politics—the Illinois legislature, an attorney—had been rather a short time. In going over very carefully the events of his career up to that time we can find no task which called forth the skill, the patience, tact and diplomacy which he has displayed in his picking of his Cabinet at a time when the country is as divided with such internal strife as we now face.

If some writers are to be believed, he picked his Cabinet members on Election night. But the Cabinet was not selected then, nor was the task so easily disposed of as some would have us believe. It actually took several weeks to pick his team, and for those persons to accept the positions offered them.

His reasons for picking his Cabinet seemed to be to combine experience, integrity, popularity, regional, and bipartisan.

If there is ever a time when this country of ours was on tip-toes over Cabinet-making, it was when the choice for Secretary of State was an outspoken opponent and a New Yorker, but was not Hillary Clinton, as you might think. Then, in 1860, it was William H. Seward, and the President choosing his Cabinet was Abraham Lincoln.

The above had been written about Abraham Lincoln’s selection of his first Cabinet of seven men, at a time when the country was being devastated by Civil War.

Sounds familiar, though, doesn’t it? I could have added Barack Obama, our President-elect, herein, but I was writing about our 16th President. Of course, I personally see such similarity between the two men, both going into the Presidency at a time of turmoil in the country, a time of needed change and excellent leadership. With Lincoln we had a man of vision, a man of compassion, honesty, and humor, and a man dedicated to his role as President. I believe we have those same qualities in Obama, and although he faces great challenges in getting our country back on track, and respected in the world, I feel confident that he can do so, and I feel confident with his Vice President Joe Biden and with the Cabinet choices.

I am optimistically looking forward to a swinging of the pendulum which has already began its movement with the historic election of Obama.

I do hope my grandchildren appreciate the historic event that has taken place. I look forward to the day when women’s rights, gay rights, and other issues of equality are no longer a political issue used by the Republican party. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a ways to go to achieve what every citizen deserves. And let’s hope years upon years do not have to go by before diversity and equality for all is accepted by all citizens of this country.


“I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father's child has." ~Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The UFO Phenomena: The Cosmic SOS by Linda Pendleton

Linda Pendleton’s newest eBook, The UFO Phenomena: The Cosmic SOS

Are we alone in the universe? Many people do not believe we are. A recent U.S. National Roper Poll showed seventy-two percent believe that our government is not telling us all it knows about UFO activity. Another CNN-TIME Poll showed eighty-percent believed the government to be hiding knowledge of UFOs.

Nearly half of Americans believe UFOs have visited earth in some form. And a Roper Poll conducted by the SciFi Television Channel indicated one in seven has had a UFO Experience.

What do you believe? What do you know?

Now on sale. Purchase and Download and receive several free gifts, including:
Crop Circles in the Fields, Objects in the Skies, and Creatures in the Bedroom
by Linda Pendleton

This 97 page ebook is packed with a collection of compelling articles and credible firsthand accounts of sightings and experiences intended to shed light and insight into Crop Circles, UFOs, and abductions. Articles by Dr. John E. Mack; Nuclear Physicist and UFO Investigator, Stanton Friedman; Crop Circle Researcher Nancy Talbott; and more. Also find astonishing photographs of recent crop circles, courtesy of Lucy Pringle and others.

Have we been visited here on earth? If so, since when? Could Crop Circles be a message to us? If so, what might that Boldmessage be? What are crop circles theories? How is a hoax (i.e., man-made) crop circle identifiable from the real thing? Has anyone or thing ever been caught in the act making crop circles? This eBook examines these questions and provide intriguing responses, as it explores life beyond this planet and contemplates our connection to it.

This 97 page ebook is free gift with the purchase of Linda Pendleton's UFO Phenomena: The Cosmic SOS, and additional ebook gifts, the 1898 novel War of the Worlds; The FBI FOIA Documents - Unidentified Flying Objects; Linda Pendleton's article on Peak Experiences.

"I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real. It's been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it's leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it. I've been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes - we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it's been happening quite a bit." ~ Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut, 2008

Purchase Here, Immediate Download

Saturday, December 6, 2008

O. J. = Oh, Justice...

Many feel a sense of jubilance and celebration today (Friday) in hearing the words of Las Vegas, Nevada Judge Jackie Glass giving her sentencing order to O. J. Simpson. The Nevada Division of Parole and Probation recommended a minimum sentence of 18 years for the 12 felony counts he was convicted of.

More than thirteen years ago, O. J. Simpson got away with the 1994 murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman when acquitted for the crimes in criminal court, but was then held responsible for their horrific deaths in civil court.

Watching the L.A. criminal trial, I was so disappointed when he was acquitted, even sick to my stomach that day. But following his acquittal on criminal double murder charges, I said one day he would do something wrong that would send him to jail. He was so arrogant, so sure of himself, until this trip to Las Vegas and his “stupidity” as he called it. I think most of us laughed at his court room speech today about how sorry he was–and stupid, and how he had been visiting Vegas since 1959–and had never been in trouble.

Judge Glass commented about the violence of his act, and also said, “it was much more than stupidity.” 15 years, maybe parole after nine years, and could be locked away for 33 years. Not bad. He’s not going to have a very good time in prison. The Judge also commented he was arrogant and ignorant.

She gave him about what I thought he would get. Good for her in following the law and good for the jury in bringing back a reasonable and just verdict for the criminal acts O. J. and his group committed in Vegas.

NBC/MSNBC’s Dan Abrams, who followed the Simpson case years back in Los Angeles, mentioned today how O. J. all these years “had publically mocked the Goldman family, again, again, and again.” When asked in so many words if O. J. “would fade away,” Abrams said, “The O. J. Simpson that we’ve seen today, the O. J. Simpson with the swagger is gone forever.”

I have to admit it was nice to see O. J. looking weary and defeated. Yeah, more than nice.

It was great to see Fred Goldman looking better than I’ve ever seen him over these years. I imagine these last few months of knowing O. J. Simpson was in jail and had little if any hope of getting out, and would surely be going to prison, finally gave Fred Goldman, his wife, Ron’s sister, Kim Goldman, and the rest of the family a sense of peace that justice has been accomplished in the name of their son and brother, Ron Goldman, and Nicole Brown. They may never receive any of the money, more than thirty-three million, owned their family and the Brown’s, but I hope for them, it no longer matters now that Ron’s killer is in prison.

Today Fred Goldman was asked by a reporter if this brought closure and Goldman answered, “There is never closure. Ron is always gone–what we have is satisfaction that this monster is now where he belongs, behind bars.”

I wish the Goldman’s peace knowing their stand for Ron all these years now has results. But isn’t it so ironic that O. J. had done something with many of those items years back in an effort to keep the Goldman’s from getting any monetary value from his things. He has said more than once, he would not give the Goldman’s a dime. Funny isn’t it, that his efforts to scam the Goldman’s led him to serious criminal acts to recover his items....but oh, O. J. said he thought he “was confronting friends” and didn’t know he “was doing anything wrong.” Yeah, sure.

A little bit of Karma that didn’t have to wait until another life-time.

~ Linda