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Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 2: Searching Through Hayes Stacks

Hayes bust!

Attorney. Courtroom defender for runaway slaves. Union Army veteran. Congressman. Social reformer. And, when time permitted, American President.

Not every U.S. President left an institution behind upon their passing. Some have multiple cities named after them. Many have a museum that tells their life story and/or celebrates their contributions to their homelands. Some states are prouder of their famous citizens than others.

A number of our former leaders have eponymous presidential libraries, though most were established in or after the 20th century, well after they and their immediate family died. You’d think the very first fully dedicated Presidential Library would have been in honor of one of the really cool Presidents — the ones who get movies made of their lives, who get to be played by upright actors like Sam Waterston or David Morse.

Nope. This guy’s was first.

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“Lincoln”: a Multi-Purpose Crossover of History, Morality, and All-Star House Party

Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"Despite a few dissidents who wished for something more, Stephen Spielberg’s new film Lincoln has received a host of rave reviews and much name-checking in articles about Academy Award predictions. The film aims to operate numerous levels, which may or may not work depending on what set of preconceptions and expectations you hope to see fulfilled:

* Historical drama: Based on the nonfiction book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the script by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America) is a meticulous chronology of January-April 1865, when our beleaguered sixteenth President sought to end the Civil War and legislate abolition, but struggled through his negotiations with Congress to ensure that each occurred in the correct order, lest one set of dominoes send the other sprawling into chaos. Dozens of historical figures vie for screen time and take turns having their shared moment with either Lincoln or his henchmen. The result is a lot of nineteenth-century trivia compacted into a series of staged conversations, some of which are drier than others. Chances are, though, very few viewers will be able to say they’ve heard all of this before.

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