Archive for February 15th, 2016

15
Feb
16

Tweet Of The Freaking Day!

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15
Feb
16

Happy President’s Day, President Obama!

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15
Feb
16

“The Toil And Sacrifice Of Ordinary Men And Women”

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President Barack Obama

Happy Presidents Day, everyone! Last week, I traveled back to Springfield, Illinois – where I got a chance to reflect a little bit on my favorite president and fellow Illinoisan – Abraham Lincoln.

As I said there, Lincoln wasn’t always the giant of history that we think of today. He didn’t have formal schooling. His businesses and his law practice often struggled. He left Congress after just one term because his opposition to the Mexican-American War damaged his reputation. But then, something happened that shook his conscience. Congress effectively overturned the Missouri Compromise, that flawed law that had prohibited slavery in the North and legalized it in the South.

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Over the next six years, his arguments with Stephen Douglas and others helped shape the national debate around slavery. And it was on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield where he uttered those brilliant words, that “A house divided against itself cannot stand;” and that “this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free.”

Lincoln went on to become the first Republican President, and I believe our greatest president. Through his will, his words, and most of all, his character, he held a nation together and helped free a people.

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Late at night, I sometimes walk down the hall to a room Lincoln used as his office that contains an original copy of the Gettysburg address. I linger on a few words that have helped define our American experiment: “A new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Lincoln grasped, maybe more than anyone, the burdens required to give those words meaning. And he understood that it is through the toil and sacrifice of ordinary men and women that our country is built and freedom is preserved.

15
Feb
16

“I’m going home”

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15
Feb
16

Early Bird Chat

On This Day: Maya Angelou receives a Medal of Freedom from President Obama at the White House, February 15, 2011




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