Monday, February 12, 2018

A Day for “Lincoln”

When I first went to school, we kids had two holidays in February.

One was George Washington's Birthday, February 22, a national holiday since 1885. But Congress, in order to form a more perfect weekend, declared it a floating date and ever since 1971 the holiday has floated to the third Monday of the month. This legislative change was part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. (I’m not kidding, you can look it up.) The federal government still calls this day Washington’s Birthday, but most everyone else calls it Presidents Day.

The other day out of school was February 12, Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday. This was not a federal holiday, but states could declare it locally, and so we had the day off.

Today is February 12, and to remember the man, I am recommending the 2012 movie, “Lincoln.”

It is one of the best films Stephen Spielberg ever directed and it has an outstanding performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president.

Other generations have had their Lincoln movies, and for years Henry Fonda, in 1939’s “Young Mr. Lincoln,” and Raymond Massey, in 1940’s “Abe Lincoln in Illinois,” were the images many held in their minds. Both were fine actors, but for me, Day-Lewis outdid them by becoming the flesh and blood man. The actor disappeared into the role and he won an Academy Award for his performance.

So today, or sometime this month, see this picture again. And if you have not seen it, put it at the top of your list.

(For other posts on film, TV, and more, check out Todd Mason’s blog.)

1 comment:

  1. I heard about the film when it came out, but didn't see it. I'm not a strong student when it comes to American history - at least not that far back.