Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
I -- was born 203 years ago today.
But while literally thousands of books have been written about one of our greatest presidents the debate continues over the meaning of -- life.
Here's our power player of the.
Much more accessible.
-- -- Washington or Jefferson.
The fact he was born in -- -- -- that he embodies the American dream.
Presidential historian Richard Norton Smith is talking about America's enduring fascination with Abraham Lincoln.
Smith is one of the driving forces behind a new 25 million dollar museum.
On Lincoln's like -- -- That open this week directly across from Ford's theater where Lincoln was killed 147.
It's a museum that looks -- -- war he balding relationship.
With the -- not only the historical -- -- But the Lincoln of -- Smith gave us a tour of the center for education and leadership.
It begins with what happened after Lincoln died.
-- a replica of the railway car that took the president's remains on a mournful twenty day journey through a dozen cities.
Precious -- extraordinary.
Pageant of grief but that's where the story begins the senator chronicles how president's -- -- have embraced Lincoln.
They all -- -- and as a source of inspiration.
Richard Richard Nixon who is twelve years old Hong Lincoln's picture over his bed.
Was sworn into office on a Lincoln Bible.
The centerpiece is this 35 foot tall sculpture -- books that have been written about Lincoln.
Smith says more than about any other person who has ever lived.
These are some -- be 151000.
Volumes that have been written to date.
And as we speak there's no shortage of -- out there adding to the list.
Why the fascination -- Lincoln.
Smith says beyond the fact he was one of office his presidency confronted so many issues that still consumed the country.
War and peace civil liberties and our continuing struggle -- rights.
The American Communist Party has finally can -- -- they used to be went in the Lincoln day dinners.
You know Lincoln has been appropriated.
Sometimes abused in the name of just about every cause you can imagine.
That's one of the things they will study of -- under the nature of leadership.
It's a subject that fascinates Richard Norton Smith who has run five presidential library is from Lincoln's two Reagan's.
If you look at the president -- memorial was on the ball each and are away.
Made America a little bit more democratic.
Smith hopes visitors to the center will come away with the same understanding -- -- and that has all those historians who contributed to that how world war.
But the last word we'll never be -- It's a museum about.
And after life.
And and it addresses that issue that -- ongoing question of why does Abraham Lincoln matter.
Why a 150 years later.
Is he still oh so important to us.
More than 750000.
People a year visit Ford's theater now what this new senator.
-- -- many more will come to see what they are calling a Lincoln campus.
In the heart of Washington.
Filter by section