Thursday Reads — Happy Birthday

It’s Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday, and at least two papers gave him an Iowa tie.

The Des Moines Register’s David Yepsen (read him while you can) points out that even in 1859, Iowa was an early stop for presidential hopefuls. He recounts Lincoln’s campaign stop in Council Bluffs in August 1859. Yepsen quotes from an account printed in “The Great Comeback: How Abraham Lincoln Beat the Odds To Win the 1860 Republican Presidential Nomination,” by Gary Ecelbarger.

“Coming to Iowa early. Impressing the locals. Courting the media. It all sounds familiar,”Yepsen writes.

And do you think the Omaha World Herald missed this historic detail? Not a chance.

 Across the state in the Quad-Cities, there are more local ties. It tuns out, according to the Quad-City Times, that a Rock Island newspaper editor was among the first to urge Lincoln to run for president. He did so in an April 1859 letter. Lincoln immediately formed an exploratory committee and a PAC. No, just kidding.

“…I must, in candor, say I do not think myself fit for the Presidency,” Lincoln replied. Honest and humble.

The Sioux City Journal marks the day at Lincoln Elementary school. And more ties:

“There is at least one child here that says they’re related to Lincoln and two or more that say they are related to (his assassin) John Wilkes Booth,” library assistant Connie Murray said. “They are very excited, and it’s amazing the different things they do know.”

So what else do we know?

The Quad-City Times also fronts a fascinating/troubling look inside the Atalissa “bunkhouse” where 21 mentally disabled turkey plant workers lived. Reporter Kurt Allemeier takes us inside in a story full of great description:

ATALISSA, Iowa – A refrigerator filled with carrots, salad dressing, gallons of milk and nonalcoholic beer hummed Wednesday next to cabinets where plastic plates and drinking glasses are neatly stacked in the dining area of a bunkhouse where 21 mentally disabled men lived until last week.

It’s a must read.

Here in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, we got a visit yesterday by new U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The Gazette’s Cindy Hadish and Diane Heldt have the story.

Napolitano, accompanied by Gov. Culver, toured now repaired Mercy Hospital and still damaged Hancher Auditorium. But the trip was also noteable for what didn’t happen.

She didn’t tour any flooded and still decimated neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids. She saw some damage from her SUV. She also saw photos and a video.

She didn’t talk to a delegation from Postville who wanted to register concerns. (Homeland Security also manages ICE)

Napolitano met with local leaders, including mayors, legislators and other public officials, but didn’t let the media in to watch our leaders speaking “candidly.” We sat in a conference room waiting for a typical spoon-fed message. She came bearing some money. She feels our pain. We won’t be forgotten.

Good to know. Thanks for stopping by.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Thursday Reads — Happy Birthday

  1. DebV

    They didn’t let the media in????
    What happened to Almighty Obama’s assurance of all things TRANSPARENT in his administration/government????

  2. Jessica

    Her trip was a waste of time and money. We have been forgotton by our government, is this our reward for attempting to repair and rebuild for ourselves?

  3. Martha Not-Stewart

    I am sorry that her visit was just for show.We don’t need that!

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