Wednesday, May 9, 2007

"Young Abe Lincoln"

Lincoln State Park in Spencer County, Indiana has big news. The state’s new biennial budget includes more than $1.6 million for the site.

Officials already have plans for the money. From 1987 to 2005, the site featured a musical drama called, “Young Abe Lincoln,” which focused on Lincoln’s formative years in southern Indiana. The show closed after the state legislature cut funding. But now, it’s making a comeback!

Officials plan on using half of the $1.6 million to commission, costume, and stage a new version of “Young Abe Lincoln.” The rest of the budget will go toward refurbishing the park’s 1,500 seat amphitheater and parking lot. Look for the show to reopen in 2009.

The state budget also features an additional $1.475 million for Indiana’s Lincoln Bicentennial efforts.

This story has me thinking again about Lincoln in popular culture. I wonder how much of the public’s money is allocated each year for Lincoln-related sites, events, artifacts, etc.? I suppose it would be interesting to know the figure, but I wonder how the break-down by state would turn out? How would the numbers fluctuate by year? A long-term study would tell us quite a bit about Lincoln's place in the "American mind." Does anyone know of such a study? The topic is certainly worthy of a dissertation and/or book.

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