Lincoln Lunacies

Note: posted on History for the Present, December 7, 2016


There is an abundance of wonderful, wacky, and weird Lincoln shit out in the world, like this adorable, but very strange Lincoln rubber ducky. I purchased this little fella for one dollar at the eclectic urban market across the street from my house. It was buried in a big bin of presidential rubber duckies just waiting for this Lincoln scholar to pluck him out from under a large number of far more numerous Washington and Reagan rubber duckies. Missouri was a border state, and Lincoln has never been all that popular here; however, with some hope in my voice, I asked the sales clerk if there had been a run on the Lincoln rubber duckies. He smiled broadly and laughed, noting that the Lincoln and the Obama rubber duckies had flown out of that bin, leaving the far less popular presidents behind. While Missouri is hardly a “reconstructed” state (just look at the November 2016 election returns), at least my border city knows how to pick the right presidents out of bin of presidential rubber duckies.

Over the years I have always trained my eye for wonderful, wacky, and weird Lincoln shit out in the world, and when I see it I make a beeline for it. I laugh…or groan, as the case may be. I bring it to the attention of my companions, who do their own groaning. I snap pictures and often, admittedly, plunk down hard earned cash to make it my own. I have Lincoln bandages, a Lincoln switch-plate, and a set of Lincoln salt and pepper shakers, to name just a few of my purchases. I have never documented my finds, but in the back of my mind has always lurked a desire to share what I have come to call my Lincoln Lunacies with the world. And so, with this website and effort to write history for the present, I finally have my chance.

Watch for regular Lincoln Lunacy blog posts, and send me your crazy-ass Lincoln finds, too. It’ll be fun to talk about how a great and ugly man from the 1860s came to be such omnipresent icon in our modern world.