Turnpike and First Official Road Trip Photo:
Abe: Robert E., Ulysses, and I arrived in Belleville, Illinois,
ten days ago after a two day car trip from our new home in Burke,
Virginia. It took all three of us several days to recover from yet
another time change. We are now living in Central Daylight Time,
which means an hour earlier.
Robert E.: Which means we get to sleep in
an hour later!
On our trip we drove across Pennsylvania on the Turnpike, which
was the first of America's "superhighways," built in 1940. Here
is our photo taken with Mary when we stopped at one of the earliest
Comfort Stations on the Turnpike. Lots of people gaped at us while
we posed for our First Official Road Trip
Photo at a Comfort Station on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Ulysses: I was so em--bear--essed!
Abe: The sign says, "PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE.
This is one of the original service plazas for the nation's first
long-distance superhighway. On October 1, 1940, the Turnpike opened,
stretching 160 miles from Carlisle to Irwin. The Turnpike Commission
had been created in 1937; construction utilized the old South Pennsylvania
Railroad's right-of-way and tunnels. By 1957, the Turnpike spanned
360 miles across the state and extended 110 miles north to Scranton."
Trip to Ottawa, Illinois (Site of First Lincoln-Douglas Debate):
This past weekend, Mary and her husband, Marty,
made a side trip up to northern Illinois -- and they took only me
with them. I was so honored, I could "bearly" sit still
in the back seat of the car.
we spent the night in a quaint little town named Ottawa. It was
here in Washington Park, Ottawa's town square, that the first of
the famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took
place in August, 1858. Lincoln ran for a seat in the United States
Senate against Douglas. The big boulder
behind us in the photo marks the very spot where Lincoln uttered
the immortal words against the institution of slavery: "A house
divided against itself cannot stand." Lincoln lost that
particular election, but today, nobody remembers anything Douglas
said at this debate. I was so very proud to be there!
The sign says, "LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE.
On August 21, 1858, the first of the famous joint debates between
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas was held in this park. At
this site 10,000 people heard the two candidates for the United
States Senate discuss the question of slavery. Lincoln rebuffed
attemp[t]s to paint him as an abolitionist, one opposing the immediate
end to slavery. Lincoln maintained that slavery was morally wrong.
Douglas, however, refused to address the morality of slavery. He
insisted that the people in the individual states should be left
to decide the question. Slavery remained an issue throughout the
Robert E.: And Abe hasn't stopped talking
about his trip ever since!
Abe: Our next stop was Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln rose
to prominence as a lawyer and where he lived for over 16 years.
In my next report, I will tell you all about visiting his home in
Springfield -- the only home Lincoln ever owned.
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