Outside of Hollywood, is there anywhere, anyone more interested in entertaining the public than Civil War historians? Well, break out the rhinestones for this newly-minted Lincoln scholar whose high concepts will soon relegate our Civil War showmen to the "B-list." Richard Norton Smith shares his vision for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum:
"We are going to use 21st-century technology to put you inside the 19th century. You're not going to look at documents on a wall or artifacts in a case. You're going to become immersed in the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. And the rest of the world will come to Springfield to experience that story and to see how it's done."
Two suggestions (1) an Abraham Lincoln ferris wheel to help riders experience the emotional highs and lows this president felt in office (2) Abraham Lincoln whirly cups that spin around at high speed, enabling riders to feel the centrifugal forces that tore this nation apart. Using carnival rides per se would be old technology, so perhaps these could be translated into an IMAX theatre experience.
Possibilities for the facility are endless, Smith said. One of his ideas is to develop a series of televised "great debates," bringing together nationally prominent advocates. Smith also proposed a series of programs called "evenings to remember" that would spotlight players on the political scene such as former Gov. James Thompson, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Fund my project, baby, and you can star in it. Have your people take a meeting with my people.
But let's get down to business.
"We've got a very big building to complete." (Lot's of contracts for somebody.)
"We've got a staff to hire." (If the governor and his party don't hire them for you.)
And lest we forget those who sacrificed so much, "There's a gift shop and a restaurant that have to spring into action."
Read the whole thing here.