Lincoln — Darwin — 200!


I’ve been looking forward to this day for some time as it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of two of the most influential people of the 19th Century.  Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were both born on February 12, 1809.  In addition to a shared birth date, influence, and lots of controversy, Lincoln & Darwin share a sense of humility according to Robert McHenry of the Britannica blog

“Darwin, we might say, believed in the power of the human intellect; and at the same time he acknowledged its weaknesses. Lincoln was only too aware of the human capacity for sin; and at the same time he sought to prevail over it through forgiveness. Is it too trite, in this so sophisticated age of doubt and irony, to note simply that each man did the work he found himself called to, and did it with unequalled grace? Can we set aside the suspicion that we, most of us, are not up to their example and instead rejoice that they were of our species?”

They also both rocked the chin hair:

Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub lists some more coincidences between the two men.  Adam Gopnik wrote a book about both men called Angels and Ages which I’ll have to read for next year’s Lincoln-Darwin Day book.

Speaking of books, today I began reading Lincoln at Gettysburg by Gary Wills and I ‘m already learning much about Lincoln’s most famous speech at the consecration of the Gettysburg National Cemetery.  Meanwhile, school children across the nation simultaneously recited The Gettysburg Address this morning.

Previous Lincoln-related books I’ve read include:

Looking for more to read about Lincoln check out Six More Books about Lincoln from The Christian Science Monitor and reading recommendations for all ages from School Library Journal.

While I don’t make a special effort to read books about Darwin each year, here’s my Darwinian readings:

One can also read the Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online.

Don’t feel like reading?  Listen to some great podcasts:

For more on Abraham Lincoln:

For more on Charles Darwin:

The Lincoln Cent was introduced to commemorate the centennial of Lincoln’s birth, so today is also the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Cent.  Let’s hope they don’t stop making cents.

Finally, here’s a cool YouTube video that claims to show Every Known Photo of Abraham Lincoln:

Previously:

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Urban Pantheist wants more attention for Darwin.

    Reply

  2. Radiolab’s Darwinvaganza features talks with three authors on different aspects of Darwin.

    Reply

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