Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lincoln and Cooper Union

There are some people who believe you can feel the energy left over from an important event.

Some say you can feel the light, the essence of some individuals who are charismatic after they leave a place. I don’t know, but I do know I felt something.

A few years ago I was at a memorial service at Cooper Union in New York City. It was well attended by friends and associates of a well-respected and influential man who graduated from the college and gave it much attention during his life.

The service was in the Great Hall, a very famous place with echoes of greatness embedded in its fiber and stone.

On February 27th, 1860, not more that 20 feet from where I sat, Abraham Lincoln gave his historic address on federal power to regulate and limit the spread of slavery. It was a speech that catapulted Lincoln into his party's Presidential nomination.

I looked around at the columns and architecture and I felt something. Maybe I was feeling my imagination. Maybe it was the person next to me, but I was thinking of Lincoln and wondering where he stood on the raised stage.

When I got home I looked up the history of Cooper Union and the Great Hall.

I read that besides Lincoln, Presidents Grant, Cleveland, Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have all made speeches in the Great Hall.

No wonder I felt something.

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