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Eye On Boise

Lincoln now gazes downtown

Schoolchildren and dignitaries pulled on the brightly colored, star-covered drape, and Idaho’s newly restored and relocated Abraham Lincoln monument was unveiled in its new spot, near the corner of Capitol Boulevard and Bannock Street, just south of the state Capitol. The hour-long ceremony commemorating the event was a chilly one, but schoolchildren, legislators and onlookers braved it. Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who formally accepted the relocated monument for the state, recounted a story of Lincoln’s humbleness - once, when a lady accused the president of being “two-faced” on a political issue, “The president responded, ‘Madam, if I had two faces, why would I be wearing this one?’ “

The school kids who were gathered included those from North Valley Academy in Gooding, who collected the most pennies in a “Pennies for Lincoln” drive to fund the move of the monument, and choirs from North Star Charter School in Eagle, who sang. “They know they played an important role in bringing this monument here,” state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna said of the gathered schoolchildren. David Leroy, head of the Idaho Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, played master of ceremonies, and also invited the public to a birthday party for Lincoln to be held from 5-8 p.m. today in a heated tent near the statue, complete with a 200-candle birthday cake. Idaho Historical Society Director Janet Gallimore told the crowd, “Learning about the achievements of the people who came before us really helps all of us to achieve our dreams.” Little said, “Lincoln’s most lasting legacy to Idaho and the nation was opportunity.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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