West Entrance, 1932

West Entrance, 1932
At the western entrance of the building, a statue of Abraham Lincoln faces the Mall. It was paid for by donations from the schoolchildren of Cleveland. Initially, Lincoln's First Inaugural Address was carved on the base of the statue, rather than the Gettysburg Address which is there now. It may be surprising, but for a time the Gettysburg Address was not viewed as a classic speech in America's history. Until the mid-20th century, political speeches were long-winded and complicated, while the Gettysburg Address only took Lincoln about two minutes to read. It wasn't until the style of American politics changed that the Gettysburg Address became admired. The change in the Board of Education's Lincoln statue reflects this change in a very literal way.

Image Courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
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