Montag, 21. Januar 2013

Lincoln's Watch (Objet trouvée)

Taschenuhr Abraham Lincolns. Chicago History Museum. On February 11, 1861, one day before his fifty-second birthday, Abraham Lincoln boarded a train bound from Springfield, Illinois to Washington, D.C., where he would be inaugurated president on March 4. Before his departure, Lincoln received this beautiful gold watch from the Illinois State Journal, a staunch Republican newspaper that had backed his candidacy. Although they are not visible in this photograph, Lincoln’s initials are engraved on the watch’s front cover.

A gold watch owned by Abraham Lincoln bears a message marking the start of the U.S. Civil War, but the president never knew of the "secret" inscription. The engraving, by watchmaker Jonathan Dillon, is dated April 13, 1861, and reads in part: "Fort Sumpter was attacked by the rebels" and "thank God we have a government."
The American Civil War began when Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861. Forty-five years later, Dillon the watchmaker told The New York Times that he was repairing Lincoln's watch when he heard that the first shots of the Civil War had been fired. Dillon said he unscrewed the dial of the watch and used a sharp instrument to mark the historic day on the president's watch. He told the newspaper that, as far as he knew, no one had ever seen the inscription.
Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States in November 1860. In the leadup to the Civil War, South Carolina and six other states seceded from the Union before Lincoln's inauguration in March 1861.
"Lincoln never knew of the message he carried in his pocket," Brent Glass, director of the National Museum of American History said in a statement. "It's a personal side of history about an ordinary watchman being inspired to record something for posterity."
Stephen Spielberg in seinem Interview zu seinem Film "Lincoln": Als George Stephens den Film „Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank“ drehte, reiste er nach Amsterdam und nahm auf Tonband das Läuten der Kirchenglocken auf, die man in Annes Dachbodenversteck durch das Fenster hören kann. Im Film hören wir dieselben Glocken, die Anne während des Holocaust gehört hat. Das hat mich sehr beeindruckt, als ich davon erfuhr. So habe ich eine einfache Frage gestellt: Wo ist Lincolns Taschenuhr, von der er sich niemals trennte? Im Museum in Chicago. Wir erhielten eine Sondererlaubnis, die Uhr aufzuziehen. Sie war fünfzehn Jahre lang nicht aufgezogen worden. Wenn die Uhr tickt, sollten die Zuschauer wissen, dass sie dasselbe Geräusch hören, das Lincoln vor hundertfünfzig Jahren gehört hat.

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