J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “Stephen Spielberg”

Making History Come Alive

A lot goes into making an effective film accurate. No small detail can be overlooked, or the movie will appear trite and un-researched. Take the latest Stephen Spielberg movie, for instance. Lincoln features superb actors, including Daniel Day Lewis, who is known to spend years researching a character before her portrays him to a tea, and Sally Field, who had to gain wait in order to portray her character, Mary Todd Lincoln.

Movies spend millions to bring history to life, including sets, extras, and costumes. The research that goes into it can often be painstaking. In the case of this movie, costume designers traveled to various locations to study Mrs. Lincoln’s beautiful dresses, including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History in Washington D.C.

For more information about costume designer Joanna Johnston and the work she put in to accurately portray the designs, visit:


Birth of a President

This country’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, was born on February 12, 1809 in Kentucky. Oddly enough, his birthplace was only a few miles from that of the Confederacy’s first president, Jefferson Davis. When Lincoln was very young, his family moved to Indiana. His mother died when he was only 9, but not from a mysterious vampire monster. She actually succumbed to what was known as milk sickness.

“Honest Abe” learned how to read by firelight, and advanced from a lowly country bumpkin to a lawyer to a congressman. When he was elected president in 1860, he was the first man to run on the Republican ticket. He won with only a plurality of the popular vote, but 183 in the electoral vote. Because of threats on his life, he had to be smuggled into Washington. His wit and humor must have been tested repeatedly, for not only did his country split in two, but he suffered many personal losses as well.

President Lincoln received much criticism during his presidency, especially and understandably from Southerners, but his untimely murder made many sad. It’s interesting to speculate whether Reconstruction would have gone more smoothly and wouldn’t have lasted as long if Lincoln had survived. Over the course of time, he has become a matyr for Emancipation, and has become almost a saint to most. His birthday is celebrated in conjunction every year with our first president and founding father, George Washington.

Lincoln has been the subject of thousands of books, movies, articles, and other media outlets. Recently, Robert Redford’s The Conspirator was released, which told the story of Lincoln’s assassins, especially Mary Surratt. Two big movies are planned for release this year. Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln will be released this fall, and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter will come out this summer.

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