‘An Absolute Disgraceful Act’: Abraham Lincoln Monument Defaced, Follows 2017 Damage in Chicago

Corrected: This post has been updated and corrected to indicate the incident in Chicago occurred in 2017 and was followed by the defacing of the Lincoln Monument in Washington D.C. in May of this 2020.

Abraham Lincoln, aka The Great Emancipator, signed the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, freeing the slaves as the United States descended into Civil War.

The war ended April 9, 1865; Lincoln was assassinated less than a week later.

But never mind all that boring history stuff. Protesters in Chicago defaced a statue of Lincoln in 2017.

“What an absolute disgraceful act of vandalism. This bust of Abraham Lincoln, erected by Phil Bloomquist on August 31, 1926, was damaged & burned,” Alderman Raymond Lopez wrote on Facebook at the time. “If anyone has any information regarding this act, please contact the police or my office immediately,” he said, according to the local NBC affiliate.

The giant bust appeared to have been sprayed with a flammable liquid and ignited.

The vandalism came after President Trump expressed vehement opposition at the time to tearing down memorials related to America’s past in the wake of Charlottesville.

“I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” Trump asked reporters on Tuesday while addressing violence in Virginia.

Lincoln apparently continues to be a target of protesters.

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was defaced by vandals last weekend, who spray-painting “Yall not tired yet?” beside the entrance steps.

The next day, Trump called in the National Guardsmen and federal police officers in bullet-proof vests, who lined the steps atop the Lincoln Memorial, facing off with a large gathering of protesters.

“I am taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America,” Trump said in a White House Rose Garden speech. “I am mobilizing all available federal resources — civilian and military — to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights.”

“I am also taking swift and decisive action to protect our great capital, Washington, D.C.,” he continued. “What happened in this city last night was a total disgrace. As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property.”

The Lincoln Memorial has long been sacred ground for America’s civil rights movement.

In 1939, after the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow a black singer to perform, Eleanor Roosevelt helped arrange a performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday. More than 75,000 people attended the show, which was broadcast live nationwide on radio.

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech from the steps of the Memorial, with the 19-foot statue of Lincoln towering behind him. More than 250,000 people packed the National Mall.


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