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National Park Quiz 41: Lincolnalia

Daniel Chester French’s sculpture of seated Lincoln is the centerpiece attraction of the Lincoln Memorial. Are Lincoln’s hands signing to us? Photo by Raul 654 via Wikipedia.

1. True or false?  The sculptor who created the seated Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial carved the hands so they would depict Lincoln signing his initials using American Sign Language.

2. True or false?  No other President has as many national parks bearing his name as Abraham Lincoln.

3. The ______, which is often referred to as the "House Where Lincoln Died," is part of Ford's Theatre National Historic Site.
a. Blair House
b. Peterson House
c. Mason House
d. Teller House

4. True or false? The log cabin in which Abraham Lincoln was born is on display at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.

5. True or false?  Lincoln drafted his famed Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope that is now on exhibit in Gettysburg National Military Park.

6. True or false?  The Lincoln Memorial has 48 massive columns, one for each state existing at the time the monument was dedicated.

7. True or false?  There is a national park bearing the name of the man who supervised the design of the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial.

8. True or false?  Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the only house that Abraham Lincoln ever owned.

9. True or false?  In 2007, the number of recreational visits tallied for the Lincoln Memorial exceeded the combined total for the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial.

10. True or false?  The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site preserves a working farm.

Extra Credit Question:

11. Lincoln’s face is one of the four presidential faces carved into the mountain at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. When facing the mountain, visitors see Lincoln’s face
a. on the far left
b. second from the left
c. second from the right
d. on the far right

Super Bonus Question:

12. President Abraham Lincoln and ______ were both born on February 12, 1809.
a. Cyrus McCormick
b. Kit Carson
c. Charles Darwin
d. Edgar Allen Poe


1. False This is a popular myth. Actually, renowned American sculptor Daniel Chester French, who studied casts of Lincoln’s hands to be sure he depicted them accurately, decided to open one up a bit to give it a more life-like appearance.

2. False President Theodore Roosevelt’s name also appears in the title of four different national parks, including Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, Theodore Roosevelt Island, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

3. b -- After being mortally wounded in Ford's Theatre, Lincoln was carried across the street to the Peterson House and died there. Both Ford’s Theatre and the Peterson House were transferred from the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital to the National Park Service on August 10, 1933, and on June 23, 1970, the two structures were combined as Ford's Theatre National Historic Site (administered as a unit of National Mall and Memorial Parks).

4. False Lincoln was not born in the log cabin that is exhibited inside the Memorial Building at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site. This exhibit is only intended to provide visitors with a symbolic representation of Lincoln’s humble origins.

5. False Lincoln took great pains to compose his Gettysburg Address, and revised it at least once at the Wills House (a component of Gettysburg National Military Park) the night before he delivered it. The first draft of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which is known as the Nicolay copy, is preserved at the Library of Congress.

6. False The Lincoln Memorial has 36 columns, one for each state (including the 11 seceded states) that existed at the time of Lincoln's death. There were 48 states when the Memorial was dedicated in 1922. All 48 state names are carved on the exterior attic walls of the Memorial, and there is also a plaque that commemorates the admission of Alaska and Hawaii in 1959.

7. True The memorial's landscaping was designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (currently closed for renovation) is a national park located in Brookline, Massachusetts.

8. True Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary lived in their house at Eighth and Jackson Streets in Springfield, Illinois, from 1844 (two years after their marriage) until they moved to the White House in 1861. Lincoln Home National Historic Site includes a four-block historic district and a visitor center as well as the historic Lincoln home.

9. True Lincoln Memorial recreational visits totaled over 4.2 million in 2007, exceeding the combined total for the Washington Monument (591,000) and the Jefferson Memorial (a little over 2.3 million). Last year the Lincoln Memorial was even more popular than the World War II Memorial (4 million visits in 2007).

10. False The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is the only "Lincoln park" that preserves a working farm. The Lincoln family moved to Spencer County (then Perry County), Indiana, in 1816 when Abraham was not yet eight years old. Young Abraham worked on the family farm until the Lincolns moved to Illinois in 1830.

11. d – Lincoln’s face is on the far right. From right to left, the other faces sculpted into the mountain are those of Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

12. c – All of these famous people were born in 1809, but only Charles Darwin was born on the same day as Lincoln.

Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passable fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.


Bah, 7 out of 12. I should have done better than that.

My travels through the National Park System:

Barky, as the grading key clearly states, seven correct answers is "pretty darn good." It's great that you're setting the bar high for yourself, but there's no reason to beat yourself up for a less than perfect performance. Anyway, it's time to psyche yourself up for next week's quiz, which just might possibly deal with rocks and minerals.

When I was in the NPS we used to joke about the number of Lincoln sites and refer to some of them by these shorthand names: Lincoln Natal, Lincoln Youth, Lincoln Adult, Lincoln Statue, Lincoln Face, Lincoln Speech, Lincoln Shot, and Lincoln Death.

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