Cranks My Tractor

Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 09:20 AM.

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”

Abraham Lincoln said that.  Lincoln had lost the election for the U.S. Senate twice, but he was still preparing for success.  He didn’t lose sight of his goals.

In 1864, President Lincoln signed the bill into law giving the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind in Washington, D.C. the authority to award collegiate degrees.  The school would be renamed Gallaudet University after Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, the founder of the first school for deaf students in the United States.

President Lincoln’s signing of Gallaudet’s charter has always given him a special connection to deaf people, in particular those who have attended Gallaudet University.  Some people say that Lincoln Memorial shows the seated Lincoln’s hands forming the letter “A” on his left hand and the letter “L” on his right hand of the manual alphabet.

It makes sense.

Daniel Chester French, the sculptor of the famous Lincoln statue, also created a statue at Gallaudet University, “Gallaudet and Alice” depicting the school’s founder and a young deaf girl.  French also was the father of a deaf son.  This interesting part of the Lincoln Memorial is not documented, but as noted, seems intentional.

This year, Gallaudet University’s football team will be in the NCAA Division III football playoffs for the first time in school history.  This also marks the first time that any men’s athletic program at Gallaudet has made it into a NCAA championship playoff.

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