The man who was President of the United States during the Civil War (a war fought on the issue of slavery) was born today and today the current President of the United States is an African-American.
We've come a long way. And in more ways than you might think. Take a look:
This is from 1942. That's only 67 years ago. The plot for this major motion picture is as follows. Jim Hardy (played by Bing Crosby) owns an inn in rural Connecticut and he only opens it up a few times a year - on holidays, hence the name "Holiday Inn." In the course of the movie, he's fallen in love with a singer named Linda Mason (played by Marjorie Reynolds). However, Jim's best friend Ted Hanover (played by Fred Astaire) also has his eye on Linda.
So Jim has to hide Linda from Ted. And in this scene his great idea is to hide her under black face makeup.
This is Marjorie Reynolds without the black face makeup:
And here she is in black face:
Just as important, take a look at the other details of the show. ALL the wait staff are "black." I put the word on quotation marks because it looks to me like the staff is also in black face.
The musicians, while actually black (again, as far as I can tell), don't seem too thrilled to be accompanying Der Bingle, however. I wonder why.
Remember, this was only 67 years ago. We should never forget that within the lifetimes of our parents or at least our grandparents that this was considered to be an acceptable form of main stream entertainment.
Happy Lincoln's Birthday everybody!