Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, leader during the Civil War, and one of the four faces on the side of Mount Rushmore has been used in a variety of ways in the Mass Media. All of them are based off the image of Lincoln as a traditional American Hero, one of our Greatest Presidents. Even an expose piece like the one shown above in Time Magazine still holds a certain reverence for the man. Many people, from the GOP to the Ford Motor Company (a company that prides itself on producing American cars) claims an image of Lincoln. Many of these images that are being claimed can also reflect the times of the people who claim this image.
In the 1930’s, John Ford used Lincoln as an American Hero in his film Young Mr. Lincoln, which was produced during the uncertain times of the late 1930’s, with the tail end of the Great Depression and the early signs of a coming war (for the US anyway, Europe was going to war within months of the film’s release).
The Time Magazine issue is dated back to July 4, 2005. This is still relatively early in the Post 9/11 era, so it’s not surprising in the slightest that an this image of an American Hero like Lincoln, a leader in a time of war and strife, would be evoked.
Steven Spielberg released a movie called Lincoln in 2012 that focused on the Passing of the 13th Amendment. The way the film deals with race and particularly Lincoln’s views on it were whitewashed, making him look more altruistic than he really was. This is ironically done while the film shows him not being afraid to bend the rules of the Constitution and other legal codes to get what he wants. The image of a great American Hero still remains.