Abraham Lincoln’s place in history is well-defined. He’s the great emancipator, the man who preserved the Union.
Jefferson Davis’ legacy, however, is a little more complicated.
The two men were born within 120 miles of each other in rural parts of Kentucky. Today, the Lincoln birthplace in Hodgenville is a National Park, featuring a granite memorial rising above rolling green hills.
“There’s four flights of the steps as you head up to the memorial, said park superintendent Bill Justice. “They are, in their own way, an invitation to go up and go into the memorial itself."
A replica of the austere log cabin in which Lincoln was born sits inside the ornate structure.
“There’s also a beautiful skylight up above there that provides an opportunity for natural light to flow into the building,” said Justice. “It has a very ‘memorial’ feel to it; the beautiful pink granite around the edge, the plaster-finished fixtures on the wall, the florets in the ceiling. [It’s a] really, really beautiful interior for this memorial.”