150 Years Ago, Lincoln’s Election Set March to War

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By: Brett Zongker, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP).- With the wounds of a hard-fought political campaign still raw, the country was sharply divided by the time the election was finished. It was 150 years ago Saturday: President Abraham Lincoln was elected amid the rising tensions that led to the Civil War. The anniversary of Lincoln’s election kicks off nearly five years of events by the National Park Service and others marking the Sesquicentennial of the war between North and South. “We’re trying to say it’s more than battles,” Park Service tourism chief Dean Reeder said of the Civil War commemorations. Lincoln’s election helps frame the context of what would come, he said. Coming on the heels of this year’s polarizing elections, the anniversary echoes the nation’s fractious mood back then. “I think a lot of people will notice it was a contentious election in 2010, and it was a way contentious election in 1860,” Reeder said. A century and a half ago, in a nation already torn