Kuiper has his paws up on a large watermelon memorial. He is smiling.

Abraham Lincoln’s Watermelon

Kuiper shares a snack with Abe Lincoln. 🍉🍉🍉

On this day in 1853, future president Abraham Lincoln ate a watermelon here. It wasn’t just a snack; it was the centerpiece of a christening ceremony for Lincoln, Illinois! This is the only town named after Abe while he was still alive (and well before he became president.)

According to the sign at this site, “Thirteen year-old John S. Stevens was in attendance and later recalled the event:

We were all seated on the several lumber piles. For myself I had selected the end of a projecting board which would spring nicely with my weight and near where Mr. Lincoln stood. He opened the melon with his pocket knife which just reached well through the rind, running all around, bumped the melon on the lumber, it opened nicely with all the core on one side. He cut this core, squeezed the water into a tin cup saying,

‘Gentlemen, I am requested by the proprietors of the town site to christen it. I have selected the juice of a melon for that purpose, pouring it on the ground. Therefore, in your presence and hearing, I now christen this town site. Its name is Lincoln and soon to be named the permanent capital of Logan County. I have also prepared a feast for the occasion.’

Pulling the wagon cover from the pile of melons, he took one half of the melon he had opened for christening, laid it on the board before me saying, ‘The youngest American on the ground shall feast with me on the christening melon.’ Picking up the other half he pointed to the pile and said ‘Gentlemen, help yourself.'”

This 28 inch (0.7 m) melon monument was erected in 1964. In 1976, President Gerald Ford dramatically recreated the christening scene while campaigning along from Chicago to St. Louis. Although the ceremony failed to secure his reelection, the town reportedly got a kick out of it.

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1rR1xFhVP1/

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