Interesting Facts about Bell Labs and Odyssey from an Archivist at Bell Labs (My Dad)

So my father has worked at Bell Labs for over 20 years and runs their historical archives. As you may remember, Bell Labs was one of the companies that worked with producers of 2001: A Space Odyssey. to develop unique props for the film. My father was able to provide me with some interesting materials and facts regarding the company’s relationship with Kubrick and Odyssey.

Bell Labs was was responsible for the picture-phone unit that Dr. Floyd uses to call his daughter from space in the beginning of the movie. Arthur C. Clarke (author of The Sentinel) knew John Pierce, who was an engineer at Bell Labs most known for inventing the Telstar Satellite and his science fiction writing. Clarke worked with John Noll, another engineer at Bell Labs, to design the prototype of the unit. A couple mockup drawings are depicted below. Noll and Pierce had sent the drawings as well as a four-page memo of how the scene should be depicted to the producers of the film and never heard back from them. It was not until years later when they saw the film that they realized their designs and script had actually been used!


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What is even more interesting, however, is that Noll almost got into trouble for submitting the Bell System seal to producers who then displayed the seal outside of the video-phone booth in the movie (shown below). AT&T accused Bell System of violating a consent decree, which outlined that the Bell System could only cover domestic telecommunication. By depicting the logo in a space station in the film, it was implied that the System worked in space, which violated the consent decree … crazy right? Fortunately, they were able to settle the dispute.


The picture-phone unit in the film was of course fabricated, but it was modeled off of technology that did exist at the time. I was able to snag a picture of the actual prototype of the first picture-phone, which my dad has in his office (shown below). If you look towards the upper left of the phone, you see a camera lens that closely resembles HAL, however this is only coincidental. To the right is a photo of one of the picture phone’s engineer’s, L.H. Meacham, using the phone to speak with its other engineer, A.D. Hall in 1964.




Furthermore, the song HAL sings “Daisy Bell” as he is dying, was synthesized by distinguished scientists Arthur Kelly and Carol Lochbaum at Bell Labs. Matt Mathews coded the accompaniment. Though computer-generated voice was being tested by other companies at the time, these two scientists’ work was considered the most advanced. Arthur C. Clarke actually came to Bell Labs to listen to the song. The sound bite below is the recording that Clarke heard at Bell Labs. It was coded on an IBM 7094 computer in 1961.


It is interesting how Odyssey depicted a precursor to modern technology. In one of the articles from 1993 that my Dad passed on to me, Research Vice President of AT&T, Arno Penzias, mentioned that it was important to realize that the actual technology in 2001 would most likely not be as “artistically interesting” as depicted in the film. He goes on to say that we will continue to experience the:

“celebration of a very interesting and productive connection between human beings and the information expertise that makes life better and more enriching.”

Penzias may have not foreseen the rapid advancement of technology that seemed to kick off around 2000, but he was definitely correct on the strengthening relationship between humans and machines. It is entertaining to look back at comments such as his when modern technology allows us to FaceTime with others at anytime, anywhere from the palm of our hands.



I obtained this information from my Dad who works at Bell Labs Archives, and also a Bell Labs news publications from April of 1993 that John Noll passed on to my Dad for me to refer to for this post.

No TRUE Villain in “Unforgiven”?

I came across a video on YouTube of an interview with Clint Eastwood on the creation of Unforgiven (clip below). I was very intrigued when he mentions that when he initially read the script for the film, he could not decipher who the hero was. He explains that he initially thought Little Bill was the hero, which is plausible when you consider Little Bill’s “violence isn’t the answer” motto and persistent no-firearms-policy to keep peace in the town. However, it is difficult for the audience to maintain this level-headed, peacemaker image of Little Bill, when he continues to act in ways that contradict the persona he has created for himself (e.g. beating up unarmed men). At first, I deemed Little Bill an intentionally evil man who wears a fake front, but what Eastwood says next in the interview really got me thinking:

“…the characters all have a point of view. Even though he [Little Bill] was the villain of the piece, he had a point of view. He thought he was right, doing the right thing. And that goes with every character in it”

Perhaps Eastwood is alluding to the idea that while Little Bill fills the role of the villain in the film, he may not be intentionally permeating evil. It is apparent he has good intentions, but his perspective of what is necessary to fulfill his duty of protecting his town may differ from that of an outsider. Through an outsider’s eyes, Little Bill’s beating of unarmed men may seem like an act of self-fulfilling rage, but perhaps Little Bill thought it was in the town’s best interest to publicly use fear and pain to demonstrate the repercussions of threatening the town’s safety. Notice that Little Bill is more likely to inflict pain on others in a public demonstration more so than when not in public (e.g. When he decides whipping was not the proper punishment for the men who hurt Delilah, there were not enough people around for him to feel the need to use fear and violence as a warning tactic. Instead, he implements an alternate, more humane punishment). While at the surface his actions often come across as malevolent, this may be due to his unique perspective of what is “right.” If good intentions do lay underneath, does this make him a true villain?

As Eastwood mentions, this concept applies to the other characters in the film as well. Each has an idea of what is “right,” but due to circumstances beyond their control, different perspectives give the characters differing ideas of what is just. Will’s character is the obvious illustration of a man with good intentions, but whose point of view alters his actions. It is very clear that Will yearns to leave his corrupt history behind him, but his desperate need for money to support his family forces him to kill against his will. Later, as a means of respecting Ned and avenging Ned’s death, he feels the need to shoot Little Bill and anyone who may have been even loosely involved. To an outsider, these actions seem anti-heroic, but again, it really depends on perspective.

Even English Bob may not be considered a true villain. Indeed, we learn that he used to kill innocent Chinese workers, but maybe he is similar to Will in that he is trying to leave behind his troublesome past. Perhaps he truly wants to evolve into a noble man, and he views bounty hunting as a respectable, noble profession — even if the killing itself is not done in a manner that is typically deemed fair.

Ultimately, the question arises of what constitutes a true villain. Does a true villain need to have what are conventionally considered evil intentions and evil actions? Or can someone’s actions — actions that are generally considered evil — be justified by someone’s unique perspective on what he or she personally believes is “right?” This blurred distinction definitely separates Unforgiven’s characters from typical black and white western roles. Maybe “Deserve’s got nothin to do with” death because everyone has a different perspective on what truly makes someone evil enough to be killed.

Where’s Waldo?….Tyler?

Tyler Durden becomes an interesting character to look out for in Fight Club. Even before we are introduced to him, we are actually unknowingly introduced to him. He makes numerous cameo appearances before actually being introduced to us. It is especially interesting to keep track of his ‘evolution’ as a figure in each of these appearances. What do these appearances signify? I saw them as subtle clues to the audience that Tyler Durden is, in fact, a figment of Jack’s imagination. But, we cannot be too sure. These appearances all occur before Jack even meets Tyler which leads me to believe that Fincher did do this to hint at the plot twist of the film.

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#1. Tyler at the copy machine

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#2. Tyler in the office

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#3. Tyler in the meeting

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#4. Tyler on the street

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#5. Tyler in the video

Besides his cameo appearances throughout the film, we can see a progression in Tyler’s appearance from meeting #1 to our final meeting with him. We first see him as this ‘cool’, eccentric soap making guy on a plane. After progressing through the movie and after we meet Marla, we see Tyler become this male version of Marla in a sense. The way they act, dress, and portray themselves to others is ALMOST IDENTICAL. It’s genius character development in a sense that these characters have become so similar except for Tyler’s ability to care for others never meets Marla’s.

In the end, we find that Tyler Durden is not a real person. Besides his ‘cameo’ appearances throughout the movie, we are presented with other evidence that he is not real. For example, when he calls Tyler’s number from the pay phone that says that it cannot accept incoming calls. So how did Tyler call Jack on this phone, you ask? My point exactly. There is really no explanation other than the fact that he IS Tyler Durden and that the actual Tyler we are presented with in the film is not real.

Another curious detail happens in the car crash. You are led to believe that Tyler is driving the car and he is the one who crashed it into a ditch; however, when the two exit the car, you have to pay extra close attention to these details. It is clear that the two get out of the car on the opposite sides therefore implying that Jack was, in fact, driving the car. So, Jack essentially punched himself throughout the film and gave himself the chemical burn. But, just to top it off he had to crash his own car.

Honestly, I really don’t think this movie is as fantastic as everyone makes it out to be. I do understand the impressive aspects that Fincher brought to film but I am not convinced that it is better than some of my favorite movies.

Justifying the “Lies” in Lincoln

When Lincoln first came out, critics, trivial pursuit fanatics, and history buffs flocked to theaters, legal pads in hand, ready to call out all the lies and dramatizations of the movie. But as we discussed in class, Spielberg made a conscious decision to use fiction to create truth. Many of the “lies” in Lincoln were purposeful choices to get at greater themes and metaphors, using the story as an allegory for the historical legend that has become ingrained in our national memory. In this post, I will take a look at some of Spielberg’s “lies” and consider why he chose to include them.

  1. The black and white soldiers reciting the Gettysburg Address: It is inconceivable that any soldier, Union or Confederate, black or white, could have memorized this speech, however ingrained on modern public memory. Spielberg put this in the movie to demonstrate Lincoln’s desire to unite the country, setting the plot up for the Thirteenth Amendment. It also demonstrated the commitment of both black and white soldiers to fight together for the birth of a new nation, one without slavery.
  2. Mary Todd watching the passage of the amendment from the House Gallery: This could never have happened in 1865. The First Lady, much less any woman, had no place in this sacred political chamber. So why put this scene in the movie? Spielberg frequently used the portrayal of Lincoln’s unhappy, torn-apart family as a greater metaphor for the unhappy country torn apart by the civil war. A crucial plot point was the necessity of the passage of the thirteenth amendment before completing any peace talks with the Confederacy. Thus, the thirteenth amendment would start the healing process for the nation, and having Mary Todd there signified the beginning of the healing process for Lincoln’s family. Furthermore, keeping Mary Todd in the House Gallery while her husband stayed at home emphasized how intertwined the family’s public and private life had become.
  3. Lincoln’s cabinet advising him against the Thirteenth Amendment: By 1865, Lincoln had swapped out his most unruly cabinet members for loyal men dedicated to serving the president. Those remaining from the original cabinet — Secretary of State William Seward, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles — were all fiercely loyal to Lincoln. Drama aside, Spielberg probably put the debates between the cabinet and the president in the movie to show that Lincoln made a risky decision when he chose to back the Thirteenth Amendment in his re-election campaign. The cabinet from the movie was thus able to voice all of the concerns and counterarguments of the time, demonstrating the roadblocks that the amendment faced and starting the difficult journey to its passage.
  4. Roll call by state for the Thirteenth Amendment: Roll call is and was alphabetical. This was merely a dramatic device since the audience can easily understand that southern states had Democratic representatives. Also the amendment wasn’t called the Thirteenth Amendment, but again, this was solely to help the audience.

Equally interesting, here are three “facts” from the movie that were true in 1865:

  1. Thaddeus Steven’s “marriage” to his housekeeper: This was Washington’s worst-kept secret.
  2. Lincoln made corrupt bargains to pass the 13th amendment: Also true, though Lincoln was not as directly involved as in the movie. He did give Steward broad instructions to generate votes, who in turn hired a group of New York lobbyists to do the dirty work.
  3. Lincoln told Congressman James Alley, “I am the President of the United States, clothed with immense power, and I expect you to procure those votes.” This is perhaps one of the most poignant scenes in the movies, and one of the few times when Day Lewis becomes almost terrifying. Also, it actually happened, though Lincoln probably didn’t shout the words.



An Unlikely Choice

Benjamin Braddock in “The Graduate” was almost played by Robert Redford. While working on the script, Mike Nichols had envisioned the tall, bronzed blonde coming home to California to start an affair with a suburban wife. But as the script began to take form, Nichols realized that Redford was too suave for Braddock; he needed a loser in love, someone awkward, funny, and noticeably out-of-place.

Nichols happened to catch Dustin Hoffman playing (I kid you not) a transvestite German fishwife in a play, and found him funny, endearing, and perfect for Braddock. Hoffman at the time had gained a small amount of success after 10 years of stage acting, including an Opie award. Still, he came to California with hesitation that quickly turned to embarrassment during his screen test.

He showed up in his New York garb, pale skin and a black turtleneck, immediately sticking out among the Californian crowd. The makeup crew spent two hours trying to give his face color, make his nose smaller, and his muscular neck look thinner. When Hoffman saw his co-star, Katherine Ross, he immediately felt inadequate next to her beauty. He tried to dissipate some of the nervous tension by pinching her butt before they began the audition, but she immediately turned to him and said, “Don’t you ever do that again.” Hoffman felt the audition was a disaster, and when it was finally over, he reached into his pocket and accidentally sent a fistful of subway tokens flying, adding to his embarrassment.

A few days later, Nichols called Hoffman’s agent, offering him the part.

It’s interesting to note a lot of the parallels between Hoffman’s life and Braddock’s. Both grew up in California and hated it, escaping to New York City (or in Braddock’s case, the ambiguous east) for college. Hoffman was frequently bullied in California by vocal anti-Semites and felt that New York welcomed him like Cali never could.

He brought this intense feeling of discomfort and marginalization to the wasp-y character, giving it the depth Redford would never have achieved. Hoffman’s non-traditional Hollywood appearance (short stature, thick neck, large nose, brooding eyebrows) also made the character seem more every-day and relatable. Braddock wasn’t a gorgeous blonde God of the silver screen, he was an awkward twenty-something suffering from an existentialist crisis.

The unlikely choice ultimately paid off. Hoffman was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Oscar, winning one of the Golden Globes for New Star of the Year- Actor. It’s hard now to picture anyone but Hoffman in the role of Benjamin Braddock. The movie also launched Hoffman’s ultimately successful career as a movie actor.


Here are the two great articles I used to write this post. Would definitely recommend reading!

The Failings of Unforgiven and its Unforgiving Genre

Unforgiven has received critical praise for challenging the classic western genre by taking a realistic look at the consequences of violence. With this blog post, I fully commit to being a small voice of dissent: I strongly disliked the movie and believe that it failed to question the greater issues with the western genre as a whole.

Let me begin by saying that I wholeheartedly hate westerns. Growing up, the western was my dad’s favorite genre, and as the frequent remote-control holder, he made me sit through numerous movies hoping that this one would change my mind. It never worked. I was never drawn to their idea of an untamed frontier for the taking. I hated the stone-faced gunslingers, their cheesy one-liners, and the simplistic plots. I never understood why driving cattle always led to a shoot-out, and I never understood why the shoot-out was even considered a “noble” solution.

But above all, I hated the society that westerns promoted: macho, patriarchal, where violence reigned supreme and women were either prostitutes or love interests. Everything was black and white, and everyone had a moral duty to protect a misguided conception of “honor,” usually by killing someone. Where is there honor in murder? I had no characters to identify with, no strong female leads, no pacifists, no middle-of-the-road characters advocating for diplomacy over violence.

That being said, I was excited at the idea of the anti-Western. Listening to the pre-film lecture on Monday, I wanted Clint Eastwood to say no to the violence and show how stupid it was. I wanted him to expose the stupidity of the macho society, the truth that honor was really hubris. A small part of me was hoping that the female characters would help expose these problems.

The film failed to live up to my expectations on multiple fronts. The society remained firmly in the hands of men. And while some might argue historical accuracy, what’s interesting is that women were placed in the pivotal role of starting the revenge cycle. Of course, the second men stepped in to complete the cycle, the women slinked away. And did I mention that they were prostitutes?

So let’s think about the kind of message that sends about the “inferior sex” in this world: women are just as guilty as men of instigating and promoting violence, only they are dependent on men to act out their violence for them. The final shootout wasn’t between the prostitutes and their aggressors, it was between the sheriff and the hired hand. The women watch behind the men, mute and petrified.

Meanwhile, Eastwood still gets a dramatic ending full of Hollywood flair. He whips out the one-liners, shoots to kill, and leaves no man standing. Though he leaves the very violence his character detests in his wake, Eastwood is still glorified and the audience finds themselves rooting for him. All of the discomfort at the deaths of the original aggressors is wiped away by the glee of seeing him do what he does best. And because Little Bill has been set up as the antagonist, we are happy to see him die for his crimes. Let me say that again: we are HAPPY to watch a character die.

Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of the movie? If Eastwood really wanted to criticize this sort of ending, he should have turned the revenge cycle on its head. Maybe the prostitutes could have shot Munny (what’s a more tragic consequence of death than orphaned children?). Or maybe Little Bill could have killed Munny, highlighting the unlawfulness of the law enforcers in the west. Or really anything but what we were expecting and what Eastwood ultimately gave us. Eastwood’s ending was a cop-out, and in my opinion, the movie overall was a huge disappointment.


Human Automata

In the 1970’s universe of Network, the general populace is glued to their television screens. The executives behind the glass thrive off the market shares they can get, which turn into profit via advertisements.  Network was certainly prophetic in its depiction of new media – Sybil the Soothsayer, Miss Mata Hari, Jim Webbing, and the Vox Populi all have their place in the present.

But perhaps now television has been unseated as the junction between the masses and the marketplace.  As discussed in a recent report by The New York Times, Facebook has pulled in astonishing numbers in advertising dollars, and only displays more and more capacity to grow:

Your addiction is making Facebook astonishingly profitable. Put a little more kindly, your emotional and intellectual interactions on the social network are creating a great place for companies to advertise.

What this means in dollars and cents for Facebook can be seen in numbers contained in its first-quarter financial results, released on Wednesday. For the United States and Canada, Facebook pulled in $11.86 in advertising revenue per user in the first quarter. That’s what advertisers are willing to pay to catch your attention as you argue with your friends and relatives over Donald Trump or coo over baby pictures or both.

As the advertising potential of Facebook, or some other social media company, continues to grow, more content must be generated to continue to increase profit margins.  And as social media permeates our life in every way- on our computers, on our phones, by our side at all times- the threat to our humanity grows more and more insidious.  Are we becoming the human automata that Howard Beale predicted, addicted to checking our phones and our computers at every possible instant? And who will dictate the media visible to us, and what goes unseen?


Fight Club vs. Fight Club: Important Changes Between the Book and the Movie Adaptation

It’s always interesting to see what was changed and what stayed the same when a movie is based on a book. After all, the source material is essentially the same, but even the most subtle differences can change the way the story is told or even the story itself.

David Fincher’s 1999 movie “Fight Club” is based on Chuck Palahnuik’s book by the same name, which came out just three years before. The movie follows the same plot as the book, uses similar terminology (for example, all of the Fight Club and Project Mayhem rules are straight out of the book), and has the same characters. However, movie director David Fincher and screenplay writer Jim Uhls made five key changes to highlight different aspects of the story.

  1. How the narrator meets Tyler Durden: In the movie, the narrator finds himself sitting next to a flashy if fashionable man on an airplane carrying the same briefcase. Palahunik’s meeting between Tyler and the narrator could not be more different: the two meet on a nude beach, where Tyler is building a wooden structure that casts the shadow of a hand on the sand. In my opinion, Fincher and Uhls changed this meeting for several reasons. First, the airplane setting holds with the narrator’s insomnia-inducing lifestyle, while also breaking with the banal conversations he has earlier in the film, indicating that Tyler holds anti-conformist views that draw the narrator in. Additionally, Pitt’s fashion sense creates a parallel with Marla, an important motif throughout the film. Finally, the briefcase serves as a major first clue that Tyler and the narrator are in fact the same person.
  2. Marla’s suicide attempt: In both the book and the movie, Marla notices that the narrator has stopped showing up to the support groups. Wanting to get his attention, she overdoses on Xanax and calls him. In the movie, the narrator picks up the phone and listens to Marla talk for a bit before dropping the receiver, which Tyler then picks up. In the novel, the narrator never picks up the phone, Tyler does, beginning their affair. This key difference highlights the narrator’s choice not to go to Marla’s apartment and, arguably, his cowardice. It also sets up the antagonistic relationship between Tyler and the narrator over the affair with Marla, even though they are the same person: the narrator realizes that, had he gone to Marla’s place instead, he would be sleeping with her instead of Tyler.
  3. Lye burns: In the book, Marla burns herself with lye on accident. In the movie, Tyler holds the narrator’s hand and pours lye over it, holding it until the burn is deep enough to leave a scar. Tyler and the narrator’s matching scars are another clue that they are in fact the same person. The lye burns become a source of pain, like the fight club, to feel something different from the senseless modern lifestyle. (Fun fact, Brad Pitt asked his parents not to see the movie, but they insisted. They stopped watching after the chemical burn scene.)
  4. Tyler’s last planned explosion: In the book, Tyler’s final Project Mayhem endeavor is to blow up a skyscraper containing a national museum, taking himself out in the same explosion as a martyr. The bomb malfunctions because Tyler mixed paraffin in the explosives. In the movie, the targets are credit card companies. Fincher’s adaptation highlights the theme of consumerism in the story. With this explosion, Tyler wants to eliminate credit card records, and therefore credit card debt, returning everyone to a “clean slate.” This goes to the narrator’s wishes to re-create his own life, which he desperately tried to do by blowing up his apartment and starting a fight club in the first place. Unlike the book, the bombs go off, though it’s ambiguous whether the building the narrator is in blows up as well.anigif_enhanced-buzz-30101-1389371874-16
  5. The ending: In the book, the narrator blacks out after he shoots himself and wakes up in a mental hospital, convinced that he is in Heaven. The novel ends with the hospital employees revealing themselves to be Project Mayhem members, telling the narrator that they expect Tyler to come back. The movie has a much more, for lack of a better term, “Hollywood ending.” The narrator and Marla reconcile and hold hands as buildings blow up around them. The ending suggests that the narrator has finally killed the part of himself that was Tyler and is finally ready to start a new life with Marla. Conversely, the novel’s ending is cyclical, suggesting that Tyler will eventually return.



When I first heard the term spaghetti western, I automatically thought wow delicious. This is going to be some sort of term to describe some new type of Western movie in collaboration with Italy. Then I had to reevaluate my thoughts and remind myself we’re talking about Clint Eastwood and that Italy is, in fact, not located in the west.

So what is a spaghetti western? This category of western films were made in the 1960’s by ITALIAN directors (there’s your spaghetti connection). These films see violence as a necessary characteristic of the west. Westerns before always treated violence as something that comes and disturbs a peaceful community. These films are commonly referred to as revisionist westerns. They are similar to classical western films; however they also follow very different views on things such as violence much like we see in A Fistful of Dollars.

One of the most important characters in Eastwood’s Unforgiven, in my opinion, is WW Beauchamp. He is portrayed in such an innocent way I think and he really doesn’t get into anyones way or in the way of the violence. By following English Bob and Little Bill around, we can see that he is seeking a person to attach to form an image of the west. This is where it gets tricky. We are unaware if this is an ‘act’ or if his quest for the “real west” is progressing. The way in which he tells the story of English Bob, The Duke of Death, leads the viewer to believe that money is really a driving force of the world. It’s ironic that this is an underlying message in the film and that the main characters name is, in fact, William Munny (get it? Money, Munny!)

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I think its also important to recognize the role that Sally Two Trees plays in the film. Essentially, she is the only ‘good guy’ in this film. She is a Native American with nothing but good intentions. Earlier in the film, we are presented with the group of prostitutes and Sally gives us a good image of women in this society. However, it also shows that she still really doesn’t have a voice. Morgan Freeman leaves his wife with no problem. Maybe this is an indicator for the way in which movies like this portray women: either as a part of the violence or powerless and they don’t have a voice in it.

It’s funny to think about, though, since later in the musical comedy Annie Get Your Gun, we are presented with Annie Oakley, a game changer for women in western films. She presented women with a sort of empowerment and proved that women can be independent and have a voice in society! Also, Helen Ramirez in the film High Noon gives a character who is a direct representation of freedom and independence in the west.

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I love western movies and never realized that different eras of time present us with different types of western movies that show different views of the west. With the views of violence and women’s roles in society being the most noticeable, I’m realizing now that its important to pay attention to the type of western we are dealing with since each is unique.

2 Truths and a Lie?

Looking back on it, I have done more ice breakers in my college career so far than I have ever planned on doing my entire life. (*Disclaimer: I am only a sophomore so inevitably there will be many more..) That being said, I am basically a professional ice breaker. I did have one ‘minor’ slip up during 2 truths and a lie at my NSO here at Penn State. So, as the game goes everyone goes in a circle saying 2 truths and a lie about themselves and the other people try to guess which one is the lie. It is a great way to learn some fun facts about people you’re forced to socialize with. So my turn came and I proudly stated my 3 things. I soon found myself staring at a group of faces that clearly had no idea which one was the lie. Well, funny story…. I forgot to tell a lie. I told 3 truths and even fooled myself with that one..

Anyways, now that everyone is clear on how to play the game, let’s talk Lincoln. Many critics see this movie as having a lot of historical inaccuracy and not as much accuracy. I’m going to present three different BIG historical points that this film focuses on, not saying whether or not the point is historically accurate or not. At the end, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which two are the truths and what situation from the film is, in fact, a lie. Good luck!

#1 Lincoln’s face was not printed on any sort of money until after he died. Despite the fact that a character in the film argues that he couldn’t bribe undecided men to vote yes on the 13th amendment because of all of the currency already in circulation with president Lincoln’s face on them, he didn’t actually appear on money until 1869.

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#2 Lincoln’s position as president gave him the power to make legislative decisions which became the deciding factors in the abolition of slavery. These decisions were so important that nothing else effected the passing of the 13th amendment. The war was just a minor detail in this quest for freedom.

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#3 Soldiers much like those in the opening scene would frequently approach president Lincoln. Even though he was Commander-in-Chief, both soldiers that were black and white would casually talk to Lincoln about topics such as his famous Gettysburg Address. This speech was, in fact, popular before Lincoln died.

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So, what do you think? What’s true and what is not? …Maybe I tricked you once again!