Sometimes you find yourself in a place that transcends time, a sort of crossroads in history. Today is such a day. It’s hard to think of a time where the course of our nation changed so dramatically as during the 1850s-1860s.

Lincoln Herndon statues

I thought of that as I passed by one of the many statues of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois. This one is of the Lincoln family in front of the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, not long before he left the city to become our sixteenth president. He would never return.

Lincoln was in the thick of a turning point in our history – a crossroads. He steered the ship of state, if not into calmer waters, at least in the direction of that “more perfect Union” that was so elusive to our founders. The work isn’t done; not even close. But without that upheaval it’s likely our country would not currently exist.

[This post is written in response to the one-word prompt – Crossroads]

David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (Fall River Press) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book is about Thomas Edison, due in Barnes and Noble stores in summer 2016.