I find it interesting that two of the most influential men of the past few centuries, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, were born on the same day, 200 years ago today.

In honor of Lincoln’s bicentennial birthday, I strolled through Washington Square park in Ottawa, site of the first debate between Lincoln and U.S. Sen. Stephen Douglas. There are statues of Lincoln and Douglas in the center of the park, and there is a Lincoln-Douglas debate mural painted onto the side of a building across the street. I attended the dedication ceremonies for both the statues and the mural. U.S. Sen. Paul Simon was the keynote speaker when the statues were unveiled in September 2002.

I didn’t do anything special to mark Darwin’s birthday other than continue believing his theory of evolution.