On Abraham Lincoln's 205th birthday, a chat with the man who has been Honest Abe for 20 years, courtesy of Executive Editor Jim Rossow.
He's tall and well-spoken and has a wardrobe from the 1860s. When it comes to impersonating birthday boy Abraham Lincoln, Max Daniels has few peers.
"I was cast in a play in 1987 as Mr. Lincoln. It was supposed to be over after three weeks, but I kept on going," Daniels said. "We've made a living out of what we've been doing."
Max and wife Donna travel the Midwest as Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln — it's been their fulltime job since 1994.
They were at the Danville Public Library on Saturday for "Story Time With The Lincolns." Today's schedule — Honest Abe turns 205 — has the pair making a number of appearances in suburban Chicago.
"Today is like Christmas," he said.
Here's more from 6-foot-4 Max/Abe:
Most frequently asked question?
How many children do you have? And is the beard real?
Well, is it?
Oh yes. It took about six months to get it to fruition.
Can you recite the Gettysburg Address?
I can. It's 272 words.
What politician would Abe be proud of today?
Probably not many. Politics have become so partisan — they forget the people are still the masters. They tend to think people are the servants and not the other way around. Mr. Lincoln would be somewhat embarrassed.
What about Barack Obama?
Mr. Lincoln probably would wonder why it took so long. And why hasn't there been a lady president yet?
Is Lincoln the greatest president ever?
Mr. Lincoln would always think George Washington as the greatest president. If not for Washington, we would not have a country.
Your thoughts on John Wilkes Booth?
He was an excellent actor but not as good as his brother Edwin. His politics are going to get him in trouble one day. It's funny, a good friend of mine portrays John Wilkes Booth, and when we're at shows together, people warn me that he's in the area.