INTERNATIONAL: Empire and Humanity

This week two enemies celebrated two strangely symbolic anniversaries:

On Feb. 11, 660 B.C., in a splendid palace on the peninsula of Yamato, the mighty Emperor Jimmu celebrated his various successful aggressions by offering up sacrifices to Ama-terasu-Ö-mi-Kami, sometimes known as the Sun Goddess, his great-great-grandmother. Thus was founded (so Japanese chroniclers say) the Empire of Japan.

On Feb. 12, 1809, in a shabby Kentucky cabin with a floor of packed-down dirt, a door swung on leather hinges and a stick-clay chimney, a boy was born with the help of an old midwife named Peggy Walters. The boy was Abraham Lincoln, who...

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