Lincoln-Douglas 1858 debate in Alton compared to upcoming 2016 d - KMOV.com

Lincoln-Douglas 1858 debate in Alton compared to upcoming 2016 debate at Wash U

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The 2016 Presidential debate at Washington University compared to Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in Alton, Illinois in 1858 (Credit: KMOV). The 2016 Presidential debate at Washington University compared to Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in Alton, Illinois in 1858 (Credit: KMOV).

ALTON, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Washington University has held many Presidential debates in the past and the St. Louis area has also played host to one of the most famous debates in history.

Abraham Lincoln went against Stephen Douglas, the incumbent U.S. Senator from Illinois, debated in Alton, Illinois in October, 1858.

Don Huber, Alton, Ill. Township supervisor, says by 2016 standards, you would consider the Lincoln-Douglas debates a much more civilized showdown.

During the 1858 debate, the two candidates showed each other respect.

“They weren't interrupting one another. You got your time slot and the other guy stood back and waited. There was no shouting at one another,” said Huber.

Newspapers transcribed the entire three and a half hour debate for readers and the debate stretched over four months.

“They [Lincoln and Douglas] traveled here [Alton, Ill.] together on the same boat, had breakfast when they arrived. I think it was much more professionally courteous than it is at this point,” said Huber.

What would have been scandalous in 2016 did receive some newspaper coverage but did not overshadow the 1858 debate.

Huber mentioned what Lincoln and Douglas would have thought about the 2016 debates.

“First of all having a woman on the podium would have floored ‘em,” said Huber.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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