Margaret Ruth (now Kelch), Richard’s best friend in sixth grade, snapped this picture on a class field trip to Springfield, Illinois, the state capital.

The photograph carries some resonances that were probably not intentional on the teenage Margaret’s part. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s hard not to be struck by the visual echo between the body of Richard—a performer who freed American comedy from many of its self-imposed limitations—and the statue of Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator,” behind him. Additionally, the photo conveys a sense of Richard’s isolation: he stands in the foreground, alone and in a slightly ill-fitting suit, while behind him clusters a group of kids and teachers, most of whom appear to be more casually dressed.