Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln!

It's the birthday of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. It's a legal holiday in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln! There has never been an annual federal holiday devoted solely to honoring Lincoln's birthday, but we all observe it on Presidents' Day together with Washington's birthday on the third Monday of February (next Monday this 2007).

born February 12, 1809
in a log cabin in Kentucky
the first president to be born outside the original thirteen states

the first president to wear a beard while in office

is on the penny and the five-dollar bill

“Honest Abe”
"the Rail-Splitter"
the Civil War president

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Black Hawk War

1834 - 1840
served in the Illinois state legislature

elected as a Whig to the U.S. House of Representatives

joined the Republican Party

Republican candidate in the U.S. Senate election

seven debates with Stephen A. Douglas
- Lincoln against the extension of slavery into the territories
- lost but made famous

1860 presidential election
- won by a large margin in the electoral college, though receiving only two-fifths of the popular vote

opposed to his stand on slavery, 7 Southern states seceded from the Union even before his inauguration


1863 Emancipation Proclamation
freed the slaves in the Confederacy

1863 Gettysburg Address

assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 15, 1865

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Carl Sandburg's Pulitzer-winning biography Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years

Lincoln by David Herbert Donald

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin - about his relationship with the men he selected for his cabinet. Three were his opponents for the Republican nomination in 1860: William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates. Seward became his secretary of state, Chase his secretary of the treasury, and Bates his attorney general. Lincoln also appointed Edwin Stanton, who had been contemptuous of him, to replace Simon Cameron in his cabinet as secretary of war.

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Lincoln has the same birthday as Charles Darwin. Yes, they were born on the same day and year!

birthdate: February 12, 1809