- NAME: Abraham Lincoln
- OCCUPATION: Civil Rights Activist, Lawyer, U.S. President, U.S. Representative
- BIRTH DATE: February 12, 1809
- DEATH DATE: April 15, 1865
- Did You Know?: Lincoln was an accomplished wrestler: He was defeated only once in about 300 matches, and is enshrined in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
- Did You Know?: Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was saved from getting hit by a train by Edwin Booth, John Wilkes Booth's brother.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Hodgenville, Kentucky
- PLACE OF DEATH: Washington, D.C.
- Full Name: Abraham Lincoln
- Nickname: Honest Abe
- Nickname: The Great Emancipator
Best Known For
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. He preserved the Union during the U.S. Civil War and brought about the emancipation of slaves.
An original animated video of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
"The Lincoln Room" in New York's famous Keens Steakhouse features a wide collection of memorabilia of the 16th president, including a playbill from the night of his assassination.
Even before Lincoln's assassination, he received numerous death threats as soon as he entered the White House.
Abraham Lincoln was known for having a sense of humor which he used in both his personal life and for political gain.
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Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of America's greatest heroes due to both his incredible impact on the nation and his unique appeal. His is a remarkable story of the rise from humble beginnings to achieve the highest office in the land; then,
“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.”
“I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.”
“[N]o man is good enough to govern another man, without that other's consent.”
“I have learned the value of old friends by making many new ones.”
“[G]overnment of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
“Whenever I hear anyone arguing over slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."
“To give the victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary.”
“Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.”
“Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.”
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
"I walk slowly, but I never walk backward."
"Nearly all men can handle adversity, if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
"I'm the big buck of this lick. If any of you want to try it, come on and whet your horns."
"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns."
"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
a sudden and tragic death at a time when his country needed him most to complete the great task remaining before the nation. Lincoln's distinctively human and humane personality and historical role as savior of the Union and emancipator of the slaves creates a legacy that endures. His eloquence of democracy and his insistence that the Union was worth saving embody the ideals of self-government that all nations strive to achieve.
Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Thomas was a strong and determined pioneer who found a moderate level of prosperity and was well respected in the community. The couple had two other children: Abraham's older sister Sarah and younger brother Thomas, who died in infancy. Due to a land dispute, the Lincolns were forced to move from Kentucky to Perry County, Indiana in 1817, where the family "squatted" on public land to scrap out a living in a crude shelter, hunting game and farming a small plot. Thomas was eventually able to buy the land.
When young Abraham was 9 years old his mother died of tremetol (milk sickness) at age 34 and the event was devastating on him. The 9-year-old Abraham grew more alienated from his father and quietly resented the hard work placed on him at an early age. A few months after Nancy's death, Thomas married Sarah Bush Johnston, a Kentucky widow with three children of her own. She was a strong and affectionate woman with whom Abraham quickly bonded. Though both his parents were most likely illiterate, Sarah encouraged Abraham to read. It was while growing into manhood that he received his formal education—an estimated total of 18 months—a few days or weeks at a time. Reading material was in short supply in the Indiana wilderness. Neighbors recalled how Abraham would walk for miles to borrow a book. He undoubtedly read the family Bible and probably other popular books at that time such as Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrims Progress and Aesop’s Fables.
In March, 1830, the family again migrated, this time to Macon County, Illinois. When his father moved the family again to Coles County, 22-year-old Abraham Lincoln struck out on this own, making a living in manual labor. At six feet four inches tall, Lincoln was rawboned and lanky, but muscular and physically strong. He spoke with a backwoods twang and walked with a long-striding gait. He was known for his skill in wielding an ax and early on made a living splitting wood for fire and rail fencing. Young Lincoln eventually migrated to the small community of New Salem, Illinois where over a period of years he worked as a shopkeeper, postmaster, and eventually general store owner. It was here that Lincoln, working with the public, acquired social skills and honed story-telling talent that made him popular with the locals.
Check out BIO’s original video series, American Freedom Stories, about the historic events of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, and the leaders and everyday heroes who fought to make racial equality a reality. Watch videos.
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