Important Events of February – 12
Birth Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln
- Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809.
- He was the 16th President of the United States. He served as president from 1861 to 1865, during the American Civil War.
- Just five days after most of the Confederate forces had surrendered and the war was ending, John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln. Lincoln was the first president of the United States to be assassinated.
- Lincoln has been remembered as the “Great Emancipator” because he worked to end slavery in the United States.
- His parents were Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks.
- In his childhood he helped his father on the farm, but when he was 22 years old he left home and moved to New Salem, Illinois, where he worked in a general store. Later, he said that he had gone to school for just one year, but that was enough to learn how to read, write, and do simple math.
- In 1842, he married Mary Todd Lincoln.
- Abraham Lincoln was sometimes called Abe Lincoln or “Honest Abe” after he ran miles to give a customer the right amount of change. The nickname “Honest Abe” came from a time when he started a business that failed. Instead of running away like many people would have, he stayed and worked to pay off his debt.
Early political career
- Lincoln started his political career in 1832 when he ran for the IGA Illinois General Assembly, but he lost the election.
- When he moved to Springfield in 1837, he began to work as a lawyer.
- In 1837, as a member of the Illinois General Assembly, Lincoln issued a written protest of its passage of a resolution stating that slavery could not be abolished in Washington, D.C.
- In 1841, he won a court case (Bailey v. Cromwell).
- In 1847, he lost a case (Matson v. Rutherford) representing a slave owner (Robert Matson) claiming return of fugitive slaves.
- In 1846, Lincoln joined the Whig Party and was elected to one term in the House of Representatives.
- In 1854, in reaction to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Lincoln became involved in politics again.
- In 1858, he wanted to become senator; although this was unsuccessful, the debates drew national attention to him.
- The Republican Party nominated him for the Presidential election of 1860.
- Lincoln won the election in 1860, and was made the 16th President of the United States.
- During his presidency Lincoln became well-known because of his large stovepipe hat.
Lincoln and the Civil War
- After Lincoln’s election in 1860, seven States (South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana) formed the Confederate States of America. When the United States refused to surrender Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, the Confederates attacked the fort, beginning the American Civil War. Later, four more states (Arkansas, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina) joined the Confederacy for a total of eleven. In his whole period as President, he had to rebuild the Union with military force and many bloody battles. He also had to stop the “border states”, like Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland, from leaving the Union and joining the Confederacy.
- With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, Lincoln ordered the freedom of all slaves in those states still in rebellion during the American Civil War.
- Until the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865, only the states had power to end slavery within their own borders, so Lincoln issued the proclamation as a war measure.
- Lincoln made a famous speech after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 called the Gettysburg Address. The battle was very important, and many soldiers from both sides died. The speech was given at the new cemetery for the dead soldiers. It is one of the most famous speeches in American history.
- Lincoln was reelected president in 1864 and re-inaugurated March 4 1865.
- On April 11, 1865, Lincoln gave a speech in which he promoted voting rights for blacks.
- Lincoln has been consistently ranked both by scholars and the public as one of the greatest U.S. presidents. He is often considered the greatest president for his leadership during the American Civil War and his eloquence in speeches such as the Gettysburg Address.
- He died at Washington,DC on 15 April 1865.
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