Birth date of President Abraham Lincoln, 16th President
February 12, 1809
Abraham Lincoln spent his early years on a farm, living a famed “Lincoln Log” existence and working for his education. He made his way into state politics, married a woman named Mary Todd, and had four boys. Running against Steven Douglas for Senator from Illinois, his strong performance in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates won him national acclaim and, two years later, the presidency. Lincoln inherited the White House at America’s darkest hour: with the issue of slavery at hand, Southern states were becoming increasingly disenchanted with the US government. They slowly began to disassociate from the Union to form the Confederate States of America and attacked Fort Sumter as a formal declaration of war. Lincoln charged into the Civil War with gusto and conviction, considering secession a crime and firmly fighting for the freedom of all Americans. This he confirmed in the Gettysburg Address and through Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all American slaves. He easily won reelection in 1864, and by April 1865 the Union had won the Civil War. Just six days after his triumph, however, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC.
Why do you think Lincoln is consistently ranked as one of the best American presidents? What do you think is his greatest accomplishment?