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Interesting Facts about Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday



Interesting Facts about Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

Abraham Lincoln, one of the most popular presidents in United States history, is honored on Lincoln’s Birthday. In certain states, February 12th falls on or around this date. Lincoln Day, Abraham Lincoln Day, and Lincoln’s Birthday are some other names for it. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

Quick Look

  • Official name: Birthday of President Abraham Lincoln
  • Observed by: Various U.S. states
  • Type: Local
  • Significance: To honor Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
  • Date: February 12
  • Frequency: Annual
  • Related to: Presidents’ Day

25 Interesting Facts about Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

  1. In certain states in the United States, February 12, 1809, the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in Hodgenville, Kentucky, is recognized as Lincoln’s Birthday, a legal public holiday.
  2. The states that celebrate the holiday are Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, California, Missouri, and New York.
  3. Lincoln’s birthday is not observed as a stand-alone holiday in many other states. Rather, President George Washington’s birthday (which falls in February) is combined with Lincoln’s birthday and observed as either Washington’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day on the third Monday of the month, coinciding with the federal holiday.
  4. In either 1873 or 1874, Buffalo, New York, hosted the first known celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Julius Francis (d. 1881), a Buffalo druggist, made it his life’s mission to honor the slain president. He filed numerous petitions with Congress to declare Abraham Lincoln’s birthday a legal holiday.
  5. Traditional wreath-laying ceremonies are held on this day at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Ever since the Memorial was dedicated, the latter has been the site of a ceremony.
  6. The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) and the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee have been organizing observances since that 1922 event.
  7. On the President of the United States’ birthday, a wreath is traditionally laid; this tradition is also observed at the tombs of all former presidents of the United States. Springfield, Illinois is home to Abraham Lincoln’s tomb.
  8. Lincoln’s 200th birthday was celebrated in style on February 12, 2009, at the Lincoln Memorial’s annual wreath-laying ceremony.
  9. With assistance from MOLLUS, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC) planned an extended ceremony that included musical performances by the U.S. Marine Corps Band and singer Michael Feinstein, who has been nominated for four Grammy awards.
  10. Additionally, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Lincoln scholar, and ALBC Co-Chair Harold Holzer, recently retired Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and ALBC Commissioner Frank J. Williams, and author Nikki Giovanni, who read a piece she wrote specifically for the Bicentennial, all made remarks during the morning celebration.
  11. The U.S. Mint released four new Lincoln cents in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial. The commemorative coins feature updated designs depicting various stages of his life on the reverse. On September 12, 2009, the first was put into circulation.
  12. Lincoln’s head portrait standard remains on the front. Lincoln as a young man reading while perched on a log was taking a break from splitting, Lincoln as a state legislator in front of the Illinois Capitol, and the partially constructed dome of the U.S. Capitol are among the new designs.
  13. On May 23, 2008, New Jersey began celebrating the holiday following the passage of the Public Employee Pension and Benefits Reform Act of 2008.
  14. African-American communities in the United States celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in the 19th century, which is where Black History Month got its start.
  15. Black communities began commemorating Lincoln’s birthday in the early 20th century along with the February 14 birthday of abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass.
  16. In 1926, historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History declared that the second week of February would be “Negro History Week” to align with the traditional Black celebrations of both men’s birthdays. This announcement served as the inspiration for the creation of Black History Month.
  17. “Black History Month” had replaced “Negro History Week” by the 1970s.
  18. Black History Month has spread to the United Kingdom, which observes it in October, and Canada, which likewise observes it in February.
  19. Lincoln’s birthday was never observed as a federal holiday in the United States. Under federal law, the third Monday in February is still only recognized as “Washington’s Birthday”. But a lot of state governments have officially changed the name of their state holiday honoring Washington’s birthday to something like “Presidents’ Day,” “Washington and Lincoln Day,” or other names that either directly or indirectly commemorate Lincoln’s birthday.
  20. Whatever the official name and purpose, Lincoln is frequently honored during celebrations and commemorations on or around the third Monday.
  21. Lincoln’s birthday, which always falls on February 12 regardless of the day of the week, is a state holiday in Connecticut, Missouri, and Illinois while Washington’s birthday is a federal holiday in those states.
  22. Lincoln’s Birthday is still observed as a holiday in California, but as of 2009, state employees are not entitled to a paid holiday on February 12. State courts are closed because it is regarded as a “Court holiday”.
  23. Several states observe official state holidays in honor of their presidents, which do not coincide with the third Monday in February.
  24. In New Mexico, Presidents’ Day is celebrated on the Friday after Thanksgiving, at least as a paid holiday for state employees.
  25. Presidents’ Day is celebrated on Christmas Eve in Georgia, at least as a state-government paid holiday. (If Christmas falls on a Saturday, observed on the Thursday before; if Christmas falls on a Sunday, observed on the Friday before). On Friday, December 26, this holiday is observed if December 24 falls on a Wednesday.)
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