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Lincoln was our 16th President, born on February 12, 1809. This Kentucky-born Civil Rights Activist is considered one of America's greatest heroes. He began with humble beginnings, rising up to claim the nation's highest office. His tragic death in 1865 came at a time when Americans needed him the most.
Lincoln's Birthday is observed as a legal holiday in many U.S. states including CA, CT, NY and more. The earliest recorded observance of this great man's birthday was in 1874, initiated by a pharmacist in Buffalo, NY.
To honor his birth, there is an annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. As part of the bicentennial celebration, the U.S. Mint released four new pennies featuring stages of Lincoln's life – his log cabin birthplace, reading as a young man while taking a break from log splitting, as a State Legislator in front of the Illinois Capitol building, and finally the partially built dome of the U.S. Capitol building.
Lincoln was also known as "Honest Abe" and "The Great Emancipator" – two titles he fully lived up to during his political career. He maintained the Union during the U.S. Civil War, and allowed for the emancipation of many slaves. Celebrate his great accomplishments today by learning more about his life – pick up one of many books dedicated to him, or watch the 2012 epic historical drama!