Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Happy Birthday, Mr. President"

Just a few interesting facts about one of the Greatest Men who Ever Lived, Abraham Lincoln! 
    Abraham Lincoln
  • He was born on February 12th 1809, and died April 15th 1865 at the age of fifty six.
  • He was the 16th President of the United States.  He was a Republican and was president for four years from 1861-1865, when he was assassinated.
  • His wife was Mary Todd Lincoln, who was brought up in a very wealthy family.  Her family disapproved of her marriage to Lincoln.
  • Abraham had four children, Robert Todd Lincoln, Edward Lincoln, Willie Lincoln, Tad Lincoln. Only Robert Todd Lincoln survived into adulthood.
  • Abraham was an unaffiliated Christian as he never officially acquired church membership.
  • He created a national banking system with the National Banking Act in 1863, resulting in a standardized currency.
  • He was the first president to be assassinated.
  • He was the tallest U.S president at 6ft 4 inches.
  • He patented a system to alter buoyancy of steamboats in 1849.
  • Even though he was strong, a talented wrestler, and proficient with an axe, Lincoln disliked killing and harming animals, even for food.
  • He was the first president to have a beard.
  • Lincoln, one week before his death, had a dream of someone crying in the White House, when he found the room; he looked in and asked who had passed away. The man in the room said the President. When he looked in the coffin it was his own face he saw.
  • Lincoln was fond of pets, and owned horses, cats, dogs and a turkey.  

Quotations of Importance
"A house divided against it cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."

"I want every man to have the chance - and I believe a black man is entitled to it - in which he can better his condition, when he may look forward and hope to be a hired labourer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him. That is the true system."

". . . all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; . . ."

"What is conservativism? Is it not the adherence to the old and tried against the new and untried?"
"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."

"With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die."

"I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."
                                                                       © A Lincoln Library

The Gettysburg Address
“ Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Abraham Lincoln

Humorous Quotations:
  • Whatever you are, be a good one.
  •  It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
  • If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
  • Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
  • Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
  • He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.
  • When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, its best to let him run.
  • You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
  • Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
  • If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.

 He had great strengths, he had surprising weaknesses, his life was full of tragedy as well as success.  He lived in deeply troubled times and managed to end one of the country's worst shames.  He could write.  He could laugh.  He saw humor and he saw sadness.  He was the very first President assassinated by a crazed fanatic.  (Sadly he wasn't the last!)
Saturday Evening Post - 1938-02-12: Bronze Lincoln (J.C. Leyendecker)

History often holds him up as the great president the country has ever had.  I totally support that view.  He was the kind of President we needed then.  He was the kind of President we always need.  He was the kind of leader that that every country needs.  A man who managed to change the world.  
Today, is the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.  I believe he would be appalled at what is happening in our country today, but maybe he could have fixed it!

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