Celebrate! Holidays In The U.S.A.
Abraham Lincoln's Birthday
Until 1971, both February 12 and February 22 were observed as federal public holidays to honor the
birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and George Washington (February 22).
In 1971, President Richard Nixon proclaimed one single federal public holiday, the Presidents' Day, to be
observed on the third Monday of February, honoring all past presidents of the United States of America.
Of all the presidents in the history of the United State, Abraham Lincoln is probably the one that Americans
remember the best and with deepest affection. His childhood in the frontier of Indiana set the course for his
character and motivation later in life. He brought a new honesty and integrity to the White House. He would always
be remembered as "honest Abe." Most of all, he is associated with the final abolition of slavery. Lincoln became a
virtual symbol of the American dream whereby an ordinary person from humble beginnings could reach the
pinnacle of society as president of the country.
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in Kentucky, and spent the first seven years of his life there.
They were difficult years in which Thomas Lincoln, Abe's father tried to make a living as a carpenter and farmer.
The Lincolns moved from farm to farm around Kentucky, until 1816, when the family left to settle in Indiana. The
United States was still young, and the midwest was a wild, unsettled frontier. They stopped in the middle of a forest
in Spencer County, Indiana. Neighbors were few and far away, and the family lived in a three-sided shelter until
Abe's father cleared enough land and built a log cabin.
Abe and his sister helped with the heavy daily tasks that came with farming. He cleared the woods for farmland
with his father, and became so skilled at splitting logs that neighbors settling into the Indiana territory paid him to
split logs. At the time, he confessed that he did not really like manual labor. He wrote later that although he was