Abraham LincolnU.S. President
Born: 12 February 1809
Died: 15 April 1865 (assassination)
Birthplace: Near Hodgenville, Kentucky
Best known as: The Civil War president who wrote the Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States from 1861 until his shocking assassination in 1865. The colorful stories about Lincoln's life really are true: He was born in a log cabin and grew up on the American frontier, educated himself by reading borrowed books, and worked splitting fence rails and clerking in a general store, and then as a country lawyer, long before he became president. He served in the Illinois General Assembly for eight years and in the U.S. House of Representatives for one term (1847-49) before his election as the nation's first Republican president in 1860. As president he is best remembered for leading the Union through the Civil War and freeing Confederate slaves with the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation; for delivering the Gettysburg Address, the most famous oration in American history, on 19 November 1863; and for his tragic assassination by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. Upon Lincoln's death, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency. The Lincoln Memorial, with its famous statue of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French, was dedicated in Washington in 1922.
Extra credit: He married Mary Anne Todd in 1842... Yes, that's Lincoln on the U.S. penny and the five dollar bill. Lincoln also named Salmon P. Chase to be Chief Justice of the United States in 1864, and Chase is on the $10,000 bill... Lincoln was preceded by James Buchanan, the only president to remain a bachelor for life... Lincoln was the first president to be born outside the original thirteen states... He was the first president to wear a beard while in office... Lincoln's oldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was present at three assassinations: his father's, President Garfield's in 1881 and President McKinley's in 1901... A famous (and enormous) biography of Lincoln was written by 20th-century author Carl Sandburg... Lincoln was the 16th president.
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