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When Is Lincoln's Birthday & Why Is It Celebrated?

Published on
February 4, 2022 at 1:40:00 PM PST February 4, 2022 at 1:40:00 PM PSTth, February 4, 2022 at 1:40:00 PM PST

When is Lincoln’s birthday celebrated is not an easy answer. Some states celebrate on February 11th, February 12th, and even November 25th in 2022. There are several reasons for this. The main one would be that it is not a national holiday.


As for why exactly it is celebrated, we’ll take a closer look into just one part of what Abraham Lincoln did for America.


When Is Lincoln’s Birthday Celebrated, and Where?


Not all states pay tribute to the 16th US president by celebrating his day of birth. The states that traditionally celebrate Lincoln’s birthday are the following, and here are the dates for 2022:


·             Connecticut, Illinois, and Missouri — February 11th and 12th

·             New York and most states — February 12th

·             Indiana — November 25th


While in other states the date remains the same regardless of the weekday, in Indiana it is always the day after Thanksgiving, i.e. Black Friday.


Over the years, some states adopted the holiday while others stopped celebrating it. For instance, California listed Lincoln’s birthday as a holiday, yet state employees do not get the right to a paid day off.


By the way, as opposed to President’s Day, Lincoln was indeed born on February 12. He was born in 1809 near present-day Hodgenville, Kentucky, in a one-room log cabin.


When Was Lincoln’s Birthday First Celebrated?


Celebrating Lincoln’s birthday did not begin until he was assassinated. After his death, Julius E. Francis, a successful drug store business owner from Buffalo, advocated that Lincoln’s birthday should become a national holiday. One year after the President’s death, he organized the first of seven annual celebrations. What is more, Francis also collected a lot of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. 


His legacy is Buffalo Lincoln’s Birthday Association.


Why Is Abraham Lincoln Significant?


Where should we start? For one, he was the 16th American president. Secondly, he was the president during the Civil War. During that time, Lincoln managed to maintain to master the political struggle while simultaneously commanding Union armies. That was an incredible achievement since the two are hard to balance.


Without any doubt, Lincoln’s greatest legacy is abolishing slavery. In 1862, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which officially proclaimed all slaves of the Confederate states to be free.


Lincoln also worked hard on connecting the country via railroad. The Pacific Railroad Acts of 1862 and 1864 that he signed enabled the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, from san Francisco Bay to Council Bluffs in Iowa.


Regarding finances, the US dollar may not have had such power were it not for Lincoln’s efforts to create a standardized currency and a network of national banks.


Therefore, it can be concluded that Lincoln showed great success in multiple fields as a US president, with slavery abolishment definitely giving him eternal glory and worldwide recognition.


Where is Abraham Lincoln's birthday celebrated?


After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilke Booth in 1865, there was a push to have his birthday recognized as a holiday. Those efforts have never been successful, but people across the country have held celebrations to commemorate his legacy.


There are a handful of states that have official holidays to honor Lincoln, such as California, Connecticut, Missouri, New York, and his adopted home state of Illinois.


Other parts of the U.S have official ceremonies on February 12. There is a wreath-laying ceremony at Lincoln's birthplace in Kentucky and another at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.


How Is Lincoln’s Birthday Celebrated?


Originally, the day dedicated to celebrating Abraham Lincoln involved renting a hall, organizing speakers, poets, essayists, music, and inviting the public to attend the event free of charge.


Nowadays, there is a wreath-laying ceremony and the traditional reading of Lincoln’s most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington (it’s repeated here). Republican parties also tend to have fundraising events since Lincoln was the first Republican president.