Lincoln’s Birthday


Once upon a time, before the Monday Holiday Bill, there was no such thing as “President’s Day.”

In Illinois (The Land of Lincoln), where I was born and raised, every kid knew when Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was: February 12th. It was a state holiday….and it was acknowledged on the actual date. Imagine that!

There is, in some quarters, a bit of controversy about whether Mr. Lincoln was a Christian…..and whether he uttered this upon receiving the gift of a Bible in 1864:

In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.

I don’t find it hard to believe he said this. Neither do I question whether he was a man of faith. Read what he wrote when proclaiming Thanksgiving a national holiday; read his second inaugural address; read his “Meditation on Divine Will.”

The 12th of February never comes without me thinking of Mr. Lincoln. So, today, on the 209th anniversary of his birth, I give a nod to my home state and its favorite son.

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