On the Occasion of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

Watercolor portrait of Abraham Lincoln

When I was in school, we remembered Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th and celebrated Washington’s birthday as a holiday on February 22nd.  When the government made Mondays the holiday of choice in 1971, we no longer observed the actual birthdays, but instead began to honor all presidents on the Presidents Day holiday, the third Monday in February.

Today’s post goes back to the more traditional celebration of Lincoln’s actual birthday.  Here are some quotes from this great leader:

“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’  Now we practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’  When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’  When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
— letter to Joshua F. Speed, August 22,1855

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic destroyed.”
— letter to Col. William F. Elkins, November 21, 1864

“The struggle for today is not altogether for today — it is for a vast future also.”

We are still struggling.  Sometimes progress feels like one step forward and two steps back.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “On the Occasion of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

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