February 12 is the 207th anniversary of the birth of the most important president in US history. Learn some curious facts about his life.
– He never studied in any school . In his words: “He knew how to read, write and count, and even the rule of three, but nothing more. What I have in terms of education I have been collecting here and there, under the demands of necessity”. He had to work as a child. At age 16, he was hired to drive a log raft, loaded with goods, down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.
-In 1832, at the age of 23, he served as a captain in the Black Hawk War , between the United States Army and various Indian peoples for possession of land in the Midwestern states , such as Illinois and Michigan. On one occasion he saved an old Indian man whom the Yankee soldiers wanted to hang.
-At that time, in the early 1930s, he joined the Whig party , a liberal grouping inspired by the English Whigs. He was a congressman for the Whigs, but in 1854, when this party disintegrated, he joined the Republican party , of which he was one of the founders in the state of Illinois.
– He was the first Republican President in the history of the United States . In the presidential elections of November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln obtained 39.82% of the popular votes (1,865,908). As a whole, he added fewer votes, almost a million less, than all three of his opponents: Douglas (29.46%; 1,380,202 votes); Breckinridge (18.10%; 848,019 votes); and Bell (12.62%; 590,901 votes). But in the Electoral College, Lincoln had 180 Great Electors against 123 of his opponents and got more than the 152 needed to win. So Lincoln was elected president.
-He was married to Mary Todd from November 4, 1842 until her death on April 15, 1865, and they had four children. However, his homosexuality was always speculated on because of some ambiguous poems he wrote and the affectionate relationships he had with various men throughout his life.
-Once elected president in 1860, and being as he was in favor of abolishing slavery , it became clear that the Civil War with the South was inevitable. Tension rose across the nation and shortly after he was elected he and he had to survive an assassination attempt in Baltimore , Maryland.
-In 1863 Lincoln promulgated the Emancipation Proclamation, announcing that all slaves in the Confederate States of America would be freed . However, the proclamation did not name the slave states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, or Delaware, which had not seceded from the North, so slaves from those states were not freed. As the end of the conflict approached, it was seen that the abolition had been proclaimed through a war edict , so that slavery was still in force and in some states it continued to be legal. It was only definitively abolished throughout the country on December 18, 1865 , when the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was enacted.
-In the November 1864 elections he obtained the support of even members of the Democratic Party, so this time Lincoln was re-elected with an absolute majority of 55.02% of the votes.
– He was the first president of the United States to be assassinated , and he preceded James Garfield (in 1881), William McKinley (1901) and John F. Kennedy (1963) on this black list. The attack that ended his life occurred at Ford’s Theater in Washington on April 15, 1865, where he had gone with his wife to see the musical Our American Cousin . As he sat in his box, John Wilkes Booth, an actor sympathetic to the South, came up behind him and shot him in the head as he yelled in Latin, “Thus always to tyrants.” Lincoln died ten hours later. He was 56 years old. Booth managed to escape but was shot dead by police eleven days later.