When I was a kid, February 12 was celebrated as Lincoln’s birthday. While 1968 is one of the most tumultuous years in our history, Congress was focused on giving government employees a three day weekend. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act created Presidents Day. Now there is virtually no mention of him on his birthday. It is a real pity.
His story is one of the greatest in our history. He overcame seemingly insurmountable failure and tragedy to become one of our truly great presidents. He grew up in a pioneer family where backbreaking work was necessary to survive. He lost both his mother and sister, his only sibling.
He failed as a storekeeper and saw a woman he loved die of typhoid. He next tried politics and law. He was unsuccessful in his first run at the state legislature but did win four terms. He ran for Speaker but lost. He ran for Congress but wasn’t nominated. Later he was successful but only served one term. He did get married but the union was not a happy one. Two of his sons died. He twice ran for Senate but was unsuccessful. We all know the rest of the story. He became President in 1860 and preserved the country.
We all should take a moment to be thankful that this “failure” came along when he did.