Lincoln's Birthday

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Abraham Lincoln's Birthday
Thomas Hicks - Leopold Grozelier - Presidential Candidate Abraham Lincoln 1860 - cropped to lithographic plate.jpg
Abraham Lincoln
Official nameBirthday of President Abraham Lincoln
Observed by Illinois and various U.S. states
SignificanceHonors 16th President of the United States
Date February 12
Next timeFebruary 12, 2020 (2020-02-12)
Related to Presidents Day
Photograph of ceremony at Lincoln Memorial attended by Vice President Truman, celebrating Lincoln's Birthday on February 12, 1945 Photograph of ceremony at Lincoln Memorial attended by Vice President Truman, celebrating Lincoln's Birthday. - NARA - 199057.jpg
Photograph of ceremony at Lincoln Memorial attended by Vice President Truman, celebrating Lincoln's Birthday on February 12, 1945
Carson Pirie Scott & Co. store on State Street in Chicago, Illinois decorated for Lincoln 100th birthday in 1909 Carson Pirie Scott Building on Lincoln's 100th Birthday.jpg
Carson Pirie Scott & Co. store on State Street in Chicago, Illinois decorated for Lincoln 100th birthday in 1909
Flags of the Confederacy displayed at a movie house on Lincoln's birthday in Winchester, Virginia, in February 1940 Flags of the Confederacy displayed at movie house on Lincoln's birthday, Winchester, Virginia.jpg
Flags of the Confederacy displayed at a movie house on Lincoln's birthday in Winchester, Virginia, in February 1940
Menu from Lincoln's Birthday celebration held by the Republican Club of the City of New York in 1887. Many Republican Party organizations hold Lincoln's Birthday celebrations because Lincoln was the first Republican president. 78TH ANNIVERSARY OF LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY (held by) REPUBLICAN CLUB OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK (at) DELMONICO'S (HOT) (NYPL Hades-269617-474267).jpg
Menu from Lincoln's Birthday celebration held by the Republican Club of the City of New York in 1887. Many Republican Party organizations hold Lincoln's Birthday celebrations because Lincoln was the first Republican president.

Lincoln's Birthday is a legal, public holiday in some U.S. states, observed on the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville (Hodgensville, Hodgen's Mill), Kentucky. [1] Connecticut, [2] Illinois, [3] Indiana, [4] Ohio, California, Missouri, and New York observe the holiday.

Public holidays in the United States Wikimedia list article

The schedule of public holidays in the United States is largely influenced by the schedule of federal holidays but is controlled by private sector employers who employ 62% of the total US population with paid time off. A typical work week has historically been 40 hours a week with a Saturday–Sunday weekend, although many professionals are currently expected to work 50 hours a week for fixed salary.

Abraham Lincoln 16th president of the United States

Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman, politician, and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.

Connecticut state of the United States of America

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), and median household income in the United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport. It is part of New England, although portions of it are often grouped with New York and New Jersey as the Tri-state area. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river".


In other states, Lincoln's birthday is not celebrated separately, as a stand-alone holiday. Instead Lincoln's Birthday is combined with a celebration of President George Washington's birthday (also in February) and celebrated either as Washington's Birthday or as Presidents' Day on the third Monday in February, concurrent with the federal holiday.

George Washington 1st president of the United States

George Washington was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father who also served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, and he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government. He has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation.

Washingtons Birthday Public holiday in the USA

Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, who was born on February 22, 1732. Since the Uniform Federal Holidays Act of 1971, its observance can occur from February 15 to 21, inclusive.

Federal holidays in the United States

In the United States, a federal holiday is an authorized holiday which has been recognized by the US government. Every year on a U.S. federal holiday, non-essential federal government offices are closed, and every federal employee is paid for the holiday. Private-sector employees required to work on a legal holiday may receive holiday pay in addition to their ordinary wages.


The earliest known observance of Lincoln's birthday occurred in Buffalo, New York, in either 1873 or 1874. Julius Francis (d. 1881), a Buffalo druggist, made it his life's mission to honor the slain president. He repeatedly petitioned Congress to establish Lincoln's birthday as a legal holiday. [5]

Buffalo, New York City in Western New York

Buffalo is the second largest city in the U.S. state of New York and the largest city in Western New York. As of 2017, the population was 258,612. The city is the county seat of Erie County and a major gateway for commerce and travel across the Canada–United States border, forming part of the bi-national Buffalo Niagara Region.

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The day is marked by traditional wreath-laying ceremonies at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Kentucky, and at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The latter has been the site of a ceremony ever since the Memorial was dedicated. Since that event in 1922, observances continue to be organized by the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee and by the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). A wreath is laid on behalf of the President of the United States, a custom also carried out at the grave sites of all deceased U.S. presidents on their birthdays. Lincoln's tomb is in Springfield, Illinois.

Hodgenville, Kentucky City in Kentucky, United States

Hodgenville is a home rule-class city in LaRue County, Kentucky, United States. It is the seat of its county. Hodgenville sits along the North Fork of the Nolin River. The population was 3,206 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Elizabethtown metropolitan area.

Lincoln Memorial American national monument

The Lincoln Memorial is an American national memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., across from the Washington Monument. The architect was Henry Bacon; the designer of the primary statue – Abraham Lincoln, 1920 – was Daniel Chester French; the Lincoln statue was carved by the Piccirilli Brothers; and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin. Dedicated in May 1922, it is one of several memorials built to honor an American president. It has always been a major tourist attraction and since the 1930s has been a symbolic center focused on race relations.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

On February 12, 2009, the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial commemorated Lincoln's 200th birthday in grand fashion. An extended ceremony, organized by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC) and with help from MOLLUS, featured musical performances from four-time Grammy-nominated singer Michael Feinstein and the U.S. Marine Corps Band. The morning celebration also featured remarks by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin; Lincoln scholar and ALBC Co-Chair Harold Holzer; recently retired Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice – and ALBC Commissioner – Frank J. Williams; and author Nikki Giovanni reciting her newest work, which was written especially for the Bicentennial.

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC) was the Congressionally created 14-member federal commission focused on planning and commemorating the 200th birthday of the United States' 16th president on February 12, 2009. The commission served for ten years, from 2000 to 2010. Its official successor organization, announced in 2011 with an expanded board and broadened mission, is The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation.

Michael Feinstein American musician

Michael Jay Feinstein is an American singer, pianist, and music revivalist. He is an interpreter of, and an anthropologist and archivist for, the repertoire known as the Great American Songbook. In 1988 he won a Drama Desk Special Award for celebrating American musical theatre songs. Feinstein is also a multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated recording artist. He currently serves as Artistic Director for The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana.

United States Marine Band

The United States Marine Band is the premier band of the United States Marine Corps. Established by act of Congress on July 11, 1798, it is the oldest of the United States military bands and the oldest professional musical organization in the United States. Today, the Marine Band also includes the Marine Chamber Orchestra and Marine Chamber Ensembles.

As part of Lincoln's birthday bicentennial, the U.S. Mint released four new Lincoln cents. The commemorative coins have new designs on the reverse showing stages of his life. The first went into circulation on September 12, 2009. The standard portrait of Lincoln's head remains on the front. The new designs include a log cabin representing his birthplace, Lincoln as a young man reading while sitting on a log that he was taking a break from splitting, Lincoln as a state legislator in front of the Illinois Capitol, and the partially built dome of the U.S. Capitol. [6]

Lincoln cent one-cent United States coin

The Lincoln cent is a one-cent coin that has been struck by the United States Mint since 1909. The obverse or heads side was designed by Victor David Brenner, as was the original reverse. The coin has seen several reverse, or tails, designs and now bears one by Lyndall Bass depicting a Union shield. All coins struck by the United States government with a value of 1/100 of a dollar are called cents because the United States has always minted coins using decimals. The penny nickname is a carryover from the coins struck in England, which went to decimals for coins in 1971.

The United States resumed minting commemorative coins in 1982 for the 250th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Modern commemoratives tend to be restricted to events, buildings and personalities of national or international importance. While silver dollars remain the traditional denomination, low-value circulating commemoratives have gained in popularity.

Obverse and reverse front and back side of coins, medals, orders of merit, and paper bills

Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags, seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse means the back face. The obverse of a coin is commonly called heads, because it often depicts the head of a prominent person, and the reverse tails.

New Jersey stopped observing the holiday on May 23, 2005 with the enactment of the Public Employee Pension and Benefits Reform Act of 2008. [7]

Origin of Black History Month

Black History Month has its origin in 19th-century celebrations of Lincoln's Birthday by African-American communities in the United States. [8] By the early 20th century, black communities were annually celebrating Lincoln's birthday in conjunction with the birthday of former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass on February 14. [8] The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced that the second week of February would be "Negro History Week" to coincide with the traditional Black commemorations of both men's birthdays. [8] By the 1970s, "Negro History Week" had become "Black History Month". [8] Black History Month has expanded further to Canada, where it is also celebrated in February, and to the United Kingdom, which celebrates it in October.

Official government holidays

Lincoln's Birthday was never a U.S. Federal Government holiday. The third Monday in February remains only "Washington's Birthday" in federal law. However, many state governments have officially renamed their Washington's Birthday state holiday as "Presidents' Day", "Washington and Lincoln Day", or other such designations which explicitly or implicitly celebrate Lincoln's birthday. Regardless of the official name and purpose, celebrations and commemorations on or about the third Monday often include honoring Lincoln.

In Connecticut, Missouri and Illinois, while Washington's Birthday is a federal holiday, Lincoln's Birthday is still a state holiday, falling on February 12 regardless of the day of the week. California still lists Lincoln's Birthday as a holiday, [1] but as of 2009 no longer gives State employees a paid holiday on February 12. [9] (However, it's considered a "Court holiday" and state courts are closed.) [10]

In the following states, the third Monday in February is an official state holiday and known as:

Using "president"

Washington and Lincoln

Washington alone

Washington and another person


Several states honor presidents with official state holidays that do not fall on the third Monday of February. In New Mexico, Presidents' Day, at least as a state-government paid holiday, is observed on the Friday following Thanksgiving. [19] In Georgia, Presidents' Day, at least as a state-government paid holiday, is observed on Christmas Eve. (Observed on the prior Thursday if Christmas falls on Saturday; observed on the prior Friday if Christmas falls on a Sunday. If December 24 is a Wednesday, then this holiday is observed on Friday December 26.) [20]

See also

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day United States holiday

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Confederate Memorial Day observance day in a number of Southern states in the U.S. to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States during the American Civil War

Confederate Memorial Day is a holiday observed in several Southern states on various dates since the end of the American Civil War to remember the estimated 258,000 Confederate soldiers and sailors who died fighting against the Union.

Casimir Pulaski Day holiday reserved in Illinois on the first Monday of every March in memory of Kazimierz Michał Władysław Wiktor Pułaski

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Emancipation Day holiday to celebrate emancipation of enslaved people

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Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park protected area

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park preserves two separate farm sites in LaRue County, Kentucky where Abraham Lincoln was born and lived early in his childhood. He was born at the Sinking Spring site south of Hodgenville and remained there until the family moved to the Knob Creek Farm northeast of Hodgenville when he was 2 years old, living there until he was 7 years old. The Sinking Spring site is the location of the park visitors center.

Native American Day is a holiday in the U.S. states of California and Nevada celebrated annually on the fourth Friday of September, as well as in South Dakota on the second Monday in October in lieu of Columbus Day. It honors Native American cultures and contributions to their respective states and the United States. The state of Tennessee observes a similar American Indian Day each year on the fourth Monday of September.

Uniform Monday Holiday Act

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act is an Act of Congress that amended the federal holiday provisions of the United States Code to establish the observance of certain holidays on Mondays. The Act was signed into law on June 28, 1968, and took effect on January 1, 1971.

Harold Holzer American academic

Harold Holzer is a scholar of Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the American Civil War Era. He won the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize and four other awards in 2015 for his book, Lincoln and the Power of the Press. Holzer served for nine years as co-chairman of the United States Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), appointed to the commission by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and elected co-chair by his fellow commissioners. In June 2010, he was elected chairman of the ALBC's successor organization, The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, which he led through 2016. In his professional career, Holzer serves as the Jonathan F. Fanton Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. He retired in 2015 as Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where for 23 years he was chief spokesman and held responsibility for government relations, admissions, visitor services, and multicultural audience development at the nation's largest art institution. He is now a Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum, representing the New York City Comptroller. From 2012 to 2015, Holzer served as well as a Roger Hertog Fellow at the New-York Historical Society. In 2016-17 he served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at The Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University. He was also a script consultant to the Steven Spielberg film, Lincoln, and wrote the official young readers' companion book to the movie.

The State of New Jersey has 12 legal holidays of which 10 are federal holidays. If a holiday falls on a Saturday, it is usually observed as a day off on Friday, and if it falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday.

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation is the successor organization of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), which was created by Congress and the President of the United States to plan the commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday in 2009. The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission sunset on April 30, 2010

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Memorials to Abraham Lincoln

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Abraham Lincoln:

Holidays with paid time off in the United States

In the United States there are a number of observed holidays where employees receive paid time off. The labor force in the United States comprises about 62% of the general population. In the United States, 97% of the private sector businesses determine what days this sector of the population gets paid time off, according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management. The following holidays are observed by the majority of US businesses with paid time off: New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the day after, Christmas Eve and Christmas. There are also numerous holidays on the state and local level that are observed to varying degrees.


  1. 1 2 Cal. Gov. Code § 6700(c)
  2. "Connecticut: Legal Holidays and Standard of Time". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  3. "105 ILCS 5/24-2". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  4. Assembly, Indiana General. "Indiana Code 2017 - Indiana General Assembly, 2017 Session". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  5. Continelli, Louise. "Lincoln Tribute Places Spotlight on Local Connection.", February 17, 2003
  6. AP/The Huffington Post. "New Lincoln Pennies Unveiled: See Pictures Of Each Penny", February 12, 2009
  7. "P.L. 2008, c.89 (S1962 SCS)". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Daryl Michael Scott, "The Origins of Black History Month," Archived 2013-02-14 at the Wayback Machine Association for the Study of African American Life and History, 2011,
  9. "How Abraham Lincoln lost his birthday holiday - National Constitution Center". National Constitution Center – Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  10. "Court Holidays - CA_courts". Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  11. "404 - North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner". North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  12. "RCW 1.16.050". Revised Code of Washington.
  13. CRS 24-11-101
  14. "Lawriter : ORC : Excluding first and including last day - legal holidays". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  15. "SPD: State Holidays". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  16. "645.44 - 2017 Minnesota Statutes". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  17. "State of Alabama - Inform.Alabama.Gov - State Calendar". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  18. Cal. Gov. Code § 6700(a)(5)
  19. "Official State Holidays". New Mexico State Treasurer's Office. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  20. "State Holidays". Retrieved 2 November 2017.