On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected president – marking the succession of the Southern United states.
Honest Abe was brought to the nation’s attention following his heated debates with Stephan Douglas, a competitor for the U.S. Senate seat in 1858. Douglas proposed that states should be able to decide whether slavery should be legal – Abe said “no” to the spread of this practice. Douglas won the seat, but Lincoln put the rising Republican party on the map.
Within two years, Lincoln had won the Republican party’s presidential nomination. You go, Abe.
In the 1860 election, Douglas and Lincoln went at it again. Douglas, who was the nomination for a feuding Democratic party, lost to Abe’s honesty… and all-around more reasonable policies. (Like not enslaving people!)
He even rap battled Chuck Norris once…
By the time ole’ Abe was taking his oath, seven states had officially seceded, and the Confederate States of America had been formed. Jefferson Davis, the elected Confederate president, had another thing coming…
Within a month, the Civil War had begun. In 1863, Lincoln freed the slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation. The following year he won the re-election. (Imagine that!)
In 1865, while attending a theater performance, Lincoln was assassinated by Confederate-supporter John Wilkes Booth. He must not have gotten the memo – the war had ended less than a week earlier.
Though the end of his presidency was met with tragedy, Abraham Lincoln is known as one of our nation’s most influential and outstanding leaders. It didn’t hurt that the man was well-dressed, well liked and sported one hell of a beard. Here’s to you Abe!