Lincoln's Birthday A Public Holiday in New Jersey, But Not Observed Everywhere
Is today a holiday or not?
Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is just one week before Presidents Day, the holiday introduced as George Washington’s Birthday in 1885 and now a day to celebrate all presidents.
While Presidents Day is recognized as a federal holiday, Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12) is not.
Lincoln Day is a public holiday in Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and New York but only some municipalities still observe it as one. Most states have absorbed Abe's birthday into Presidents Day.
Fun Facts about Lincoln and his birthday:
- The day is also known as Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, Abraham Lincoln Day or Lincoln Day.
- Some municipalities celebrate the day with re-enactments, concerts and birthday parties. Organizations such as the Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum often plan large-scale events.
- The day is traditionally recognized with a wreath-laying ceremony and reading of the Gettysburg Address at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC on Feb. 12.
- Republican Party members often hold fundraisers on Lincoln Day since Abe is known as a the first president of the party.
- Lincoln began his political career at the age of 23 in 1832 as a Whig Party Member. He became a member of the Republican Party in 1854 and became nationally recognized during the 1858 debates with Stephen Douglas in the race for US Senator.
- Lincoln won the presidency in 1860 and held the position throughout the American Civil War. He is well known for his struggle to preserve the Union and the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.
- Lincoln was one of four presidents to be assassinated—James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy. He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, not long after the Confederacy surrendered.
- Lincoln Day was first celebrated as a holiday in 1866, one year after his death.