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Abraham Lincoln

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His formal schooling amounted to less than a year. So he educated himself by reading books. It was a rough beginning for the 16th president of the United States. Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Kentucky on February 12th, 1809. He taught himself law, opened an office in Springfield, Illinois, and married a society belle named Mary Todd. In 1858 the popular lawyer ran for senator from Ilinois. His opponent, Stephen Douglas, challenged him to a series of debates on the issue of slavery. Lincoln opposed the spread of slavery to new states being formed out west. He lost the election, but the debates made him famous. Two years later, he ran for president. This time, Lincoln won. But by his inauguration day, the country was on the verge of breaking apart. One by one, seven southern states seceded (or withdrew) from the U.S. and formed a new country, called the Confederate States of America. Lincoln believed that secession was illegal, and that it was his duty to keep the Union together. In April 1861, angry words turned to bloodshed. Four more states left the Union. The Civil War had begun. In 1863, Lincoln was asked to give a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, recently the site of a major battle, where over 50,000 men from the North and South were killed or wounded. The president reminded the world of what was at stake in the Civil War. "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. That this nation, under God,shall have a new birth of freedom. And that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln ran for a second term and was re-elected . In his inaugural speech, the president looked beyond the bitterness of war and spoke of a lasting peace and unity. "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right -as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation 's wounds." The next month, on April 9th,1865, the South surrendered. The Civil War was over. Five days later, Lincoln took his wife to the theater to celebrate. A confederate sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth entered the President's Box and shot him in the head. Lincoln never regained consciousness. He died the next morning, April 15th, 1865.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: National Geographic
Director: National Geographic
Views: 97
Posted by: greenbo on Apr 24, 2010

An outline history of the famous president

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