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Calendar for February 12th, 2014

Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

The 16th president of the United States was born on the morning of Sunday, February 12, 1809, in a one-room, 16x18-foot, log cabin with a dirt floor. Called Sinking Spring Farm, the land was situated near Hodgenville, Kentucky. Abe's father, Thomas, was a farmer and carpenter, and his mother, Nancy, was a seamstress. His sister, Sarah, was 2 at the time. Abraham was named after his paternal grandfather. A complete time line of Lincoln's life is posted at The History Place.

In addition to his more famous achievements, Lincoln is the only U.S. president to have received a U.S. patent, for something he described in this way: "A new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steamboat or other vessel for the purpose of enabling their draught of water to be readily lessened to enable them to pass over bars, or through shallow water, without discharging their cargoes." If you can't get to Washington, D.C., to mark the day, try an on-line tour of the Lincoln Memorial, part of our National Park System.