Abraham LincolnFeb. 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Lincoln is a historical figure not only in Illinois, but across the country. Today, on what would have been his 213th birthday, we celebrate his impact.

Lincoln was born in 1809 to Nancy Hanks Lincoln and Thomas Lincoln and was one of three children. In 1830, Lincoln and his family moved to Illinois, near Decatur from present-day Gentryville, Indiana.

In 1834, Lincoln joined the Illinois General Assembly, representing Sangamon County as a member of the Whig Party. Two years later, Lincoln received his license to practice law. He became a firm partner to John Todd, who was a cousin to Lincoln’s future wife, Mary Todd. Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842 and the following year, Mary gave birth to their first son, Robert Todd Lincoln. Shortly after, Lincoln bought his first home and opened his own law practice in Springfield. In 1846, Lincoln was elected into the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1860, Lincoln was selected to represent the Republican National Convention in the 1860 Presidential election. On March 4, 1861 Lincoln was inaugurated into office as the 16th president of the United States. The following year, he issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, and the final version was issued in 1863. Later that year, after the Union won the Battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address. This speech became one of the most important speeches in American history.

On April 15, 1865, just days after the end of the civil war, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre. Over 150 years after his death, his legacy continues to live on. His home and tomb are located in Springfield as National Historic Sites. Lincoln home is open to the public to visit daily between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. More information can be found here. For more information on visiting the Lincoln tomb read here.