If former President Abraham Lincoln were alive today, he'd probably be very confused about the 2016 presidential race. But more importantly, he'd be 207 years old.
Lincoln was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hodgenville, Kentucky, about an hour outside of Louisville. The family moved to Indiana when he was about 7 years old, but Lincoln still had a tough childhood. He grew up poor, and his mother died when he was little. Lincoln worked on farms and boats for years, turning over most of his earnings to his dad, until he moved to Illinois in 1830. At that point he went out on his own, according to the Miller Center.
He became a business owner, postmaster, lawyer and husband. Lincoln began to climb the political ladder, serving in the state and federal House of Representatives, and he was elected president in 1860. The rest is history.
Throughout his four years as president, Lincoln became known for his speeches. It's difficult to prove whether Lincoln definitively spoke most of his famous quotes, but these are some of the best sayings attributed to the American leader. On his 207th birthday, remember his legacy by reading these words, collected from GoodReads, Abraham Lincoln Online and BrainyQuote:
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
"You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, does good rather than harm."
“Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then... find the way.”
"Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in."
“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
"A tendency to melancholy... let it be observed, is a misfortune, not a fault.”
"Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it."
"What I did, I did after very full deliberation, and under a heavy and solemn sense of responsibility. I can only trust in God that I have made no mistake."
“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.”
"The people — the people — are the rightful masters of both congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it."
“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”
"Thoughtful men must feel that the fate of civilization upon this continent is involved in the issue of our contest."
"In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth."
"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing."
"Let your military measures be strong enough to repel the invader and keep the peace, and not so strong as to unnecessarily harass and persecute the people."
“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
“There can be glory in failure and despair in success.”
"If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."
"I have endured a great deal of ridicule without much malice; and have received a great deal of kindness, not quite free from ridicule. I am used to it."
“I am nothing, truth is everything.”
"I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal."