abraham lincoln
Tuesday marks the 210th birth anniversary of former president Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation — the order to free millions of U.S. slaves. National Archives/Newsmakers

Tuesday, Feb. 12, marks the 210th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. He was often remembered as the president who abolished slavery, led the country through the civil war and changed its history forever.

Born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, in 1809, Lincoln had very little formal education but was interested in books and learning; most of what he learned in life was through his own effort and with borrowed books.

Before stepping into politics, Lincoln worked as a shopkeeper, surveyor and postmaster. And at the age of 25, he won a seat in the Illinois Legislature. While serving in the legislature, he also worked as a lawyer. In 1845, he ran for the Congress and served as a congressman for a term.

In 1860, he ran for the president. He had already gained recognition by then for his arguments against slavery during debates. He won the 1860 election and took office in March 1861. Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth who shot him at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C.

On his 210th birthday, here are 15 quotes by one of the most popular presidents:

  1. "Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
  2. "Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
  3. "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
  4. “My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.”
  5. “Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”
  6. “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
  7. “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”
  8. "There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes."
  9. "If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"
  10. "I would rather be a little nobody, then to be an evil somebody."
  11. "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."
  12. "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."
  13. "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."
  14. "The best way to predict your future is to create it."
  15. "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."

The former president was famous not just for abolishing slavery but also for several other things including his Gettysburg Address in Pennsylvania, which was only 272 words long. He was also known to be the tallest president at 6 ft, 4 inches and he abstained from drinking, smoking or even chewing tobacco.

Lincoln loved playing around with machines and designed a method to keep vessels afloat while traversing shallow waters through the use of empty metal air chambers on their sides. He became the only president to obtain a patent for his design. He was given the Patent No. 6469 for this in 1849. He was also the first president to be assassinated.