Abraham Lincoln
A portrait of the 16th United States President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). Getty Images

Monday marks the United States’ 16th president Abraham Lincoln's 209th birthday, and one of the best ways to honor the former Commander-In-Chief is by learning about his life and legacy.

On this day in 1809, Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky. He is remembered as a president who changed the U.S. forever, leading the country through the Civil War, for which he remains revered in the minds of the American people.

Lincoln is also remembered for his numerous contributions over his four years in office, including ending slavery and delivering the famous Gettysburg address. One of his remarkable achievements include issuing the Emancipation Proclamation that declared all slaves should be freed. He was shot at on April 14, 1865, and died the next day, soon after the Civil War ended, but the 16th president’s legacy lives on.

Lincoln worked several jobs before being elected to office — general store owner, postmaster and lawyer were some of them — and grew up poor.

Today, Lincoln is the most popular president in history, beating George Washington and Franklin Roosevelt for the top spot. He was said to have led a life full of interesting twists and turns that many might not be aware of. Here are 13 interesting facts about the 16th president to celebrate his 209th birthday:

  • Lincoln’s favorite food included bacon, oysters and apples.
  • His father was only literate enough to write his name, however Lincoln could read and write.
2. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 to his assassination in 1865. He was president during the American Civil War. During the war, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, an order to free millions of U.S. slaves, and later promoted the passage of the 13th Amendment to the constitution abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude, except as criminal punishment. IBTimes
  • Lincoln once argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • The 16th president did not drink, smoke or chew tobacco, according to the National Constitution Center.
  • Lincoln was the first to establish “Thanksgiving” as a holiday in 1864.
  • He was known to be an animal lover. He had a dog named Fido whom he obsessed over. When he was forced to leave his dog Fido behind in Illinois, he had reportedly given his friends extremely specific instructions and laid down rules as to how the animal should be cared for, including clearly specifying that Fido should not be scolded for bringing mud into the house.
  • Lincoln’s mother died after drinking milk tainted by a poisonous root. He later had a stepmother named Sarah Bush Johnston.
  • His famous Gettysburg Address was only 272 words long.
  • Legend claims first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, and on at least one instance the president himself, participated in séances​ in order to attempt to communicate with their sons who were dead.
  • Lincoln liked to read William Shakespeare works.
  • Apart from his beloved dog Fido, Lincoln also had two cats, Tabby and Dixie. His wife reportedly chastised him when he fed them from the dinner table.
  • Lincoln is known to be the tallest president at 6′ 4. He was also a legendary wrestler in Illinois when he was young.
  • The 16th president is remembered as “The Great Emancipator.” Lincoln’s greatest legacy was his work to preserve the Union and his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared all slaves should be freed.