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Celebrating Lincoln, Black History Month, and Our Constitutional History

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Lincoln_MemorialFebruary fittingly combines a celebration of two of America’s greatest presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, with a celebration of Black Americans’ achievements and contributions to the nation. America’s exceptional constitutional history to a large degree has been shaped and refined by its 1st and its 16th presidents, both in how they responded to the question of slavery but also in how they approached the office of the presidency during a tumultuous era.

Until 1971, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 was its own federal holiday. (Now his, and George Washington’s February 22 birthday are publicly observed on President’s Day, the third Monday in February). In honor of Lincoln’s 206th birthday, take a look at the links below to learn more about the continued relevancy of Lincoln in the modern world, how Frederick Douglas thought about Lincoln and his role in emancipation, and how America’s Founders dealt with the slavery controversy while crafting the Constitution.

Walter Berns on Why We Still Read Lincoln

Program on American Citizenship, Think You Know Abraham Lincoln? Think Again

Watch Diana Schaub, Professor of political science at Loyola University-Maryland and Lucas Morel, Professor of politics at Washington and Lee University , discuss Frederick Douglass on Lincoln

Learn more about Slavery and the Constitution, as Michael Zuckert of the University of Notre Dame explores whether the Founders made an “immoral compromise” in the Program on American Citizenship’s Second Annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture series