Important Lincoln Dates
February 12: Abraham Lincoln is born iat Sinking Spring Farm in Nolin Creek, KY.
October 5: Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, dies at age 35.
December 2: Lincoln’s father remarries, to Sarah Bush Johnston.
January 20: Lincoln’s sister, Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, dies from complications of childbirth at age 21.
March 1: The Lincoln family begins their move from Indiana to Kentucky.
August 25: Ann Rutledge, who Lincoln had been courting, dies.
November 4: Lincoln marries Mary Todd in Springfield, IL.
August 1: Robert Todd Lincoln, first child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, is born.
March 10: Edward Baker Lincoln (Eddie) is born to Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.
August 3: Lincoln defeats Peter Cartwright for the Illinois seventh district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He will serve until 1848.
February 1: Eddie Lincoln dies of tuberculosis, one month short of his fourth birthday.
December 21: William Wallace Lincoln (Willie) is born to Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.
January 17: Lincoln’s father, Thomas, dies at age 75.
April 4: Thomas Lincoln (Tad) is born to Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.
May 30: President Franklin Pierce signs the Kansas-Nebraska Act, sponsored by Senator Stephen Douglas. It created the states of Kansas and Nebraska while nullifying the Missouri Compromise. Now popular Sovereignty can decide whether a state will or will not have slaves. This spurs Lincoln's abolitionist sentiment and his senatorial ambitions.
August – October: Lincoln debates Stephen Douglas during the campaign for an Illinois seat in the U.S. Senate, which Douglas wins.
November 6: Lincoln is elected President of the United States of America.
December 20: South Carolina secedes from the Union.
March 4: Lincoln is inaugurated as 16th President of the United States
April 12: Firing on Fort Sumter, SC. This is seen as the opening battle of the Civil War.
July 21: The First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), the first major battle of the Civil War. The Union loss crushed hopes of a quick end to the war.
February 20: Willie Lincoln dies of bilious fever at age 11.
August 28-30: The Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) results in another humiliating loss for the Union.
July 13: Lincoln first mentions his idea of emancipation to Secretaries William Seward and Gideon Welles.
July 22: Lincoln reads a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation at a Cabinet meeting.
September 17: The Union is victorious at the Battle of Antietam, giving Lincoln the moral boost he needs to unveil the Emancipation Proclamation.
September 22: Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation stating that on January 1, 1863, all slaves in a rebellious state will "thenceforward and forever free".
January 1: The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect.
May 2-6: The Battle of Chancellorsville results in a loss for the Union and the accidental death of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.
July 1-3: The Battle of Gettysburg takes place, resulting in the bloodiest battle of the war as well as a Union victory. This is often seen as a turning point in the war.
November 19: Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.
May – June: General Grant’s Overland campaign results in a siege of the Confederate capitol of Richmond.
September 2: Atlanta surrenders to Union General Sherman.
November 8: Lincoln defeats ex-General George McClellan is re-elected President.
January 31: The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery across the nation, is passed by Congress and is sent to the state legislatures for ratification.
March 4: Lincoln’s second inauguration.
April 9: General Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, VA.
April 14: Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre.
April 15: Lincoln dies in the Petersen House boarding house across the street from Ford’s Theatre.
April 26: John Wilkes Booth is found at a tobacco barn near Port Royal, VA. He is shot in the back and dies hours later.
December 6: The Thirteenth Amendment is ratified, making it part of the Constitution.
June 13: The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed by Congress and is sent to the state legislatures for ratification. It provides a broad definition of citizenship that does not exclude African Americans as well as addressing equal protection under the law for all persons.
July 9: The Fourteenth Amendment is ratified by three quarters of the state legislatures, making it part of the Constitution.
February 26: Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed by Congress and is sent to the state legislatures for ratification. It dictates that state and federal governments may not prevent a citizen from voting because of his or her race, color or previous condition of servitude (i.e. slavery).
February 3: The Fifteenth Amendment is ratified by three quarters of the state legislatures, making it part of the Constitution.
July 15: Tad Lincoln dies at age 18.
July 16: Mary Todd Lincoln dies at age 63.
February 11: The Lincoln Memorial Commission is signed into existence by President William Howard
May 30: The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated and opens to the public.
July 26: Robert Lincoln dies at age 82.
April 9: Marian Anderson performs an Easter concert for 75,000 in front of the Lincoln Memorial, after she is kept from performing at Constitution Hall because of her race.
August 28: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
December 24: The last living Lincon, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, dies. His death marks the end of the Lincoln family line.