Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Daniel Doherty

2/12/2014 3:15:00 PM - Daniel Doherty

Ten score and five years ago, Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in rural Kentucky. A special message from the Republican House Speaker:









Despite attempts by historical revisionists to muddy the waters, Abraham Lincoln was indeed the first Republican U.S. president -- one who also happened to possess an inherent gift for language. To commemorate his birthday, then, re-read his Gettysburg and Second Inaugural Addresses -- both of which are beautifully written, and personal favorites of mine. Of course, few presidents nowadays write their own speeches. Lincoln, however, was famous in that he did; he would oftentimes spend hours upon hours at a time agonizing over them.

Not surprisingly, his writing talents were evident from a young age. Here is an excerpt from his "First Public Speech,” published when he was just 23 years old:

"Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow-men by rendering myself worthy of their esteem."

While his life was taken violently and unexpectedly, in the end, it can be said he got what he wanted: he was -- and always will be -- “truly esteemed” by his fellow countrymen.