How the USA Celebrates Lincoln’s Birthday

On February 12, America is celebrating Lincoln’s Birthday either as a public holiday or within festivities of Presidents Day, observing certain traditions to honor one of the greatest and the most influential presidents of the USA. The day is also known as Lincoln’s Day or Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday.


To honor the 16th President of the USA, who abolished slavery, gained the victory during the Civil War, and ensured America’s unity, there is an annual tradition to organize concerts, re-enactment activities and lay wreaths next to Lincoln’s Memorials, which have become one of the nation’s iconic sites. The celebrations of Lincoln’s Bicentennial were accompanied by a commemorating ceremony involving famous performers, such as Michael Feinstein and the US Marine Corps. Band.

History of Lincoln’s Birthday

Back in time, in 1940, there were 24 states and the District of Columbia, which observed Lincoln’s Birthday. Later in 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act created a three-day holiday to let the Americans enjoy their time and honor Washington’s Birthday, the only federal holiday of the county, leaving Lincoln’s Birthday without a fixed date in the US holiday calendar. In the 1990s, the celebrations of Lincoln’s Birthday became less spread. At that time, Lincoln’s Birthday was a paid public holiday only in 10 states.

There were several attempts to give recognition to Lincoln’s Birthday on the national level. However, they never succeeded and were not adopted by the Congress.

Although Lincoln’s Birthday has never been a national holiday throughout America, it is officially remembered in the following states: Missouri, Illinois, New York, and Connecticut. In New Mexico, it is observed on the Friday following Thanksgiving. New Jersey had had celebrations by September 2008, the year of the adoption of The Public Employee Pension and Benefits Reform Act. February 12 is a common holiday in California; however, since 2009, it is no longer a paid one. All the rest of the states commemorate Lincoln’s Birthday on the third Monday in February, known as Presidents Day (official name Washington’s Birthday).

Lincoln's Birthday in the US

Public Life

While celebrating Lincoln’s Birthday as a public holiday in New York, Missouri, Connecticut and Illinois, most offices have a day-off, paid by the government, and most schools, depending on a district, are closed. The same situation is in such states as Arizona, Maine, Michigan, and West Virginia where Lincoln’s Birthday is observed as a part of Presidents Day. Utah, Ohio, Indiana, Montana and Minnesota honor both Presidents - Washington and Lincoln - on the third Monday in February.


As far as Lincoln was not only a great president but a notable person, there are various ways of how people express their honor to this historic persona with the flow of the time. Lincoln’s portrait is pictured on the five dollar bill. There are lots of monuments devoted to the Lincoln’s memory and the most famous Lincoln’s landmark is situated in Washington, DC.

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