Abraham Lincoln’s birthday may not be a national holiday, but every Feb. 12, we still make it a point to recognize our 16th president. Below you’ll find 10 of our favorite resources to help you celebrate.
10 Resources to Help Teachers Celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday
National Geographic has put together a three-part, interactive map that begins on Jan. 1, 1864—when John Wilkes Booth met John Surratt, a Confederate spy—and ends on July 7, 1865 with the public hanging of conspirators Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, and David Herold.
Crash Course: US History
You can’t talk about President Lincoln without talking about the Civil War. In this two-part crash course, you’ll learn about the causes and motivations of the war and why the North won.
In part two, host John Green covers some of the key ways in which Lincoln influenced the outcome of the war, and how the lack of foreign intervention also helped the Union win the war. Green also covers the technology—specifically weapons and photography—that made the Civil War different than previous wars.
A Word Fitly Spoken
Here you’ll find an interactive timeline of Lincoln’s most famous speeches.
I Heard Lincoln That Day
This is one of our favorite resources, an audio recording of William V. Rathvon, a nine-year-old boy who watched and listened to Abraham Lincoln deliver his address at Gettysburg in November 1863.
The recording dates back to Feb. 12, 1938. If you’re wondering what makes this recording so special, keep in mind that no other Gettysburg eyewitness is known to have recorded his or her memories in audio format.
Booth: The Final Days of Lincoln’s Assassination
Following the shooting at the Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth fled to southern Maryland and eventually to a farm in rural southern Virginia. He was tracked by Union soldiers and eventually killed two weeks later.
This interactive map, produced by the folks at The History Channel, allows users to follow Booth’s flight, view historical artifacts, and learn about Booth’s co-conspirators.
Lincoln Home: Virtual Museum Exhibit
This virtual exhibit, produced by the National Park Service, highlights the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, their family, and their home in Springfield, Illinois.
Lincoln’s New Salem
Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site is a reconstruction of the village where Abraham Lincoln spent six years of his early adulthood. Here, he clerked in a store, split rails, enlisted in the Black Hawk War, served as postmaster and deputy surveyor before being elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1834 and 1836.
Lincoln’s Life Mask
Lincoln never had a death mask, but according to the folks over at It Thing, he did have two life masks made during his lifetime. When you compare photos of the two masks, you’ll be able to see how great a toll the Civil War had taken on his health.
Ford’s Theatre: A Virtual Tour
Take your students on a virtual tour of Ford’s Theatre, experiencing it as if you were here in Washington, D.C. Look closely at artifacts from the Ford's Theatre Museum that shed light on the assassination and the fateful night.
Photo of the Secret Message in Lincoln’s Pocket Watch
Retronaut is one of our all-time favorite sites. Here you’ll find a quirky story and accompanying photo of the “secret” message that was engraved in Abraham Lincoln’s watch by a watchmaker who was repairing it in 1861 when news of the attack on Fort Sumter reached Washington, D.C.