Remembering Lincoln on Washington’s birthday

BY Travis Daub  February 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM EDT

Abe Lincoln sat for this portrait by Anthony Berger three days before he turned 54.

Abe Lincoln sat for this portrait by Anthony Berger three days before he turned 54.

Happy Presidents Day. Unless you’re Abe Lincoln, that is. As Hari Sreenivasan explained on Sunday’s PBS NewsHour Weekend, the third Monday in February doesn’t officially recognize the Great Emancipator. Instead, it’s in the books as “Washington’s Birthday.” There is no national holiday that officially recognizes Abraham Lincoln.

But we’d rather split rails than split hairs here at the PBS NewsHour, so we’ve gathered together some of our favorite video reports on Honest Abe.

Has any American had more influence on future generations than our 16th president? Hari and Historian Richard Norton Smith toured the Ford’s Theatre’s Center for Education and Leadership to explore Lincoln’s limitless influence, and why he’s more accessible for modern Americans than other early leaders.

In December of 2012, Ray Suarez took a look at the history and significance of the Emancipation Proclamation as the document reached its 150th anniversary.

Lincoln certainly had the most successful domestic policy of any U.S. President; abolishing slavery and preserving the union. But what about his foreign policy? Hari spoke with Kevin Peraino, author of “Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power” about another side of Lincoln’s presidency so often overlooked.

Last fall, the Gettysburg Address turned 150. Jeffrey Brown spoke with Drew Gilpin Faust of Harvard University and Richard Norton Smith to explore how a brief speech has been long remembered.