H.Res. 139: Commemorating the life and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln on the bicentennial of his birth

H.Res. 139

Commemorating the life and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln on the bicentennial of his birth

February 12, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

H.Res. 139 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Representative Phil Hare (D-IL) on February 9, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.Res. 139 resolves that the House of Representatives:

  • "Commemorates the bicentennial of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln;
  • "Recognizes and echoes the commitment of Abraham Lincoln to what he called the `Unfinished work' of unity and harmony in the United States; and
  • "Encourages the people of the United States to recommit to fulfilling the vision of Abraham Lincoln of equal rights for all."


Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln spent his childhood in Indiana, and arrived in Illinois at the age of 21. While in Illinois, Lincoln met his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, built a successful legal practice, served in the State legislature of Illinois, was elected to Congress, and participated in the famous `Lincoln-Douglas' debates.

Abraham Lincoln was the first member of the Republican Party elected President of the United States and helped build the Republican Party into a strong national organization. After his election and the secession of the southern States, Abraham Lincoln led the United States during the Civil War.

Famously, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves within the Confederacy would be free and welcomed more than 200,000 African-American soldiers and sailors into the Armed Forces of the Union. Additionally, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address noting, "That these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

President Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865, at a theater in Washington, DC, by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate spy. Lincoln died the following day from the wound.