While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.
Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.
Like his father, Lincoln opposed slavery; however, he also deplored abolitionists’ activities because they threatened to cause a schism in the nation. In regard to “slavery agitation” he said, “In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand’”
Abraham and Mary Lincoln would produce four children: Robert Todd, named for Mary’s father; Edward (Eddie) Baker, named for a close friend; William (Willie) Wallace, named for Dr. William Wallace, who had married Francis, another Todd sister, and had become close friends with Lincoln; and Thomas (Tad), named for Lincoln’s father who had died two years earlier.
In 1846, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he gave the infamous “Spot” speech about the war that had begun with Mexico. He demanded President James K. Polk reveal the exact spot on which American blood had been shed, starting the war, and whether that spot was on American or Mexican soil.
Abraham Lincoln was born on Sinking Springs Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809, to Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, and named for his paternal grandfather. His birthplace is believed to have been a 16′ x 18′ log cabin, which no longer exists.
As the war was ending, Lincoln became the first U.S. president to be assassinated. Prior to his election as president in 1860, he had successful careers as a lawyer and politician in Illinois, serving several terms in the state legislature and one in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America, the leader who successfully prosecuted the Civil War to preserve the nation. He played in key role in passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery in America.