Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America. Driven by a consistent devotion to the law and to anti-slavery principles, he guided the United States through the Civil War and on Jan. 1, 1863, issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in the Confederate States. The Emancipation Proclamation led to the adoption of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery throughout the nation.
President Lincoln came from humble beginnings. Born Feb. 12, 1809, in Kentucky, Lincoln had no formal schooling, but he loved to read. Lincoln's enduring passion was for government and law. He studied law informally and passed the bar examination in 1836.
Lincoln first ran for public office in the Illinois State Legislature in 1832, but was defeated. He persevered and ran again in 1834, this time serving four consecutive terms in the State Legislature before returning to full-time law practice. In 1846, he re-entered politics and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives but lost his re-election bid. Lincoln ran for the U.S. Senate in 1854 but lost that race and a subsequent race in 1855 for a different Senate seat. However, he gained national recognition, and in 1860, he was nominated for President of the United States.
Even this success was not to be attained easily. Before President Lincoln could take the oath of office on March 4, 1861, seven Southern states seceded from the United States. Following the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, Lincoln raised an army and fought to save the United States as a union.
In 1864, amid the grim Civil War, President Lincoln was re-elected, and he oversaw the surrender of the Confederate States on April 9, 1865. He proposed a speedy reunion between the Northern and Southern States, but before he could see this outcome, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14 at Ford's Theatre. President Lincoln died the morning of April 15, 1865.
Today, nearly 150 years after his death, Lincoln is remembered as one of the greatest U.S. presidents. He is recognized not for his failures—of which there were many—but for his remarkable successes, which he achieved due to one overriding characteristic: Persistence.
Persistence. Pass It On!
This billboard about Persistence features Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865); 16th President of the United States ofAmerica.
Pass It On®
Joy from Illinois MAY 4, 2022
Thank you for your powerful example Mr President. Your life well lived still encourages us long after you have passed on. I appreciate you so much.
A mother from Illinois
ZACH from HERE JANUARY 10, 2018
LINCOLN IS COOL
Gregory from Inglewood, CA APRIL 30, 2016
Lincoln's stories of success through failure truly impacted my life in a positive manner. I share his timeline with students and friends to inspire them to never..never..give up.
Thanks a million Mr. Lincoln...
Isaiah from Muncie, Indiana FEBRUARY 11, 2016
Great leader of our nation
Carlostaw AUGUST 28, 2015
See how Lincoln personifies the definition of persistence with a brief look at key facts from his life.
Abby from In APRIL 17, 2014
I love you
Erich from Indiana APRIL 7, 2014
Abe is a cool person
luis from my house JUNE 10, 2013
abe was one of the grates man who ever lived
Elizabeth P. from Diamond Bar, CA FEBRUARY 19, 2012
Persistance is the way of life.
MANDA from LUSAKA, ZAMBIA JANUARY 20, 2012
Lincoln, just like our current president here in Zambia, he lost election three times and but never gave up but always spoke for the poor and he won at his forth try . so always keep trying
Tim Z. from Wausau, WI NOVEMBER 30, 2011
Abraham Lincoln is an inspiration to this day. Persistence combined with principle is powerful. Thank you for passing on the message. I will do the same.
Bernard Brown from South Carolina NOVEMBER 15, 2011
Abraham Lincoln is a good example of a good example;i salute him.
Glenn G. from Evanston, IL. AUGUST 30, 2010
I read your Lincoln and Shrek messages while driving alone on a road trip through Michigan. I couldn't stop thinking of the empowering short words all day. In this time of doom and gloom, your messages are inspiring. I will pass them on!!!
Megan D. from Salt Lake City, UT JANUARY 25, 2010
I love this billboard! Since seeing it, I have referenced it in teaching my kindergarten students about "trying again."
India W. from Vassar, MI JANUARY 20, 2010
I believe that persistence is one of my values. Even when I fail and want to give up, I dont because I know that if I stay determined and motivated it can only get better.
Jennifer M. from Seymour, TN APRIL 21, 2009
Thank You for this billboard in Knoxville, TN. I pass it on my way to my night classes. I work and sometimes I'm very tired when I see it...needless to say it has inspired me to keep going and never give up. Again, thank you.
Mark J. from St. Joseph, MI FEBRUARY 1, 2009
Lincoln's persistence in leading the nation through crisis is inspiring to think about in these tough times. Thank you for reminding us of his sacrifice and why we each need to persist!
Zach P. from Canada JANUARY 13, 2009
I feel what you mean.
Marvin from Coachella Valley, CA SEPTEMBER 18, 2008
I recently moved to this area from Orange County and started seeing your billboards—very inspirational. I spent the first 35 years of my life as an underachiever, saying that I could accomplish anything I wanted if I wanted to badly enough. One day I realized this was a cop out. OK, put up or shut up! I went back to school finished my BA then went on for an MA & Ph.D.
Rachel S. from San Antonio, TX AUGUST 26, 2008
I am an entrepreneur and inventor, and, I'll tell you, my road has been tough. There have been many times that I have wanted to give up, and many times when putting my head down on my desk and either sobbing or staring blankly into space (or both) has been all that I was capable of at the moment. A while ago, after I had worked for 10 years on my business and on my products, it wasn't happening for me. I was nearly broke in every way possible, including financially and emotionally.
Right about this time, this Abraham Lincoln billboard appeared on the main road outside of my subdivision. When I first saw it, I had to pull my car over for a moment to get myself pulled together. At that particular moment, that billboard changed my life. I can never tell any of you how much that seeing that billboard every day.
The Foundation for a Better Life changed my life. My business is now becoming more and more successful and I can feel good about what I have done. I almost quit, but the Lincoln billboard changed my mind. FBL did something amazing for me and asked nothing in return.
If I can, I'll pass it on...
Anon. from Michigan JULY 10, 2008
I passed this billboard while driving home from some pretty miserable flight lessons with an instructor who berated me. The billboard's message encouraged me to never give up, and gave me extra drive to complete my training. I'm happy to say that I'm now a commercial pilot. I really enjoy and appreciate these signs.
Barasa D. from Kenya JULY 10, 2008
This is inspirational for all of us especially in Africa who think that our environment and background are a limitation. It's not a matter of where you are but a matter of who you are!
Lincoln is a life changer!
Ian A. JANUARY 31, 2008
Lincoln is right--I myself believe that if one knows he or she can change something for the better, that person must continue trying even though he or she has failed many times. I am a student who has run for student government many times and lost. But the fact I was elected in my class and organization, even though I lost when I ran for higher positions in the student government, I believe one day I will make a change and I know that I persisted. Failure must not stop a person, it must be the gas to try again.
Johnson K. from Moshi, Tanzania NOVEMBER 16, 2007
Among all of the people I appreciate, he is one of the most because he truly lived his dreams.
Scott C. from New Castle, Indiana, USA NOVEMBER 2, 2007
I saw this billboard on IN-38 just east of town, and I immediately went into sappy guy mode, with the lump in my throat and watering eyes and all.
I even took my little girl by it so she could see it herself. Lincoln never gave up, and he sacrificed ALL just to make life better for us all. Thank you SO much.
Chris S. from Chicago, Illinois, USA OCTOBER 13, 2007
I am from Chicago and saw your billboard on the highway to Indiana. I had tears in my eyes when I saw it. Excellent work, keep it up please.
Johnson from Moshi, Tanzania SEPTEMBER 29, 2007
I appreciate his work.
Pat F. from New Jersey, USA SEPTEMBER 23, 2007
This incredible man made a better life possible for all of us. Though he suffered mightily from depression, he did not let it defeat him. In doing the right thing, he helped this nation endure. An admirable man and an excellent choice. Thank you.
Eric J. from Laguna Niguel, California USA SEPTEMBER 22, 2007
I first started taking note of your billboards around Los Angeles about a year ago. To me, they cut through A LOT of clutter. While achieving things I thought I never would, low self esteem and self doubt kind of dulls them. However, your billboards helps bring back some of the shine.
Adeyinka A. from Lagos, Nigeria. SEPTEMBER 21, 2007
A friend of mine gave a site and from there I went to your site-FBL. One thing led to the other and so on, now I have landed on the billboard page. Very interesting and inspiring—"more so than any other thing. Abraham Lincoln has ever been my hero and from him I have learnt that through persistence one can achieve whatever he desires.
Nick S. from Minneapolis, Minnesota USA AUGUST 29, 2007
I am going through a rough time right now. I have seen your billboards before but in looking at your website. This helps me in my fight against my addiction.
ruokuovikho dominic from nagaland( india) AUGUST 1, 2007
A man like him should be honored. I salute him!
Johanna P from Baltimore, MD JULY 23, 2007
As I was wondering through my day, looking for inspiration I came across this ad. In an instant I was moved and charged to continue. It was a blessing because I had lost my inspiration, my hope and my persistence. Seeing Abraham lincon reminded me of the wonders we all have inside of ourselves if we just believe. Thanks for the inspiration and the energy to continue
Megan L. MAY 30, 2007
WOW, Abraham Lincoln dead on April 15,1965. And he was a clever right leader.
Sherri S from Indiana MAY 17, 2007
This one is awesome! My son is a quadriplegic from a diving accident and he loves Abe Lincoln and his perseverance! Thank you!
Ned R from Austin, Texas APRIL 27, 2007
Absolutely my favorite billboard of all time. The Lincoln life story is so powerful that is should be required reading for every child.
Taizo K from Japan APRIL 16, 2007
Important is not how many times you fail... important is how many times you stand up. I like him lots.
Ray M from Botswana, Southern Africa APRIL 14, 2007
After a very long flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta, your billboard featuring Abraham Lincoln caught my sleepy tired eyes and woke me up with a great sense of encouragement and hope and persistence. That sent me to visit your website and I have done that several times after and even today too. Well Done for your great work of encouraging and impacting not just America but the world.
Ronald A from New York, USA APRIL 12, 2007
Saw your billboard at Newark Airport. It made an impact.
Now I'm a fan and promoter of your site. Great work.
Lorien T. from Atlanta, GA APRIL 3, 2007
Your billboards first appeared to us like a beacon from the blight of I-95 in a very run down part of Bridgeport, CT. Every time I drove by, I looked at the Lincoln billboard amazed and silently praying that every car driving by would see it and take it to heart the way my family has. My elementary aged children learned the word persistence from this billboard and we talk about it and use it every day from memorizing math facts, playing catch and even trying to behave!
Anonymous MARCH 20, 2007
My life has seriously gotten better because of your billboards. The one that I think about everyday is the Abe Lincoln, "..failed, failed, failed, and then.." The first time I saw it I had tears in my eyes, because I realized that even though I may not be succeeding now, if I am persistent I will reach my goal.