It happened on this date

Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States on Nov. 6, 1860. Today is the 159th anniversary of the pivotal event.

First Republican chosen

The Republican Party was formed in 1854. Its first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, lost to Democrat James Buchanan in 1856. Lincoln then defeated three opponents to win in 1860.

Also 1st Illinoisan

Lincoln, who lived in Springfield at the time he was elected, was the first person with Illinois roots to be elected president. He was followed by three others — Ulysses Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

No southern support

Lincoln carried 18 states to win election, but not a single southern state was among them. His anti-slavery stance made him quite unpopular in that region of the country, and was a prime factor in the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.

2nd victory followed

Lincoln was re-elected in 1864 as the Civil War raged on. Lincoln defeated the Democrats’ candidate, Gen. George B. McClellan, by earning 55 percent of the vote compared to 45 percent for McClellan.


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