Text: H.Con.Res.281 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (02/13/2008)

[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Con. Res. 281 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  2d Session
H. CON. RES. 281



                           February 13, 2008

         Received and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Celebrating the birth of Abraham Lincoln and recognizing the prominence 
 the Declaration of Independence played in the development of Abraham 
                           Lincoln's beliefs.

Whereas Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was born of 
        humble roots on February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky;
Whereas Abraham Lincoln rose to political prominence as an attorney with a 
        reputation for fairness, honesty, and a belief that all men are created 
        equal and


 that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;

Whereas Abraham Lincoln was elected and served with distinction in 1832 as a 
        captain of an Illinois militia company during the Black Hawk War;
Whereas Abraham Lincoln was elected to the Illinois legislature in 1834 from 
        Sangamon County and was successively reelected until 1840;
Whereas Abraham Lincoln revered the Declaration of Independence, forming the 
        motivating moral and natural law principle for his opposition to the 
        spread of slavery to new States entering the Union and to his belief in 
        slavery's ultimate demise;
Whereas Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1846 to serve in the United States House 
        of Representatives, ably representing central Illinois;
Whereas Abraham Lincoln re-entered political life as a reaction to the passage 
        of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 which he opposed;
Whereas Abraham Lincoln expounded on his views of natural rights during the 
        series of Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858 declaring in Charleston, 
        Illinois that natural rights were ``... enumerated in the Declaration of 
        Independence, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'' 
        and these views brought Lincoln into national prominence;
Whereas Abraham Lincoln, through a legacy of courage, character, and patriotism, 
        was elected to office as the 16th President of the United States on 
        November 6, 1860;
Whereas Abraham Lincoln believed the Declaration of Independence to be the 
        anchor of American republicanism, stating on February 22, 1861, during 
        an address in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Independence Hall that, ``I 
        have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the 
        sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence ... I have often 
        inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this 
        Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of separation 
        of the Colonies from the motherland; but that sentiment in the 
        Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people 
        of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time. It was 
        that which gave promise that in due time the weight would be lofted from 
        the shoulders of men'';
Whereas, upon taking office and being thrust into the throes of the Civil War, 
        President Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing 
        all slaves in southern States that seceded from the Union on January 1, 
Whereas, on November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln dedicated the battlefield at 
        Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with the Gettysburg address, which would later 
        be known as his greatest speech, that harkened back to the promises of 
        the Declaration of Independence in the first sentence: ``Four score and 
        seven years ago, our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new 
        nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all 
        men are created equal'';
Whereas Abraham Lincoln was reelected to the Presidency on November 8, 1864, by 
        55 percent of the popular vote;
Whereas Abraham Lincoln gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country, dying six 
        weeks into his second term on April 15, 1865;
Whereas the year 2009 will be the Bicentennial anniversary of the birth of 
        Abraham Lincoln, and the United States will observe 2 years of 
        commemorations beginning February 12, 2008; and
Whereas all Americans could benefit from studying the life of Abraham Lincoln as 
        a model of achieving the American Dream through honest, integrity, 
        loyalty, and a lifetime of education: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That the United States Congress--
            (1) requests that the President issue a proclamation each 
        year recognizing the anniversary of the birth of President 
        Abraham Lincoln and calling upon the people of the United 
        States to observe such anniversary with appropriate ceremonies 
        and activities; and
            (2) encourages State and local governments and local 
        educational agencies to devote sufficient time to study and 
        appreciate the reverence and respect Abraham Lincoln had for 
        the significance and importance of the Declaration of 
        Independence in the development of American history, 
        jurisprudence, and the spread of freedom around the world.

            Passed the House of Representatives February 12, 2008.


                                            LORRAINE C. MILLER,