Date: February 11, 1931
Location: New York, NY
Nearly a century and a quarter has passed since Abraham Lincoln was born. No other man in our history has so touched the heart of the people. In him they saw a reflection of themselves. They knew he sympathized with their sorrows and understood their aspirations. He surpassed all others in those attributes which men feel are common to them all. In him they find the pure and unmixed basic elements.
It is necessary to look beyond his intellect, profound as that became, for the true source of his greatness. He was endowed above most mortals with conscience. A compelling sense of obligation held him. An all embracing intellectual honesty saved him from deceiving himself. From that source he derived the unsurpassed power to express his thought in clear and simple terms. In him also was a faith that moved mountains. He declared that right makes its own might and he dared to act accordingly.
Not only because he was the leader of those who saved the Union, but because of the man himself, his humanity, his sincerity, his devotion, the whole nation joins in observing his birthday and the whole world looks on him as a friend.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Greg Harkenrider who prepared this document for digital publication.