It has been said that if you know how to spend January, you know how to spend the rest of your life.
Lincoln knew how to make the most out of January. Not only did he issue the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863, he also welcomed the first African American to a White House New Year’s Day reception in 1864, and broke his engagement to Mary Todd on January 1st, 1841 -- probably the wisest decision he ever made.
On January 8th, 1863, he appointed John Usher Secretary of the Interior, and on January 8th, 1864, he posed for this stunning photograph for Matthew Brady.
On January 17th, 1851, his father, Thomas Lincoln, passed away from a kidney ailment. Lincoln did not attend the funeral.