PUBLIC LAW 85-775-AUG. 27, 1958
[72 S T A T.
Public Law 85-775 August 27. 1958 ^ ' •^' ^°' ^
JOINT RESOLUTION Providing for a joint session of Congress for commemorating the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.
Whereas Thursday, February 12, 1959, will mark the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States; and Whereas Mr. Lincoln is our best example of that personal fulfillment which American institutions permit and encourage; and Whereas his memory endures in the hearts and minds and strivings of his own people in every generation; and Whereas his actions, words, and deeds and their meaning bring hope, fortitude, and renewed conviction to the freedom loving people who are in mental and physical agony all over the world; and Whereas he declared: " I wish all men to be free."; and Whereas a century ago he said: "Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere."; and Whereas he wrote: "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the differences, is no democracy."; and Whereas he once admonished us: "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew."; and Whereas he calls upon us: "I^et every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her l a p; let it be tauj^ht in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in primers, spelling books, and in almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the Nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the ^rave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars."; and Whereas "it is for us the living... to be dedicated here" to the principles of those who, like Mr. Lincoln, "gave the last full measure of devotion"; and Whereas he was himself once a member of this honorable body; and Whereas on Monday, February 12, 1866, in the presence of the President of the United States, the members of his Cabinet, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, the diplomatic corps, officers of the Army and Navy, assistant heads of departments, the governors of States and Territories, and others in authority, the two Houses of Congress convened in joint session to hear "an address upon the life and character of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States," pronounced by an eminent historian, the Honorable George Bancroft: Now, therefore, be it