U.S. President Barack Obama is marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, who is considered by many to be the greatest U.S. president.
Mr. Obama attends a celebration at the U.S. Capitol Thursday, then travels later in the day to Springfield, Illinois, the hometown of Mr. Lincoln.
Mr. Lincoln was president during the Civil War in the 1860s that nearly tore apart the United States over the issue of slavery. He signed the Emancipation Proclamation - ordering slaves to be freed in most of the southern Confederate States, and eventually leading to the abolition of slavery in all the United States.
Mr. Obama, the nation's first African-American president, attended a star-studded gala Wednesday at the historic Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. - the site of Mr. Lincoln's assassination in 1865. Re-opening Wednesday after a lengthy renovation, the theater featured a biographical play about Mr. Lincoln.
Mr. Obama has sought to draw parallels between his presidency and that of Mr. Lincoln.
Mr. Obama began his presidential campaign in Mr. Lincoln's Illinois hometown and re-enacted the 16th president's train journey from Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) to Washington, D.C. on the way to his inauguration in January. He took his presidential oath on the Bible that Lincoln used for his own inauguration.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, added after Lincoln's death in 1865, abolished all slavery in the United States.
Ford's Theater, in downtown Washington, D.C., was closed for more than 100 years after Mr. Lincoln's assassination. It re-opened in 1968 and now functions as both a working theater and a historical site.