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Observance pays tribute to Lincoln

The 132nd annual observance of President Abraham Lincoln's birthday was held Sunday afternoon at Mirror Lake at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Museum.

The Buffalo Civil War Roundtable and the Historical Society provided tributes and a military gun salute in honor Lincoln.

Re-enactors in period costume were members of the 155th New York Volunteers, Army of the Potomac and of the 22nd Battalion Virginia Volunteers, Army of Northern Virginia.

Also in Civil War-era garb were the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, Henrietta York Circle 91; the Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War; Philos G. Cook Camp 223, Sons of Union Veterans; the John B. Weber Camp, Sons of Union Veterans; and the Buffalo Guards Camp, Sons of Union Veterans.

The national commemoration of Lincoln's birthday, which is Feb. 12, was started in Buffalo in 1874 by Julius Francis. A businessman who owned a Main Street drugstore, Francis presented a public remembrance that year and every year for the rest of his life.

Before he died in 1881, he twice petitioned Congress to establish Feb. 12 as a legal holiday. His efforts led to the federal holiday known as Presidents Day.

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