On this day in 1849, at the age of 40, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) applied for U.S. Patent No. 6469, which raised steamboats off sandbars. He is the only U.S. President to obtain a patent, a credit to his determination and ingenuity.
"All my life," Lincoln said, "I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind."
Raised in a Kentucky log cabin, by all accounts, "Honest Abe" had only one year of formal education, yet he was an inventor and was accepted to the bar as a self-taught attorney.
He once stated, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing."
One month after his inauguration, the Civil War began and he led the country through its darkest days of turmoil, delivering the memorable Gettysburg Address. Considered a great president, he proved that accomplishments come with desire and dedication.
"I am a slow walker," he said, "but I never walk back."
More LINCOLN Quotations
With a singleness of purpose, everything becomes better.