The International Legacy

Virtually every nation in the world today contains recognition of the Lincoln legacy whether in the memoirs of its leaders or in its public culture (streets, statues, postage stamps, etc.). For example:

In Central America…

  • Lincoln was the first American president to grant formal diplomatic recognition to Haiti
  • Statues of Lincoln in Mexico City and Juarez; in Union Square, Guatemala
  • Benito Juarez (1806-1872) is known as “the Abraham Lincoln of Mexico”
  • Lincoln Streets in Juarez, Monterrey, and other Mexican cities, as well as in the Dominican Republic
  • Nicaragua and Honduras have issued more Lincoln stamps than any other Spanish-speaking country
  • José Martí (1853-1895), the great Cuban poet and hero of its independence movement, was among Lincoln’s great admirers.
  • Schools named for Lincoln are located in Havana, Cuba, as well as a hotel and statues

In South America…

  • Lincoln City, Argentina is the only city outside the United States named for America’s 16th president
  • Domingo F. Sarmiento (1811-1888), Argentina’s writer-president admired America’s 16th president so much that he wrote the first Spanish biography of Lincoln
  • A Lincoln street is located in Caracas, Venezuela

In Canada…

  • Lincoln statue in Brantford, Ontario
  • Lincolniana collection in the McGill University Library, Montreal

In Western Europe…

  • San Marino granted Lincoln honorary citizenship during his lifetime
  • A Lincoln statue in Westminster Square in London, England
  • Lincoln streets in Paris, France; Brussels, Belgium; Florence, Milan and Rome, Italy; Germany, Barcelona, Spain
  • A Lincoln log cabin was built in the Hills of Rebild, Denmark

In Eastern Europe…

  • Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) saw Lincoln as a Christlike figure
  • Thomas Masaryk (1850-1937), the founding president of Czechoslovakia, admired Lincoln, as does Vaclav Havel, the founding president of the Czech Republic

In Asia…

  • Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the founding president and father of modern China, adapted Lincoln’s “Gettysburg” definition of democratic government to Chinese culture
  • Lincoln’s image is the only non-Chinese to be featured on a Chinese postage stamp from Taiwan
  • Roh Moo-hyun, the South Korean president, quotes Lincoln and has authored a biography of him
  • Jasu Shilpi, “the Bronze Woman of Gujarat, India,” has created a Lincoln bust
  • The Lincoln Resource Center is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In Africa…

  • Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana, the first president of an independent nation in sub-Saharan Africa, was educated at Lincoln University. Ghana commemorated Lincoln on many of its early postage stamps
  • Nelson Mandela knew of Lincoln’s legacy before serving a 27-year imprisonment and read a biography of Lincoln for the first time while incarcerated
  • A host of postage stamps honoring the Great Emancipator have been issued

In the Middle East…

  • Persian poet Basij Khalkhali wrote the poem “The Epic of the Woodcutter” in honor of Lincoln
  • Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, visited the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on May 17, 2006 and later sent a $1 million check in support of it
  • King Hassan II (1929-2000) requested a visit to Gettysburg during his reign; Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin also visited Gettysburg during the Carter Administration
  • Streets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are named for Lincoln
  • Both the socialist and traditionalist factions in Yemen’s civil war featured Lincoln on their postage stamps
  • A statue of Lincoln is located in Ramat-Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv