Abraham Lincoln Was a Science Champion

In honor of the birthday of the 16th President of the USA – Abraham Lincoln – and the recent awesome Spacex Falcon Heavy launch,  we present the following heroic post: lincoln.president.day.america.usa.astronaut

Abraham Lincoln is best known for abolishing slavery and keeping the United States together through the Civil War, but he also helped the country become the scientific and engineering powerhouse we know today.

For example, Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862, creating a system of land-grant colleges and universities that revolutionized higher education in the United States, notes famed astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson. ”Known also as the people’s colleges, they were conceived with the idea that they would provide practical knowledge and science in a developing democratic republic,” Tyson, the director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

Notable land-grant institutions include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, the University of Florida, The Ohio State University, the University of Arizona and the schools in the vast University of California system.

Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, also chartered the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1863, establishing the august body that advises Congress and the president about science and technology matters to this day, Tyson observes.

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