On this day in 1864 President Abraham was re-elected President of the United States with 55 percent of the vote. He carried all but three states.

On that Election Day 152 years ago, America was in the middle of the Civil War and the stakes could not have been higher for our country. It was quite remarkable that an election even took place that year. No country had ever held an election during an military emergency before.

But President Lincoln understood the significance of the election for our democracy. “We cannot have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us,” said Lincoln.

On this election day more than a century and a half later, the re-election of one of our most notable presidents reminds us of the importance of elections and the strength of our democracy to withstand even the challenges of war. Happy Election Day!