Here’s lookin’ at you, Abe. Happy Presidents’ Day!
1. The average height of a man in 1860 was 5-foot-7-inches—Lincoln stood at 6-foot-four inches. With his stovepipe hat, he was almost 7 feet tall!
2. When he would laugh, he’d pull his knees up to his chest and wrap his arms around them.
3. He was the first president to be photographed at his inauguration (and his assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was in the photo!).
4. He was the first president to have a beard while in office.
5. He got kicked in the head by a horse when he was 10 and, in his own words, “was apparantly (sic) killed for a time”—probably a few minutes.
6. He most likely did not say either of these popular quotes attributed to him:
“Folks are just about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
7. While Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was not present at his father’s assassination, he was present at two other presidential assassinations: 20th president James Garfield and 25th president William McKinley. He is said to have declined later presidential invitations to functions, saying, “No, I’m not going, and they’d better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present.”
8. On April 14, 1865, just hours before his assassination, Lincoln signed legislation creating the U.S. Secret Service.
9. The Lincoln Bedroom in the White House was actually used by Lincoln as an office—he never slept there (unless at his desk).
Haley is a writer and editor based in Birmingham, Alabama, who specializes in narrative nonfiction. She began writing at age 16 after enrolling in her North Alabama high school's newspaper class. She later studied journalism and history at the University of Alabama. In her spare time, she prepares for her eventual sorting into Slytherin House, has frequent chats with her bust of Abraham Lincoln, and feeds an inordinate amount of lettuce to her pet bunny, Ray Bradbury. To contact her, please shout into the nearest void or talk loudly about Jason Isbell’s discography.
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