22 Fun Facts About Abraham Lincoln You Don’t Know

fun facts about Abraham Lincoln

22 Fun Facts About Abraham Lincoln You Don’t Know

  1. Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on the same day.
  2. Brooks Brothers made President Lincoln’s suit.
  3. Lincoln’s dog Fido was killed by a drunken assailant a year after Lincoln died.
  4. There are no direct living descendants of Abraham Lincoln.
  5. Abraham Lincoln’s nickname was ‘Honest Abe’.
  6. Lincoln practiced law without a degree.
  7. Abraham Lincoln never drank, smoked, or chewed.
  8. Lincoln was shot in a theater named Ford and Kennedy was shot in a Ford car.
  1. Abraham Lincoln set up the first National Banking System.
  2. Lincoln worked as a licensed bartender.
  3. Lincoln is the most written-about figure in American history.
  4. Lincoln remains the tallest person to serve as president, at 6’ 4″.
  5. Lincoln only lost one election by direct vote of the people.
  6. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican-elected president.
  7. Lincoln had huge feet, size between 12 and 14.
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1. Lincoln is enshrined in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.

One of the lesser-known facts about Abraham Lincoln is his impressive wrestling career during his youth. Standing tall at 6 feet 4, Lincoln was a formidable opponent, losing only once in over a decade. 

His wrestling prowess earned him a spot in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992 as an ‘Outstanding American.’ It is a true testament to his athletic skill and determination.

2. Lincoln was born in a backwoods cabin in Kentucky.

Abraham Lincoln’s journey began in a humble log cabin in Kentucky, born on February 12, 1809. Crafted by his father’s hands, this backwoods cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm marked the start of Lincoln’s remarkable life. 

Though the original cabin no longer stands, its legacy lives on, deeply rooted in Kentucky, the state that shaped a future president’s early years.

3. Lincoln is the only president to have obtained a patent.

Abraham Lincoln uniquely holds the distinction of being the only U.S. president to have obtained a patent. On May 22, 1849, he was awarded Patent No. 6,469 for a device aimed at buoying vessels over shoals. 

His invention, which involved large bellows attached to the boat’s sides to lift it over river obstructions, highlights Lincoln’s inventive mind and practical contributions to solving real-world problems.

4. Lincoln lost 5 elections before being elected President.

A video about Lincoln’s failures early in his political career.

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Another unique fact about Abraham Lincoln is his perseverance through electoral defeats before his presidency. His journey saw losses in five key elections: the Illinois State Legislature in 1832, the U.S. House of Representatives in 1843 and 1848, and the U.S. Senate in 1854 and 1858. 

These challenges did not deter him, ultimately leading to his election as the 16th President of the United States in 1860, exemplifying unmatched resilience.

5. Grave robbers attempted to steal Lincoln’s corpse.

In 1876, a daring plot emerged to steal Abraham Lincoln’s remains from Oak Ridge Cemetery, aiming to ransom them for $200,000 and the release of a jailed counterfeiter. 

Orchestrated by a crime boss, the plan was foiled by the Secret Service and Pinkerton detectives, thanks to an informant within the gang.

6. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan 1, 1863.

On January 1, 1863, amidst the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring slaves in seceded states free. Although it didn’t abolish slavery nationwide, it marked a pivotal shift towards freedom, allowing nearly 200,000 black soldiers to join the Union forces. 

This emancipation proclamation act not only added moral weight to the Union’s cause of a free society but also set the stage for slavery’s eventual demise.

7. Lincoln came under enemy fire on a Civil War battlefield.

On July 12, 1864, during the Battle of Fort Stevens, President Abraham Lincoln became the only sitting U.S. president to come under direct enemy fire, facing Confederate sharpshooters. 

A commemorative stone at Fort Stevens honors this unique historical moment. Notably, future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., reputedly shouted, “Get down, you damn fool!” at Lincoln to protect him from harm.

8. Lincoln’s tall top hat was used to store important papers.

fun facts about Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln use to wear tall hats in which he store papers.

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Abraham Lincoln innovative use of his iconic tall top hat. More than just a fashion statement that emphasized his height, Lincoln’s hat served a practical purpose. 

He cleverly used the lining of his hat as a storage space for important papers, correspondence, and scraps of speeches, ensuring they remained dry and with him at all times.

9. Lincoln was also a big fan of chicken casserole.

President Abraham Lincoln had a simple yet distinct palate, favoring fruits, nuts, cheese, and crackers. Among his preferred dishes, Chicken Fricassee with Biscuits and Oyster Stew stood out as favorites. 

His love for apples extended to his choice of dessert, with Apple Pie being his top pick. These culinary preferences offer a glimpse into the everyday life of one of America’s most revered leaders.

10. Lincoln created the Secret Service before his assassination.

One of the poignant ironies in American history is that President Abraham Lincoln signed the legislation creating the Secret Service on April 14, 1865, just hours before his assassination at Ford’s Theatre. 

Initially established to combat counterfeiting, the Secret Service would later take on presidential protection duties in 1901, tasked with safeguarding presidents from the very fate Lincoln encountered that fateful evening in Washington, D.C.

11. Poisoned milk killed President Lincoln’s mother.

In a tragic twist of fate, President Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, met an untimely death due to poisoned milk. This unfortunate incident occurred when the milk she consumed was contaminated by a disease from snakeroot plants, eaten by the cow whose milk she drank. 

Her loss deeply impacted young Abraham, shaping the future president’s character and resilience in the face of adversity.

12. The Gettysburg Address is Lincoln’s most well-known speech.

Gettysburg Address, fun facts about Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address of Lincoln.

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On November 19, 1863, amidst the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. These mere 272 words profoundly connected the sacrifices of the fallen at Gettysburg to the ideals of liberty and equality. 

This iconic speech, calling for a ‘new birth of freedom,’ remains a cornerstone of American democracy and a poignant reminder of the nation’s enduring principles.

13. The Last Descendant of Abraham Lincoln Died in 1985.

Another lesser-known fact about Abraham Lincoln is the extinction of his direct lineage with the death of his last undisputed descendant, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, on December 24, 1985. 

Beckwith, a great-grandson of Lincoln, had no acknowledged children, marking the end of the presidential branch of the family. This closed a chapter on the Lincoln legacy, leaving behind a rich historical narrative.

14. The brother of John Wilkes Booth saved Lincoln’s son.

In a twist of fate, Edwin Booth, a renowned actor and the brother of president’s assassin John Wilkes Booth saved Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, from potential death. 

This heroic act occurred on a train platform in Jersey City, New Jersey, sometime between late 1864 and early 1865, when Edwin pulled Robert back from the path of an oncoming train car, unknowingly intertwining the Booth and Lincoln families’ histories.

15. Lincoln was a postmaster, and shopkeeper before politics.

Before stepping onto the political stage, Abraham Lincoln explored various career paths, showcasing his versatility and work ethic. He served as a postmaster, where he was known for his dedication to delivering mail, and as a surveyor, mapping out new territories. 

Lincoln even tried his hand as a shopkeeper. These diverse experiences laid a strong foundation for his eventual journey into politics, where he made his indelible mark on American history.

16. President Lincoln had lots of cats in the White House.

fun facts about Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln with his cat.

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Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, was the first to welcome cats, Tabby and Dixie, into the White House, gifts from Secretary of State William Seward. A true cat lover, Lincoln found solace in their company, even rescuing three kittens during the Civil War. 

His affection for cats was evident; he famously fed Tabby at a state dinner, praising Dixie’s intelligence above his entire cabinet.

17. Lincoln was 1st president born outside of the 13 original states.

Breaking new ground in American history, Abraham Lincoln stands out as the first president born beyond the bounds of the original thirteen states. Hailing from Larue County, Kentucky, Lincoln’s birthplace symbolizes a shift towards a more expansive United States. 

His unique origin story underscores the growing diversity of American leadership, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s journey toward inclusivity and expansion.

18. President Lincoln’s coffin has been opened 5 times.

Abraham Lincoln’s coffin has been opened five times and moved 17 times, reflecting the tumultuous journey of preserving his legacy. These openings, occurring between 1865 and 1901, were driven by tomb reconstructions, safety concerns for his remains, and verification of their presence. 

This extraordinary measure underscores the enduring efforts to honor and protect the final resting place of one of America’s most revered leaders.

19. President Lincoln didn’t attend his father’s funeral.

Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with his father, Thomas, was strained, culminating in Abraham’s absence from Thomas’s funeral. Their estrangement stemmed from young Abraham’s desire for education and disdain for farm work, conflicting with Thomas’s expectations. 

Despite this, Lincoln visited his ailing father in 1849 and paid respects at his grave before heading to Washington, D.C., as president, highlighting a complex familial bond.

20. Lincoln dreamed about being assassinated before his death.

fun facts about Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln assassination scene.

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Abraham Lincoln eerily foresaw his death, sharing a haunting premonition with his friend and bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, just days before his assassination on April 14, 1865. 

He dreamt of walking into the White House’s East Room, encountering a guarded, covered corpse surrounded by mourners, and learning the president had been assassinated. This chilling vision came just as he bid his bodyguard a final Goodbye.

21. Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a National Holiday.

On October 3, 1863, amidst the Civil War’s turmoil, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of Thanksgiving. This declaration invited Americans across the divided nation to pause and give thanks, establishing a tradition of gratitude and reflection. 

Lincoln’s proclamation sought to unite the country in a moment of peace and thankfulness, marking the official beginning of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

22. Lincoln used the telegraph to communicate with generals.

President Abraham Lincoln revolutionized wartime communication by utilizing the telegraph, akin to modern-day email, to directly oversee military actions and communicate with his generals in real time. 

This innovation allowed him to act decisively as commander-in-chief, mobilize political support, and control information flow during the Civil War. By seizing control of telegraph lines, Lincoln ensured rapid knowledge of battlefield conditions, significantly impacting the war’s outcome.

FAQs

How did Abraham Lincoln change the world?

Abraham Lincoln changed the world by leading the United States through its Civil War, preserving the Union, and issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, which began the process of freedom for America’s slaves, laying the groundwork for racial equality.

Where is Abraham Lincoln buried?

Abraham Lincoln is buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. His tomb, a grand monument to his legacy, has become a place of pilgrimage for those wishing to honor the 16th President of the United States.

Why was Lincoln assassinated?

Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, on April 14, 1865. Booth believed killing Lincoln would aid the Southern cause, disrupt the government, and avenge the Confederacy’s defeat in the Civil War.

Where was Abraham Lincoln born?

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a one-room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County, Kentucky, now part of present-day LaRue County, marking the humble beginnings of a future president.

What role did Abraham play in the Civil War?

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln served as a decisive leader and strategic thinker. As President, he preserved the Union, empowered the federal government, and transformed the conflict into a fight for freedom by emancipating the slaves.

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