Happy Birthday, Honest Abe! 25 Facts About Our 16th President

Happy Birthday, Honest Abe! 25 Facts About Our 16th President

One of our country's most beloved commanders in chief was born on this day 208 years ago. President Abraham Lincoln has been the subject of many books and films (including one where he was cast as a vampire hunter!) but a lot of modern Americans may not know much about the man himself. So in honor of his birthday, here's some lesser-known facts about Honest Abe (hint #1: he actually HATED being called Abe. Sorry, Mr. President!)   1. Don't call him Abe. Supposedly, Lincoln wasn't fond of the adoring nickname bestowed upon him and preferred it when people simply called him by his last name.    2. He was a wrestler. No vampire hunting for Lincoln in his spare time, but Lincoln is documented in having taken part in over 300 wrestling matches when he was younger (and only lost one.) We're pretty sure he never had a stage name nor wore a mask, but he was posthumously honored in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.    3. Our 16th president didn't have a middle name. He was simply known as Abraham Lincoln.    4. Lincoln suffered from bouts of depression throughout his lifetime, but hid it well -- he loved to crack jokes as much as anybody.    5. Lincoln loved animals. He didn't hunt or fish, and owned a cat named Tabby that would eat at the White House dining table with the family, and a dog named Fido. It's been said that if he were alive today, he'd be running an animal shelter.    6. Lincoln was the first president to use the novel invention at the time, the telegraph. He used it to communicate with generals during the Civil War.    7. As early as 1836, he believed American women should have the right to vote.   8. He didn't drink, smoke, or chew tobacco. He was such a teetotaler that he never even drank in the White House.   9. Despite refraining from alcohol, he was a licensed bartender!   10. His favorite foods were fruit, oysters, and chicken casserole.    11. He was the first president to sport a beard. He grew it at the suggestion of an 11 year-old girl.    12. His famous hat did double duty as a place to keep important documents.    13. At 6'4" he is still our tallest president to date.   14. Sadly, there are no living descendants of Lincoln alive today.   15. Lincoln's mother was killed by drinking poisoned milk.    16. He ran for the U.S. Senate and lost twice (but hey, made it to the presidency which isn't too shabby.)   17. Lincoln was born in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky, making him the first president to be born outside of the original 13 states.   18. Lincoln's body was embalmed by a dentist which is ironic given he was afraid of dentists after losing a small piece of his jawbone during a tooth extraction.   19. One of his earlier careers was co-owner of a general store. The business struggled and he eventually had to sell his share and quit.   20. During his first speech in his early political career, Lincoln saw a man in the audience assailing one of his supporters. He picked the man up by the seat of his pants and his neck and tossed him out.    21. He was assassinated on Good Friday.   22. He never joined an organized church, although he did read the Bible daily.   23. He is the only president to hold a patent. He invented a device that could free steamboats should they run aground.    24. He established Thanksgiving as a national holiday.   25. After his son died in the White House, Lincoln participated in seances to see if he could communicate with him. Since Lincoln's own death, there have been many reported sightings of his ghost in the White House. 

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