Thursday, February 12, 2009

Abe Turns 200! (Willard Scott reports longevitiy due to Emancipation Proclamation and the top hat)

You may have heard that Abraham Lincoln turns 200 today, say, on numerous radio broadcasts, the Today Show, the New York Times Book Review, CNN, etc. But you also may be struggling to remember any specific facts about this illustrious president. You know he ended slavery, was shot in a theater, was born in a log cabin, and was tall and wore an unusually large top hat, but you may not have known the following:
  • He was afraid of dentists because a dentist broke his jaw bone when pulling a tooth.
  • He was color-blind.
  • He was the tallest U.S. president at 6'4".
  • His footwear had to be custom-made.
  • He was the first president to be assassinated.
  • Only one of his four children survived into adulthood.
  • He was the only United States president to hold a patent for a device to help steamboat buoyancy in 1849.
  • The Lincoln Monument was created by a young, female sculptor named Vinnie Ream. Read more about her in the book Vinnie and Abraham by Dawn FitzGerald.
  • His birth mother died from milk sickness. Apparently the family cow ate poisonous mushrooms and she died when she drank its milk.
  • He was the first president to have a beard.
  • Lincoln's brother, half-brothers, and brothers-in-law fought in the Confederate Army
  • Lincoln and his wife held seances in the White House. They had great interest in psychic phenomena.
  • Lincoln loved the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
We've also created a downloadable poster celebrating Abe's Birthday. Click here to download.

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