Next Monday, February 18, is President’s Day. Although originally designated as Washington’s Birthday, now the President’s day holiday honors both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as any other man who has served as the head guy in the Oval Office. This year, with the feature film “Lincoln” still holding firmly to one of the top 10 movie spots at the box office, it might be a great time to add a little honorary historic remembrance to your President’s Day by seeing this 10-time Oscar nominated film. You might even learn a thing or two about this great President. Just to help you brush up on your Lincoln trivia, here are a few little tidbits and little known facts about Lincoln–use them to impress your friends!
10. Lincoln has no living posterity. Even though Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln had four sons, 3 of the 4 died very young (Edward-age 4, Willie-age 12, Tad-age 18) and Robert, who was Lincoln’s only son that lived into adulthood, had his only known descendant pass away in 1985.
9. Lincoln’s son had his life saved by the future presidential assassin’s brother. One day while at the train station, Lincoln’s son Robert fell between the platform and the train as the train began to move. Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth (who later would assassinate the President), quickly pulled Robert Lincoln out of danger, saving his life.
8. President Lincoln felt he should serve in battle during the Civil War. Although his presidential obligations obviously prevented it, word got out that President Lincoln had regrets about not fighting in battle since he was clearly the leader of the nation’s military. J. Summerfield Staples volunteered to fight in the war in President Lincoln’s stead. He served in (and survived) the war.
7. Lincoln had an epic beard. Lincoln was the first President to have a beard while serving in office.
6. Lincoln was an inventor and held a patent. Lincoln was the only known President to obtain a patent. In 1849, Lincoln’s patent was obtained for a device that lifted ships over shoals through a type of buoying mechanism. This invention, however, was never put into practical use.
5. Lincoln was the first president who started speaking about women’s rights and at one point suggested that women should be extended the right to vote.
4. Lincoln’s Inaugural portrait. Lincoln was the first President to have his photograph taken at inauguration. Apparently standing near the President in the photograph was John Wilkes Booth, the man who would later assassinate him.
3. Robert Lincoln was close to 3 Presidential assassinations. Not only was Robert invited (but declined) to attend the theatre the evening his father was assassinated but also he unfortunately found himself close by 2 other Presidential assassinations. Robert was invited to meet President Garfield at the train station in Washington, D.C. when he was an eyewitness to Garfield’s assassination. Robert was also invited to a New York fair where William McKinley would be assassinated.
2. Lincoln had a premonition about his death. Not long before his assassination, Lincoln had a dream in which he heard crying in the White House. When he inquired as to who had died, he was told that it was the president. He peered into the coffin that was there and apparently looked down onto his own deceased face.
1. Urban Legends about Lincoln and Kennedy. There are many odd coincidences that surround the lives of both President Lincoln and President Kennedy.
- Both Lincoln and Kennedy were shot in the head on a Friday.
- Lincoln and Kennedy were elected to congress exactly 100 years apart. Lincoln in 1846, Kennedy in 1946.
- Lincoln and Kennedy were elected to be President 100 years apart, Lincoln in 1860, Kennedy in 1960.
- Both Lincoln and Kennedy had successors that had the last name Johnson. (Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Johnson.)
- The men that assassinated each of these Presidents were known by three names. (John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald.)
- Lincoln and Kennedy each have 7 letters in their surnames. Their assassin’s names each contain 15 letters.
- Lincoln was shot in Ford’s theatre. Kennedy was shot while riding in a car (a “Lincoln” made by Ford.