Abraham Lincoln is one of the few leaders in the World’s history that inspires millions of people and continued to do so. Well, there is no way that anyone can describe his extraordinary life. On 12 February every year we celebrate his birthday as a sign of prosperity and freedom. So, today we will relive a small and unknown part of his remarkable journey.
15. Lincoln Didn’t Move To Illinois Until He Was 21
The state of Illinois may be known as the Land of Lincoln, but it was in Indiana where the 16th U.S. President spent most of his youth. After being born in Kentucky in 1809, Lincoln and his family moved across the Ohio River to southern Indiana in 1816. The Lincoln city which was laid out in 1872, was named after the Lincoln family, where they lived from 1816 to 1830 until they migrated to Illinois. The city is noted for Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and Lincoln log cabin, which was built in 1816.
14. His Suit Was Made By Brooks Brothers
Brooks Brothers is the oldest men’s clothier in the United States. Founded in 1818, they are famous for outfitting 31 of 45 United States Presidents. From Theodore Roosevelt, who was so fond of Brooks Brothers that he ordered his uniform from them during the Spanish-American War, to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were known to wear it’s clothing lines. But, it was actually Lincoln, who started this trend.
During his second inauguration, Abraham Lincoln wore a special coat crafted for him by Brooks Brothers. Hand-stitched into the coat’s lining was a design featuring an eagle with the inscription, “One Country, One Destiny.” On the night of his assassination at the Ford theater, he was wearing that coat and a suit by the Brooks Brothers.
13. He Never Slept In The Lincoln Bedroom
Before 1902, the current Lincoln bedroom was either used an office or a presidential Cabinet meeting room. During Lincoln’s administration, the southeast corner suite was used as his personal office. One of the prominent feature of the room is the Lincoln bed, a nearly 8-foot by 6-foot rosewood bed with an enormous headboard. The bed was probably never used by President Lincoln.
12. He Was Enshrined In The National Wrestling Hall Of Fame
Abraham Lincoln is undoubtedly the most popular president in the nation’s history. He is certainly among its greatest leaders and an acclaimed lawyer. But, only few people know that he was also an accomplished wrestler. Thanks to his long limbs and great height, he was a master of grapple as a young man. Only defeated once in approximately 300 matches, he talked a little smack in the ring. According to Carl Sandburg’s biography of Lincoln, he once challenged an entire crowd of spectators after defeating his opponent “I am the big buck of this lick. If any of you want to try it, come on and whet your horns.” There were no takers. Lincoln was later honored with “Outstanding American” in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
11. Lincoln Personally Test-Fired Rifles Outside The White House
In the aftermath of the Battle of Fort Sumter, Lincoln didn’t waste any precious time and responded as the commander-in-chief of the Union forces. We have also witnessed his cunning war diplomacy, by imposing a blockade on all confederate shipping ports. While he proved himself a great leader, his mechanical passion was also celebrated widely during the American Civil War. He widely attended artillery and weapon tests and meetings at the White House with inventors exhibiting military prototypes. Lincoln even test-fired Spencer rifles.
10. Lincoln Came Under Enemy Fire On Civil War Battlefield
When the Confederate army attacked Washington, D.C., on July 1864, the Union commander-in-chief visited the front operation base at Fort Stevens on two days of the battle, which the Union ultimately won. During the stay, at one point the gunfire came dangerously close to the president. Legend has it that Colonel Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., a future Supreme Court justice, barked, “Get down, you fool!” Lincoln ducked down from the fort’s parapet and left the battlefield unharmed. Lincoln might have been the only sitting American president to come under enemy fire while in office.
9, Poisoned Milk Killed Lincoln’s Mother
When Abraham was just 9 years old in 1818, his mother, Nancy Lincoln, died of a “milk sickness” that swept across southern Indiana in the 1800s. It was later learned that the strange disease was due to drinking tainted milk from a cow that had ingested poisonous white snakeroot.
8. The U.S. Civil War Had A Balloon Corps Established By Abraham Lincoln
The use of balloons in war was first ever recorded in France by the French Aerostatic Corps at the Battle of Fleurus in 1794. In America, the first known balloon corps also known as Union Army Balloon Corps was established by none other than Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. The main object of the corps was to perform aerial reconnaissance on the Confederate army.
7. Abraham Lincoln Created The First Federal Income Tax In 1861
On August 5, 1861, Lincoln imposed the first ever federal income tax by signing the Revenue Act. Prior to the Civil War, the United States faced a financial depression subsequent to the Panic of 1857. In the predicament for cash with which to pursue the Civil War, Lincoln and the Congress agreed to impose a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800. Congress later repealed Lincoln’s tax law in 1871, but in 1909 passed the 16th Amendment, which set in place the federal income-tax system used today. Congress ratified the 16th Amendment in 1913.
6. Grave Robbers Attempted To Steal Lincoln’s Corpse
Although, Secret Services didn’t fully enter into the presidential services until 1901, but there is an earlier example of the USSS getting involved in presidential security. In 1876, a gang of Chicago based Irish counterfeiters attempted to steal Lincoln’s body from his tomb situated in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois. Their intention was to hold the corpse for a ransom of $200,000 and forcing the release of their gang member from prison. It was the Secret Service agents, who were commissioned by Lincoln before his death, infiltrated the gang and laid a bait for the gang members to fall in. Robert Lincoln, the president’s only surviving child, Lincoln’s body was encased in a steel cage and entombed under 10 feet of concrete.
5. Abraham Lincoln’s Coffin Has Been Moved 17 Times
After Lincoln’s death, funeral services were held in Washington, D.C and then at additional locations with a medium of a funeral train. The funeral train was the first national commemoration of a president’s death by rail. Anyway, since his coffin was placed in a Vault in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, it has been moved a total of 17 times and opened 5 times.
4. John Wilkes Booth’s Brother Saved The Life Of Lincoln’s Son
A few months before John Wilkes Booth assassinated the president, his brother Edwin Booth saved Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s son from a station platform accident in Jersey City, New Jersey. The incident occurred while a group of passengers was pushing Robert Todd as he fell down in the open space between the platform and train. It was only when Edwin Booth pulled him up and saved his life. Unlike his brother, Edwin Booth was a strong support of Lincoln and a Unionist.
3. Lincoln Is The Only U.S President To Have Obtained A Patent
Lincoln during his lifetime displayed a compelling passion for mechanical things. This might be one of the crucial reasons why he is the only United States President to receive a patent. On May 22, 1849, Abraham Lincoln received Patent No. 6469 for a device to lift water boats over shoals (a submerged ridge or bank), an invention which was never in the production line. Nevertheless, it eventually made him the only U.S. President to hold a registered patent.
2. Mystery Of His Pocket Watch
Sometime in 1850s, Abraham Lincoln as the 16th President of United States purchased a fine pocket watch from George Chatterton, a jeweler in Springfield, Illinois. Its mechanical part was manufactured in Liverpool, England, but the golden case was of the best quality manufactured in America. In 1860, Lincoln’s watch was handed to M.W. Galt and Co. in Washington, D.C., for repair. It was during that time, a watchmaker named Jonathan Dillon unscrewed the dial and engraved a secret message on Lincoln’s watch.
In 2009 Jonathan Dillon’s great-great-grandson contacted the Smithsonian museum, which holds the watch, with the story. They agreed to open the watch. Inside they found the inscription, below: “Jonathan Dillon April 13-1861 Fort Sumpter was attacked by the rebels on the above date J Dillon April 13-1861 Washington thank God we have a government Jonth Dillon”. Lincoln never knew of the message he carried in his pocket.
1. He Created The U.S. Secret Service Hours Before His Assassination
The United States Secret Services or USSS has a longstanding history. In fact, it is one of the oldest Federal agencies in America. The Legislation which created the U.S. Secret Services was actually signed by Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. It was the same day when he was assassinated at the Ford theater. The Federal Secret Services was originally created not for POTUS, but to counter widespread currency counterfeiting at that time. It was only in 1901, after the successful assassination of president William McKinley, the Secret Services was assigned to presidential protection.