Abraham Lincoln is one of the most famous U.S. Presidents there ever was. He made a number of groundbreaking decisions during his time in office, one of the most noticeable being the Emancipation Proclamation. While there are a lot of things that are commonly known about this president, there’s a lot that many people don’t know. He was quite an interesting man who led an interesting life, and below you’ll find some of the best facts about him that you may not already know.
Abraham Lincoln Facts
1. His Son Has Been Close to Presidential Deaths
Robert Lincoln, who was one of Abraham’s sons, was invited to the Ford Theater to attend the show with his father the night he got assassinated, but he declined. In addition to this, he was also invited to meet President James Garfield in Washington, D.C., and he witnessed his assassination as a result. Robert also witnessed William McKinley’s assassination at a New York fair that he was invited to.
2. There are Coincidences Between his Death and John F. Kennedy‘s Death
There are a lot of coincidences between the deaths of each of these presidents, which has led to many conspiracy theories. The coincidences include: both men being killed on a Friday, both being elected for presidency 100 years apart (1860 and 1960), both were elected to congress 100 years apart (1846 and 1946). Another interesting coincidence is that Lincoln was shot at the Ford Theater while Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln vehicle. Their names also contain the exact same number of letters and both of their successors were named Johnson (Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Johnson). These are some of the most interesting coincidences about these presidents, but there are many others.
3. The Brother of John Wilkes Booth Saved Lincoln’s Son
Edwin Booth, who was the brother of John Wilkes Booth (who assassinated Lincoln) saved the life of Lincoln’s son Robert. This happened a few months before Lincoln was killed, when a crowd of passengers pushed Robert backwards onto a train platform. Edwin held out a hand to him and helped him back up onto the platform.
4. Lincoln the Inventor
Abraham Lincoln had a lot of visions, one of which included a mechanical invention. He was the first president (and only) to ever get a patent in the United States. His invention was a mechanical device that worked with a buoy to lift ships up and over shoals. The patent was 6,469 in the United States, but it never made its way to being used. This invention came from his love to take things apart just to see how they worked.
5. Lincoln the…Wrestler?
One fact about President Lincoln most don’t know is that he is enshrined at the Wrestling Hall of Fame. He wrestled when he was young and was quite successful at it. In fact, in 1830 he was the champion wrestler in his small county in Illinois. He also was known for the trash that he talked to his opponents, which led to him being well known by those who watched the matches. Now there’s an Outstanding American honor for him featured at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, which you can go visit yourself!
6. Lincoln Outside of the Lincoln Bedroom
The Lincoln Bedroom is a popular room inside of the White House, but Lincoln never actually slept in there. He instead used the room as his personal office where he could get work done regularly and meet with his staff. Anyone who takes a tour of the White House can see this room for themselves.
7. Lincoln Created the Secret Service
Everyone knows about the Secret Service today, as they can be seen when the president gives speeches or in movies about the White House. What you might not know is that Lincoln actually created the U.S. Secret Service, and he did so only hours before he was assassinated at the Ford Theater. His goal with this agency actually wasn’t to protect him; it was for something far different. He wanted to create this agency to stop currency counterfeiting, as it was becoming a huge problem for the United States. The Secret Service wasn’t regularly used to protect presidents until 1901, as two presidents had been killed by then. If the Secret Service had existed then as it did today, then it’s safe to say that Lincoln probably wouldn’t have lost his life that evening.
8. Lincoln the Want-to-be Solider
Lincoln was a strong believer in hard work and being hands-on with his duties, and even felt that he should fight in the Civil War with the rest of the soldiers. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do so because of his duties at the White House, but still voiced his concerns. After hearing about Lincoln wanting to fight, J. Summerfield Staples offered to substitute for Lincoln in the war. He ended up fighting and actually survived.
9. Assassination Premonition
One eerie and interesting fact about Lincoln is that he saw his death coming. Shortly before he was assassinated, Lincoln spoke about a dream he had where he was killed. In this dream he heard someone crying inside of the White House. When he found the person crying, he asked who had died and was told it was the president. When he saw the coffin and went to go see it, he saw his own body lying inside.
10. Lincoln was Almost Grave Robbed
In 1876 there was an attempt in Chicago to steal Lincoln’s corpse from his tomb by an Illinois gang. While this tomb was relatively unprotected with just one padlock, it did have the protection of the Secret Service. They were able to stop the gang of grave robbers as they went on with their operation, which involved holding Lincoln for ransom at $200,000. After that situation happened, Lincoln’s body was exhumed and he was moved to an unmarked grave that was surrounded by a steel cage and 10 feet of concrete, making it impossible for anyone else to attempt to take his body. Lincoln’s tomb is now a popular tourist stop at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, IL. Every year on the date Lincoln passed away, the community comes together to remember him.