Abraham Lincoln is one of the most iconic and well-known figures in American history. He is best known for his role as the 16th president of the United States, leading the country through the Civil War and emancipating the slaves. Lincoln is also remembered for his famous speeches, including the Gettysburg Address.
However, there are many things about Abraham Lincoln that are not as well known. Here are some little-known facts about this great American president.
1. Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer.
Before Lincoln became president, he worked as a lawyer. He was not formally educated in the law, but instead taught himself by reading legal textbooks.
2. Lincoln was once a wrestling champion.
In 1831, at the age of 22, Lincoln won a wrestling match against Jack Armstrong, the champion of his county.
3. Lincoln was a member of the Whig Party.
Lincoln was not originally a member of the Republican Party. He was a member of the Whig Party, which was one of the two main political parties in the United States during the mid-19th century.
4. Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated.
Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, just five days after the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. He was the first American president to be assassinated.
5. Lincoln is the only president to have a patent.
In 1849, Lincoln obtained a patent for a device that he invented to lift boats over shoals and sandbars. He is the only U.S. president to hold a patent.
6. Lincoln's birthday is not actually on February 12.
Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, but his birthday was not officially recognized as a holiday until 1866, when Congress declared it a national holiday.
7. Lincoln was not originally from Illinois.
Lincoln was born in Kentucky, but he moved to Illinois when he was 21 years old.
8. The Lincoln Memorial was not built until 1922.
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. was not dedicated until 1922, 57 years after Lincoln's death.
9. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was not well-received at the time.
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, one of his most famous speeches, was not initially well-received. The speech was criticized for its brevity and for its lack of concrete proposals.
10. Lincoln was not the tallest president.
Lincoln was not the tallest U.S. president. He was 6 feet 4 inches tall, which made him taller than average for his time, but he was not the tallest president. That distinction belongs to Abraham Lincoln's contemporary, Lyndon B. Johnson, who was 6 feet 4.5 inches tall.