Each February, Americans celebrate the birthdays of two of the more influential presidents in United States history. Presidents Day is observed on or near the birthdate of America’s first president, George Washington. However, Presidents Day also celebrates the life of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States who was born on February 12. As millions of people prepare to celebrate the life of Abraham Lincoln, celebrants can consider the following interesting tidbits about this incredibly influential man, courtesy of Factslides, Constitution Daily and the History Channel.
• Lincoln practiced law, but he did not have a formal law degree. He only had about 18 months of schooling in the field of law.
• The president disliked being called “Abe.” He preferred being called by his last name instead.
• Lincoln was an accomplished wrestler as a young man. His wrestling proclivity helped secure him a place in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
• Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, becoming the first elected president to be born outside of the original 13 states.
• In addition to being a wrestler, a patent-holder and a president, Lincoln also was a licensed bartender. Before his presidency, he owned a business called the Berry and Lincoln General Store and Tavern in New Salem, Ill.
• Lincoln was an animal lover and was not known to actively hunt or fish. He had a dog named “Fido” and a cat named “Tabby.”
• Paving the way for future beard-lovers, Lincoln was the first president with a beard. An 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell convinced Lincoln to grow his whiskers in exchange for her brothers’ votes.
• John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln’s assassin, was a famous actor who had a fan in Lincoln himself. The president actually was photographed with Booth during his second inauguration. Interestingly enough, a few months before Booth assassinated Lincoln, the president’s oldest son was saved from injury by John Wilkes Booth’s brother on a train platform in New Jersey.
• Abraham Lincoln was supposed to attend Ford’s Theater with Ulysses S. Grant, but Grant cancelled at the last second. The life of Abraham Lincoln is justifiably celebrated every year. But that life is perhaps even more interesting than many celebrants may know.