Abraham Lincoln is one of the nation’s most iconic presidents, known the world over for his infamous beard and as the man responsible for bringing freedom to African American slaves. While his work for equality was groundbreaking, it’s not the only accomplishment that Mr. Lincoln made in his all-too-short life. Let’s take a look at five fun facts about Abraham Lincoln you may not have known.
1. He was a politician for years before becoming president
While his presidency is one of the most well-known of all US presidents, Mr. Lincoln was no stranger to politics before his inauguration. Starting life as a lawyer, the future president would soon find an interest in politics, running for multiple seats in local and state legislatures. In fact, he spent four consecutive terms serving the great people of Illinois as their state representative. While he had many political victories, there were also disappointments along the way, with many elections, like his bid for the U.S. Senate, that were lost to more prolific figures. Mr. Lincoln persevered, however, and would become one of the greatest presidents in US history.
2. He was self-educated
Born on February 12th, 1809, to a poor farmer, Mr. Lincoln only received around a year’s worth of formal schooling, making his rise to the presidency even more impressive. Known as a bright and bookish boy, Lincoln’s mother taught him to read and encouraged his love for learning, which he would take with him throughout his life. Reading by the light of a single candle within his one-bedroom log cabin, young Abe developed a desire to travel and experience everything the world had to offer. Once he was of age, he would travel to Springfield, Illinois, where he would begin the long process of becoming a lawyer, which would open doors to his future career and introduce him to many high-brow individuals like the father of his future wife, Mary Todd Lincoln from Lexington, Kentucky.
3.He didn’t initially intend to end slavery
There is much irony in the fact that the first president to tackle the issue of slavery didn't initially intend to end it. Abraham Lincoln was never an abolitionist; in fact, his wife’s family were prolific slaveholders. One of his brothers-in-law even died serving in the Civil War fighting for the Confederate Army. Despite this, Lincoln aligned with the abolitionist mindset but felt he had “no lawful right [to] interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.” When he joined the Civil War, it was in response to Confederate secessionist firing on Fort Sumter, and the president's goal was merely to preserve the Union. Over time, he began to see the evils of slavery and issued the Emancipation Proclamation outlawing slavery on January 1st, 1863. This act would free over three million slaves and change the course of history.
4. Lincoln was a Republican
Many people are unaware of the fact that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican president, as the democrats in the southern states were the ones fighting to preserve slavery and the confederacy. He was initially a part of the Whig party but realized that in order to achieve his political prospects and hopefully one day inhabit the White House, he would have to align with the Republican party.
5. Lincoln was killed by a famous actor
Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, were lovers of the theater, which they visited frequently. It’s no surprise that they decided to celebrate the end of the Civil War by seeing a play at Washington D.C.’s Ford’s Theater, which they had done many times in the past. On this night, John Wilkes Booth, one of the most famous actors in town, would end the life of the 16th president of the United States. Interestingly, the president’s bodyguard, John Parker, had left the theater to get a drink at a bar across the street, the same one where Booth sat, only moments before the world-changing event. Another act of fate was the Bill that sat on the president’s desk on the night he was shot, would enact the Secret Service, a group tasked with ensuring future presidents’ safety. After finishing his drink, Booth made his way to Ford’s Theatre, where he snuck into President Abraham Lincoln’s box and shot him in the back of the head. The President would die the following day, marking an end to one of the greatest presidencies in American history.
When Abraham Lincoln was elected president, no one could know that he would change history as we know it. In honor of his achievements, in 1968, President’s Day, a National holiday was dedicated to Mr. Lincoln. President Lincoln is enshrined in history as one of the greatest presidents to ever serve and, alongside George Washington, is undoubtedly the most recognizable.
For those interested in honoring the country’s history, Carrot-Top Industries offers historically correct 34-star flags, which flew at the time of Lincoln’s presidency. These high-quality Nylon flags are perfect for indoor and outdoor use and add the perfect amount of patriotic pride. We also offer safety-style mini U.S. flags that are perfect for schools, daycare, parades, and more.
At Carrot-Top Industries, we’re proud to provide the highest quality, American-made patriotic flags and decor. Please contact us for more information or with any questions about our wide selection of products.