• Weird History

Facts We Just Learned About Abraham Lincoln That Made Us Say 'Really?'

List RulesVote up the facts about Abraham Lincoln you wish you would have known ages ago.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America. He's often attributed with abolishing slavery with his victory over the Confederacy during the Civil War, and his assassination at the hands of John Wilkes Booth in 1865 brought his presidency - and his legacy - to an abrupt conclusion. Though those prominent events have shaped his role in the history books, there was so much more to this crucial American figure.

In addition to what he accomplished during his presidency, there are many more interesting facts about Abraham Lincoln. These facts about his life include the numerous afflictions he dealt with (including depression), the reason he grew out his beard to create the iconic look he's remembered by today, and his success as a wrestler well before he came to the White House. These Abraham Lincoln facts are eye-opening, so vote up the ones you're glad to know.

  • 1

    Lincoln Created The Secret Service The Day He Was Assassinated

    From Redditor u/Kurzidon:

    TIL Abraham Lincoln signed the order to create the Secret Service on the same day he was assassinated.

    Context: Lincoln officially signed the bill to instate the Secret Service on the morning of April 14, 1865. That night, he was shot in his booth at Ford's Theatre while enjoying a play. Ironically, Booth was able to get into a position to take out the president because his security detail had left his post.

    Cool to know?
  • 2

    Lincoln's Son Was Saved By Booth's Brother 

    From Redditor u/SerEcon:

    TIL Abraham Lincoln's son was almost crushed by a train, only to be rescued by the actor, Edwin Booth. A year later Edwin's brother, John, murdered the President.

    Context: While on holiday, Lincoln's only son to reach maturity, Robert, was traveling by train home to DC from Harvard. At the platform, he slipped into the narrow separation between the train car body and the platform. Before long, he was yanked to his feet safely on the platform by none other than John Wilkes Booth's older brother, Edwin. Robert wrote a letter recollecting the moment shortly after the incident.

    Cool to know?
  • 3

    He Grew His Beard Because Of A Child's Suggestion

    From a former Redditor:

    TIL Abraham Lincoln grew his beard because a little girl said he would look better with one

    Context: Lincoln did not grow his trademark beard until after he had won the presidency. Eleven-year-old Lincoln supporter Grace Bedell wrote him a letter stating that he would look far better with a beard - essentially to hide how long and skinny his face was. She also said that Lincoln would be sure to get more votes if he grew the facial hair.

    Cool to know?
  • 4

    Lincoln Was A Fan Of His Assailant

    From Redditor u/BurningSandels:

    TIL that Abraham Lincoln was a big fan of John Wilkes Booth and even invited him to the White House.

    Context: Lincoln was in attendance regularly at Ford's Theatre, where John Wilkes Booth acted. At one point, Booth gave such a great performance that Lincoln sent a note backstage inviting him to come to the White House.

    Cool to know?