Five surprising facts about Abraham Lincoln

  1. Although he’s now hailed as perhaps the greatest US President ever, Lincoln actually lost his first bid for a presidential ticket. In 1856 he placed second for vice-presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention.


  1. Lincoln was a big animal lover. He had a dog called Fido and a cat named Tabby, which reportedly ate at the White House dinner table. He even had two goats called Nanny and Nanko.


  1. Despite growing up in a very religious family, Lincoln never joined any church. He knew the bible inside out and frequently referred to God, but he was far less overt with his beliefs than modern-day presidents, and some of his close companions did not believe he was a Christian.


  1. After the death of two of their children, Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd, reportedly held several séances in the White House in an effort to contact them.


  1. He was the first president with a beard. What is more surprising, however, is the reason for growing it. Grace Bedell, aged 11, sent Lincoln a letter telling him he’d look better with a beard. He obviously agreed and later arranged a meeting between Bedell and himself.



The last beardless photo of Lincoln


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