Among Lincoln firsts: He was the first president to be born outside of the original 13 states. He was the first
president to wear a beard. He was the first president to be assassinated in office.
Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, were born only a few dozen miles
apart from each other in Kentucky.
Lincoln married Mary Todd. Her other serious suitor was Stephen Douglas, who became one of Lincoln's chief political
rivals as well and with whom he famously debated, bringing him into the public eye.
According to Lincoln scholar Matthew Pinsker, "Lincoln was always aware of his image. He deliberately emphasized his
height by wearing a top hat, which made him seem even taller. He knew that it made him stand out." Perhaps
particularly so during the Lincoln-Douglas debates; Douglas was a full foot shorter.
Lincoln's oldest son Robert, and the only one to survive to adulthood, was at the scene of three presidential
assassinations: He was at the White House when his father was shot; he was an eyewitness to the assassination
of President Garfield in1881, and he was very near to President McKinley when he was shot at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1901.
Lincoln liked to tell humorous stories and jokes. He asked his sons, "How many legs does a dog have if you call the
tail a leg?" and answered, "Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."
The Speaker's chair in the House of Representatives of the Ohio Statehouse has been referred to as the "Lincoln Chair". It
occupies, and probably commemorates, the place from which Lincoln gave a speech to the House, Senate and public on Feb. 13,
1861. He had stopped in Columbus on his way to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration. However, Lincoln did not sit in the chair
that day, because it was not placed in its present position until 1880.
In 1861, a couple in the crowded Ohio Statehouse Rotunda lifted their baby for Lincoln to kiss. The mother asked him to name
her son. The President-elect said, "Abraham is too big for such a wee atom of humanity, I will name him Lincoln."
When Lincoln was inaugurated in 1861 the United States Capitol was under construction. After the Civil War broke out Lincoln
ordered the dome to be completed in spite of wartime shortages saying it was "a sign that we intend the Union to go on." His
second inauguration in 1865 was carried out beneath the newly completed dome.
The inscription on the base of the Lincoln-Vicksburg monument in the rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse which reads "To care for him
who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" is a line from the last paragraph of Lincoln's second inaugural
address. That paragraph begins with the better known phrase "With malice toward none; with charity for all…"
The Union officers who won the battle at Vicksburg, Miss., are depicted on the right side of the Lincoln-Vicksburg Memorial. They
were all from Ohio. Another reason Vicksburg was chosen for the pedestal is the fact that Lincoln called Vicksburg "the key." He
believed that "the war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket."
For anti-Union, disloyal activities, President Lincoln exiled Ohioan Clement Vallandigham, the "King of the Copperheads," to the
Confederacy in 1863. Unwelcome in the South, Vallandigham fled to Canada…and was a candidate for Governor of Ohio in absentia.
This fact is the idea behind the famous story, "The Man Without A Country" by Edward Everett Hale.