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U.S. Presidents, youngest picture and oldest picture compared:

16) Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865): 1840s and 1865

17) Andrew Johnson (1808-1875): date unknown and 1868

18) Ulysses S Grant (1822-1885): 1843 and 1885

19) Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893): date unknown and 1880

20) James A. Garfield (1831-1881): 1848 and taken between 1870-1880

Presidents: #1-5, #6-10, #11-15

Mike Pence celebrated Black History Month by tweeting out a white man’s accomplishments

  • Whose name comes up first when you think of Black History Month? Martin Luther King Jr.? Malcolm X? Beyoncé’s unborn twins?
  • Those are all some pretty typical answers. But, for Vice President Mike Pence, another name comes up. 
  • He’s a great man, for sure, but someone less celebrated than some Black History Month mainstays: 16th U.S. president and certified white man Abraham Lincoln. 
  • Pence credits Lincoln for freeing the slaves, rather than the tireless work of an entire abolition movement. 
  • And let’s not forget Lincoln’s famous sentiment that if he could save the union without freeing a single slave, he would. Read more

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On this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born. Despite his humble beginnings and lack of formal education, Lincoln distinguished himself as an honest leader and a powerful speaker. Leading the nation through the Civil War, our 16th President fought for unity and helped bring an end to slavery in our country. Modeled after the Parthenon in Greece (the birthplace of democracy), the Lincoln Memorial honors his legacy. It’s a towering icon on the Washington, D.C., landscape that attracts visitors from all over the world to be inspired by Lincoln’s words and accomplishments. Photo courtesy of Drew Geraci.

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President Abraham Lincoln Gay

In 1837, the 28-year-old Abraham Lincoln arrived in Springfield, Illinois, to found a law practice. Almost immediately, he struck up a friendship with a 23-year-old shopkeeper named Joshua Speed. There may have been an element of calculation to this friendship, since Joshua’s father was a prominent judge, but the two clearly hit it off. Lincoln rented an apartment with Speed, where the two slept in the same bed. Sources from the time, including the two men themselves, describe them as inseparable.

Lincoln and Speed were close enough to still raise eyebrows today. Speed’s father died in 1840, and shortly afterwards, Joshua announced plans to return to the family plantation in Kentucky. The news seems to have stricken Lincoln. On January 1, 1841, he broke off his engagement with Mary Todd and made plans to follow Speed to Kentucky.

Speed left without him, but Lincoln followed a few months later, in July. In 1926, writer Carl Sandburg published a biography of Lincoln in which he described the relationship between the two men as having, “a streak of lavender, and spots soft as May violets.” Eventually, Joshua Speed would marry a woman named Fanny Henning. The marriage lasted 40 years, until Joshua’s death in 1882, and produced no children.

From 1862 to 1863, President Lincoln was accompanied by a bodyguard from the Pennsylvania Bucktail Brigade named Captain David Derickson. Unlike Joshua Speed, Derickson was a prodigious father, marrying twice and siring ten children. Like Speed, however, Derickson became a close friend of the president and also shared his bed while Mary Todd was away from Washington. According to an 1895 regimental history written by one of Derickson’s fellow officers:

“Captain Derickson, in particular, advanced so far in the President’s confidence and esteem that, in Mrs. Lincoln’s absence, he frequently spent the night at his cottage, sleeping in the same bed with him, and — it is said — making use of His Excellency’s night-shirt!”

Another source, the well-connected wife of Lincoln’s naval adjundant, wrote in her diary: “Tish says, ‘there is a Bucktail Soldier here devoted to the President, drives with him, & when Mrs L. is not home, sleeps with him.’ What stuff!”

Derickson’s association with Lincoln ended with his promotion and transfer in 1863.