What may be the last photo to be taken of Abraham Lincoln before his death has surfaced in an a photo album of Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses S. Grant VI, President Grant’s great-great-grandson, was recently looking at a White House photo in the album and noticed a tall man in the distance. He contacted a Lincoln photography collector who examined the photo and identified the figure as Lincoln. Upon removal of the photo from the album, a handwritten description was discovered on the back: “Lincoln in front of the White House.” Also on the back was the date 1865 and the photographer’s seal.

There are only around 130 known photographs of Abraham Lincoln making any photo of him rare, but this photo would be the only known photo of Lincoln in front of the White House. Based on the photographer’s seal and other known information, it is estimated the picture was taken in March of 1865. Since Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865, it may very well be the last photo taken of him before his death.

Categories News
Comments (2)

10. Play ball!

Taft was the first president to throw the first ball of baseball season, beginning a tradition that continues today. The game was a 1910 game between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics. The Senators won 3-0.

9. Tone deaf

Taft was tone deaf and had to be nudged whenever the national anthem was played.

8. First to own a car

Taft was the first president to own a car. He converted the stables into a garage.

7. Last to have a cow

Taft was the last president to keep a cow at the White House to provide fresh milk. Her name was Pauline. Read More→

Categories Interesting Facts
Comments (10)

10. First to leave the country

Roosevelt was the first president to travel outside of the continental United States while in office. In 1906, he traveled to Panama.

9. Church and State

Although Roosevelt had been a Sunday school teacher, he believed strongly in the separation of Church and State. While taking the oath of office during his inauguration after McKinley’s assassination, he did not swear on the Bible.

When the $20 gold coin was designed in 1907, the words “In God We Trust” were not present. In a letter written by Roosevelt, he said it was irreverent to have the words printed on the coins because the money was used to buy worldly goods and services. After public outcry, Congress passed legislation requiring “In God We Trust” be restored to all U.S. coins which it had been previously printed on.

8. Nobel Peace Prize

In 1906, Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role of negotiator in the Russo-Japanese War. He was the first American to win the Nobel Prize.

7. A multitasking homeschooler

Roosevelt’s education was mostly homeschooling by his parents and tutors. He was an avid reader and developed a photographic memory. It is said he was a great multitasker, able to dictate letters and memos to two separate secretaries while browsing through a book at the same time. Read More→

Categories Interesting Facts
Comments (25)

10. First in an automobile

McKinley was the first president to ride in an automobile while in office. After he was shot, he was transported to the hospital in an electric ambulance.

9. McKinley showed compassion for his assassin

After Leon Frank Czolgosz shot McKinley, the crowd subdued him and began to beat him severely. The wounded McKinley shouted “Boys! Don’t let them hurt him!”

8. Telephone campaign

McKinley was the first president to use a telephone to campaign.

7. Presidential war buddies

During the Civil War, McKinley’s commanding officer was Rutherford B. Hayes, who also became President of the United States. Read More→

Categories Interesting Facts
Comments (12)

10. A President’s grandson

Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of  President William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States. Benjamin was seven years old when his grandfather was elected president.

9. First electricity in the White House

Harrison was the first president to use electricity in the White House, installed by Edison General Electric Company. However, he and his wife would not touch the light switches for fear of being electrocuted and often went to bed with the lights left on.

8. Harrison was a big talker

Once, over a period of thirty days, Harrison made 140 completely different speeches.

7. Indiana roots

Benjamin Harrison was the first and only president from Indiana. Read More→

Categories Interesting Facts
Comments (2)

10. A sharp dressed man

Arthur was sometimes called “elegant Arthur” for his interest in fashionable attire and on his last day in office, four young women offered to marry him. It was said he had over eighty pairs of pants and often changed them several times a day.

9. A skilled fisherman

Arthur belonged to the Restigouche Salmon Club, a group of fishermen from New York who traveled to Canada to fish. A skilled fisherman, he once reportedly caught an eighty pound bass off the coast of Rhode Island.

8. Late night strolls

Arthur liked to take friends on late night walks around Washington, D.C., sometimes as late as three or four in the morning. It was rare for him to be in bed before two o’clock.

7. Arthur requested standardized time

At the request of President Arthur, the International Meridian Conference was held in Washington, D.C. in October 1884 to determine the Prime Meridian of the world.  The conference established the Greenwich Meridian and international standardized time, which are both still recognized today. Read More→

Categories Interesting Facts
Comments (4)

10. Garfield was a southpaw

Garfield was the first left handed president. He was also the first ambidextrous president. It is said you could ask him a question in English and he could simultaneously write the answer in Greek with one hand and in Latin with the other.

9. Garfield was the last of the log cabin presidents

Garfield was the last of seven presidents who were born in a log cabin.

8. Garfield’s mother was a first

President Garfield’s mother was the first president’s mother to attend her son’s inauguration.

7. One of three presidents in 1881

Only two times in American history have there been three presidents in the same year. The first time was in 1841. The second was in 1881 when Rutherford Hayes relinquished the office to Garfield. When Garfield died later that year, Chester Arthur became president. Read More→

Categories Interesting Facts
Comments (9)

10. First presidential telephone

President Hayes was the first president to use a telephone while in office. It was installed in the White House in 1879 by none other than Alexander Graham Bell.

9. Multiple Civil War wounds

Hayes was one of five presidents who served in the Civil War, but he was the only one to be wounded in the war. He was wounded on four occasions and had four horses shot from under him.

8. Not in the White House

Hayes’ wife Lucy banned dancing, smoking, alcohol and card playing from the White House. Lucy came to be known as “Lemonade Lucy” for her decision to not serve any alcohol.

7. Hayes started a White House tradition

Hayes and his wife conducted the very first Easter egg roll on the White House lawn. It began a tradition that continues today on the Monday after Easter. Read More→

Categories Interesting Facts
Comments (1)

10. Grant narrowly missed Lincoln’s assassination

Grant had been invited to go to Ford theater with President Lincoln but he and his wife Julia decided to travel to New Jersey to visit their children instead. Had he attended, he may have been a target as well.

9. Both of Grant’s parents witnessed his presidency

It may not seem like a big deal today, but Ulysses Grant was the first president to have both his parents living as he entered office.

8. Grant couldn’t stand the sight of blood

Although he witnessed some of the bloodiest battles in history, Grant could not stand the sight of blood. Rare steak nauseated him and he was known to cook his meat to the point of charring.

7. Grant graduated from West Point

Grant was one of only three presidents to graduate from a military academy. He graduated from West Point in 1843. Read More→

Categories Interesting Facts
Comments (21)

10. Lincoln has no heirs

Although Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln produced four sons, there are no living descendants today. Three of their sons died before the age of twenty. Edward died at the age of four, Willie at twelve and Tad at the age of eighteen. Robert was the only child to live to adulthood and his last known descendant died in 1985.

9. Lincoln’s son was saved by his assassin’s brother

Shortly before his father was assassinated, Robert Lincoln was at at train station where he fell between the platform and the train as the train began to move. He was pulled to safety by a prominent actor of the time named Edwin Booth. Edwin was the brother of John Wilkes Booth, who would later assassinate President Lincoln.

8. Lincoln fought in the Civil War…sort of

Lincoln felt as the leader of the nation’s military, the president should be fighting in the Civil War but obviously couldn’t because of his duties. When J. Summerfield Staples heard this, he volunteered to fight as a substitute for Lincoln. Staples was the son of an Army chaplain and both he and his father fought in and survived the war.

7. Lincoln’s beard was historic

Lincoln was the first president to sport a beard while serving in office. Read More→

Categories Interesting Facts
Comments (8)