President of the Day

Handy Presidents 2e
ISBN: 9781578593170

Which president called his stepmother his best friend?

  • He was known as "rail splitter," after his early job.
  • He was a good wrestler.
  • He lost his first political race, in eighth place.
  • He switched his vice president for his second term to Andrew Johnson to earn southern support.

Abraham Lincoln

Did Lincoln have a good relationship with his parents?

Lincoln had a good relationship with his mother before she died. He also adored his stepmother, referring to her as his best friend. She understood his love of reading and helped him acquire materials to read. However, Lincoln had a poor relationship with his father, Thomas. His father believed that Abraham was lazy with his chores and could not understand why his son preferred to read rather than work splitting logs or other farm work. Some have said that his father even physically abused him. It is telling that when his father died, Abraham Lincoln did not attend the funeral.

What were Lincoln's first jobs?

Lincoln worked as a ferryboat pilot and a rail-splitter in his youth. He would take passengers along the Ohio River for his boss James Taylor. He also earned the nickname "Rail-splitter" for his effectiveness in splitting logs. Later, Lincoln worked as a store clerk in New Salem, Illinois, for owner Dennis Offutt. He enjoyed the work at the store and was very popular among the customers. He also worked for a time as a blacksmith.

When he moved to New Salem, Illinois, as a young adult, Lincoln worked several jobs. He opened a general store with William Berry, but the store failed. He also landed a job as the postmaster of New Salem--a job he enjoyed. He was also the deputy county surveyor. These two jobs earned him enough money to start his political career.

What sport did Lincoln excel at as a young man?

Apparently, Lincoln was very strong and was adept at wrestling. He engaged in a celebrated wrestling match with Jack Armstrong in New Salem that further endeared him to the town.

Did Lincoln win his first political race?

No, Lincoln lost in his first attempt at political office, losing a race for a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 1832. He finished eighth in the race.

Why did Lincoln change vice presidents for his second term?

Lincoln approved of Andrew Johnson as his vice president for his second term. It was an unusual choice given that Johnson was a Democrat from Tennessee and, therefore, belonged to a different political party from his president. However, Johnson was a so-called "War Democrat" who showed loyalty to the Union. Lincoln and others realized that rather than running with his current vice president, Hannibal Hamlin, who was from Maine, Lincoln would gain more political support by choosing a Southerner like Johnson.

From The Handy Presidents Answer Book, Second Edition by David L. Hudson, Jr., JD., (c) Visible Ink Press(R) More than 1,600 things you never knew about our nation's leaders

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