Abraham Lincoln Liked To See How Tall Men Stacked Up Against Him

civilwarcuriositiesAll kids have done it — asked a buddy to back up against them to determine who was taller. Apparently president Abraham Lincoln carried the habit over into adulthood. Webb Garrison opens his book, Civil War Curiosities: Strange Stories, Oddities, Events, and Coincidences, with a short story about Lincoln’s peculiar habit of checking his height against other men.

“Headed for a visit with Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, Lincoln stopped at Aquia Creek, Virginia, to review troops. Almost as soon as he entered the encampment, the Federal commander in chief spotted a lanky member of the Ninety-third Pennsylvania Regiment. Gesturing, the president let Mahlon Shaaber know that he wanted a word with him. ‘Turn around, young fellow,’ he is alleged to have said, ‘and put your back against mine while I take off my hat.'”

At six foot, six and one-half inches, Shaaber proved to be two-and-one-half inches taller than Honest Abe.

Source: Civil War Curiosities: Strange Stories, Oddities, Events, and Coincidences

Categories: Civil War History, Trivia | Tags:

How America Was Named

Amerigo_VespucciI recently came across a interesting book filled with obscure history about America. On occasion, I will feature some of that trivia on this site.

In 1507, the name “America” is given to a continent that in 250 years became home to the United States. The name was given in error. Martin Waldseemuller, a geographer, named the land in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. Waldseemuller, who had read letters by Vespucci, erroneously believed that Amerigo had discovered the continent.

Source: An Encyclopedia of American History in Chronological Order By Irving S. and Nell M. Kull.

Categories: American History, Trivia | Tags: