Thursday 6 October 2016

Naked POTUS, number 16: Abraham Lincoln

"Even the President of the United States must sometimes have to stand naked" - BOB DYLAN

Your eyes don't deceive you, it's Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the sixteenth President of the United States with his junk flappin'. I want you to know all about him:


Born 12th February 1809, Hogdenville, Kentucky
Died 15th April 1865, Washington D.C.

Presidential Term 4th March 1861 - 15th April 1865

Abraham Lincoln was, at 6'4", the tallest President of the United States. He is also the only Commander-in-Chief to be born in Kentucky, although he spent the majority of his formative years in Springfield, Illinois.

His Presidency was completely consumed by the American Civil War. The Confederated States of America was formed as a result of his election to the top office and hostilities formally began between the North and South at the Battle of Fort Sumter in South Carolina on 11th April 1861.

In spite of the reputation he now enjoys as the greatest US President in history, Lincoln was a divisive character during his reign, even with his own anti-slavery people. Particularly controversial was his suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, meaning that prisoners had no right to information about the nature of their offence nor to a speedy trial.

On 1st January 1863, Lincoln issued The Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves.

His most famous speech, the address given during the opening of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was just 10 sentences in length.

He won re-election to the Presidency in November 1864, receiving 55% of the popular vote. He was the first President to be elected to a second term since Andrew Jackson, 30 years previously.

Despite everything else that was going on, two more States were admitted to the Union during Lincoln's administration: West Virginia (1863) and Nevada (1864).

The Civil War formally ended following the Battle of Appomattox Court House, Virginia on 9th April 1865. Following the Confederate defeat, General Ulysses S. Grant accepted General Robert E. Lee's surrender.

Lincoln became the first US President to be assassinated five days later, shot in the head by a disaffected pro-slavery theatre actor called John Wilkes Booth as he watched the comic play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre, Washington D.C. on 14th April 1865, Good Friday. He died at 7.22 a.m. the following day in Peterson's House across the street. Booth was not acting alone: his was a conspiracy designed to decapitate the ruling regime completely. An associate, Lewis Powell, attacked Secretary of State William Seward with a dagger at his home, an attack which left Seward permanently disfigured. A third conspirator, George Atzerodt, was charged with the responsibility to kill Vice-President Andrew Johnson, but he lost his nerve on the way.

Abraham Lincoln's massive face is one of the four US Presidents to adorn the side of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. He was the first American President to wear a beard, a fashion statement that was suggested to him by an 11-year old girl, Grace Bedell, in a letter shortly before he first ran for the Presidency.

Whilst wearing his trademark stovepipe hat, Abraham Lincoln was 12 feet tall. He is the only US President to have held a patent.

He was a great man. The world could do with a lot more people of his moral judgement and courage.

N.B. Some parts of the above image have been redacted by the CIA for reasons of national security. An unexpurgated version of all the naked Presidents will be made available at the end of the project.

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