Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

Happy Birthday to our 16th President Abraham “Abe” Lincoln!



 1. 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.

2. Lincoln’s beard was was historic. Lincoln was the first president to sport a beard while serving in office…AWESOME!

3. Lincoln had a premonition that he would be killed! Not long before he was assassinated, Lincoln spoke of a dream where he heard someone weeping in the White House. When he found the room it was coming from, he asked who had died. He was told it was the president and as he approached the coffin to peer inside he saw his own face…SPOOKY!

4. Lincoln was one tall drink of water! Lincoln was the tallest President (tied with Lyndon B. Johnson who was the exact same height!)  At six feet, four inches, Lincoln towered over  his contemporaries. The average height for a man during that time was about five feet, six inches.

5. Lincoln only had 18 months of formal education and  worked as a ferry operator and a flatboat pilot before entering the world of politics.. He loved reading and educated himself, becoming first a lawyer and later president of the United States.




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Wait, why is this one on the fiction shelf?!


Lets give a shout-out to Charles Darwin who is also born on the same day and in the same year (1809) as Lincoln! Darwin was the author of The Origin of Species, Descent of a Man and many more titles!  We have over twenty books and movies in our Library written by and about Darwin!


Lincoln and Darwin had a lot in common! Both lost their mothers in early childhood, suffered from depression, wrestled with religious views, had a strained relationship with their father’s,  lost children to early death, spent the better part of their 20′s trying to settle on a career, neither man gave much evidence of his future greatness until well into middle age and they both sported incredibly fashionable beards!



Happy Birthday to Charles Dickens, author of A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist and many other classics!


1. His name “Dickens” was a curse!

Instead of saying, “What the devil?” as a profanity, people exclaimed, “What the dickens?” The first usage of that word, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.

2. He may have saved multiple lives of friends and strangers after a train crash.

On June 9, 1865, while returning from France, Dickens was on a train that derailed over a bridge, seated in the only first-class carriage that didn’t plummet into a river. He not only found the key that freed his friends, he went to the carriages below to help those who needed it. It is said that afterwards he climbed back into the dangling carriage and retrieved from the pocket of his coat the installment of Our Mutual Friend that he had just completed and was taking to his publishers. Dickens later used this experience as material for his short ghost story The Signal-Man in which the central character has a premonition of his own death in a rail crash.

The reason he was never publicly admired for his actions? He was keeping it on the down-low because he was traveling with his mistress Ellen Ternan and her mother… scandalous!!!

3. He had obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Dicken’s was  preoccupied with looking in the mirror and combing his hair, constantly rearranging furniture in his home, making sure that every bed he slept in was aligned north to south, touching certain objects three times for luck and was obsessed with the need for cleanliness.

4. His last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, remains a mystery.

Dickens had written half of a novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but left it unfinished when he died of a stroke in 1870. Dickens left no clues behind as to who killed his protagonist (arrrrg!)  There have been countless radio, television, and theater reworking’s of this story, each with different endings.

5. He had 10 Children!

Charles, Mary, Kate, Walter, Francis, Alfred, Sydney, Henry, Dora and Edward.








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(Get your 19th Century England knowledge on!)


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