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Tag: strange facts

A midterm referendum on Abe Lincoln

History tends to show that  midterm elections are never particularly good for the sitting President. In 2006, many Republicans were moved from their seats due to dissatisfaction with George Bush’s policies. In 1994, Republicans swept the House as a referendum on the policies of Bill Clinton. Even one of the most revered Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was not spared the anti-incumbent sentiments during the 1862 midterm elections. Not only did Lincoln’s party lose the House, but Abe Lincoln’s hometown of Springfield even voted for the opposition.

There were reasons to be upset. What was supposed to be a quick war now seemed endless. Lincoln had suspended habeas corpus. There were concerns about Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Earlier that summer, for the first time in U.S. history, Congress  instituted an income tax.

By 1864, the country’s mood had changed yet again, even if the circumstances on the ground had not. That endless war was still ongoing, though the outcome now favored the Union. Habeas corpus remained suspended. The Emancipation Proclamation was still unsettling to many. There was still an income tax, and to top it off, the government had instituted a draft so unpopular that Federal troops coming back from Gettysburg were sent to quell rioting in New York.

Following his party’s loss in 1862, 1864 proved much better.  Lincoln’s Republican Party swept the House again, more … [ Read all ]

Ten things you didn’t know about the Civil War

Part two of Discovering the Civil War opens at the National Archives in Washington, DC, in just 10 days! Spies, code breaking, personality conflicts over balloons, prosthetic limbs, two different Thirteenth Amendments, and the Confederate States of Mexico are just a few of the ways that the National Archives Experience is showing you the Civil War as you’ve never seen it.  One hundred and fifty years after the conflict began we’re still uncovering strange facts we didn’t know. We’ve posted ten below, but there’s no need to stop there! Help us by sharing the weirdest fact you’ve ever heard about the Civil War in the comment section.

  1. Abe Lincoln referred to Robert E. Lee as “Bobby Lee” and Jefferson Davis as “Jeffy D.”
  2. Despite serving as a member of the House of Representatives, a Senator on two separate occasions and as the President of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis never completed a full term in any office.
  3. More people earned the Medal of Honor in the Civil War than in World War I, World War II, and Vietnam combined.
  4. The same cipher code used by the Confederate government, including Jefferson Davis, was found on John Wilkes Booth’s remains, leading many to believe Davis had ordered the assassination.
  5. John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of Lincoln was part of a broader conspiracy. That same night an assailant, Louis
  6. [ Read all ]