What You Don't Know 12. Inside the Booth 11. He Was A Gentle Giant
The prevailing notion about John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln's[..]assin, is that he conspired with other no-names in the[..]assination but was mainly driven by insanity. However, accounts suggest that he might have been part of a bigger scheme involving the Confederate commander-in-chief, Jefferson Davis. Some sources even involve the guilt of high-ranking Canadian officials, which suggest that it might not have been such a deranged scheme after all (unless you think all Canadians are deranged).
The ironic part it that the[..]assination actually did the opposite of what Booth had intended, which was to obliterate Lincoln's memory. During his presidency, Lincoln was a controversial figure with many opponents and enemies, but the President's [rip] raised him to pseudo-sainthood, outshining the darker details of Lincoln's life.
10. The Occult Office
Abraham Lincoln stands as the yardstick by which all presidents are measured; which is a little unfair for the 5' 4" James Madison. Lincoln was a unique physical specimen, a matchless public speaker, superior statesman, and is revered as the man who ended slavery (until China set up sweatshops, of course.)
Still, history has a funny way of getting twisted up. Abraham was all these things and many more, including a trifle unhinged. During his first public speech, a fight between a supporter and an anti-Lincoln attendee broke out. Lincoln paused mid-speech to tend to a calm manner. Actually, he chucked the non-supporter twelve feet -- which meant that either Lincoln was super-human or the heckler no bigger than James Madison. Lincoln went on to win the election bid, proving that politics and daytime talk shows are basically one and the same.
9. He Believed In Freedom of Speech
The man who famously said "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad... that's my religion" actually might have secretly enlisted the services of the occult.
According to certain accounts, Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln held seances in the White House for their deceased children. Lincoln was also advised by a popular medium to implement the Emancipation Proclamation in order to cement his place in history. More eerily, on multiple occasions Lincoln had visions foreshadowing his [rip] before the end of his second term...
8. Constitutional Door Mat
Mark Twain once said that "freedom of speech is the idiot's most valued treasure, especially on the internet." Well, maybe not precisely that, but the right to idiocy and deceit are enshrined in the First Amendment.
Abraham Lincoln cared neither for lies, as the moniker "Honest Abe" suggests, nor free speech. During his presidency, Abe had opposition newspapers suppressed by his administration, at points going as far as jailing editors without due process of law -- all because they were critical of him during wartime.
7. "The South Started It..."
Recent Presidents of the United States have endured harsh criticism for their handling of war detainees, at times even signing off on purportedly "excessive" torture methods. But both commanders-in-chief fall short of Lincoln's radical disregard for constitutional rights. On two separate occasions, Lincoln actually suspended habeas corpus. For everyone. This constitutional writ checks a state's power by requiring everyone be brought before a judge.
Lincoln suspended the writ first in 1861 in the state of Maryland, and then a year later nationwide. Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens, war protesters in some cases, were jailed without due process or were tried before a military tribunal. There were instances where even U.S. senators and congressmen were put behind bars, a scenario which makes the sound of suspended Constitutional rights sound momentarily attractive.
6. He Was A Great Military Leader
Speaking of the Constitution, Congress has the power to declare war. To a certain degree, the president has no more right than we do to bypass those of Congress' many civic duties.
Unless, of course, you're the 16th President of the United States. Abe actually took it upon himself to provoke the South to war. In fact, the Confederate States of America actually existed more than a month before Lincoln even took office: South Carolina and six other states had already declared themselves a soverign nation with no interest in America's business. You may have been taught that the South started the war by "betraying their nation" and forcing the U.S. into a fight, but the evidence contradicts that myth.
Through subversive acts of provocation, which included breaking an agreement with the South not too resupply a Union fort in South Carolina, Lincoln was able to get the Confederacy to shoot first. At this point, Lincoln had the "authority" to declare war on the Confederacy, ignoring Congress and the Constitution. He instead supplied his troops with some of the most highly destructive weapons of the time: napalm, mines and mercenaries. Congressmen looked on helplessly from their regular brothels as Lincoln waged war to save the Union.
5. Lincoln Won The War
Among war presidents, Abraham is viewed as a top military strategist despite some evidence to the contrary. He saw no actual combat before the war, even while serving as the captain during the Black Hawk War, quipping that he had spent more time fighting wild onions than Indians. Taking on the South's Jefferson Davis, a West Point graduate, proved to be a heavy load for him. To make matters worse, the Union chief went about promoting colonels based on how their names sounded -- Brigadier General Schimmelfennig, for instance.
The start of the Civil War was sparked in part by a major military fumble on Lincoln's part. He and top aides botched plans to resupply one of the last forts held in the seceded Confederate States. This mistake led to the violent evacuation of Fort Sumter. Despite heavy b0mbardment from both sides, there was no loss of life during the battle. (The only casualties, the way, occurred the following day when two Union soldiers died from an explosion of their own weapons during surrender ceremonies.)
4. He Was A Civil Rights Saint
Lincoln finally learned to appoint able and effective leaders when he promoted Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman to high military ranks. Both men believed in the doctrine of total war, which proved effective against the Confederates.
Sherman's March to the Sea was a military campaign that aimed to pressure Robert E. Lee from the rear as the Confederate general waged a stalemate war in Virginia with Grant. Just as Sherman needed to redefine war, he also had a different definition of "pressure" than the rest of us.
Sherman and his troops laid a major part of Georgia to absolute waste as they destroyed infrastructure, k!lled livestock, deported Southern citizens to nameless parts of the federation, and scorched the earth. Even slaves oppressed by centuries of atrocities saw it hard to side with the North after the pillage. Sherman put his own damage at over $100 million, or $1.4 billion in today's cash.
But many history books overlook Sherman's contributions -- and paint the Union Army as being a disaster until Lincoln steadily guided it to victory from back in Washington. Sherman, however, might counter that he was winning it all along with just his own men... and that it just took some time before everyone else noticed..
3. He Started The Civil War Over The Slavery Issue
After Martin Luther King, Jr., Lincoln is probably seen as racial equality's most famous supporter. Even famous ex-slaves, such as Frederick Douglass, heralded him as a champion for the black race. But what is seldom discussed are Lincoln's not-so-progressive views of black people. For example, he said, "I will say that I am not... in favor of bringing about the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not in favor of making voters of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people." Not exactly something you want to be teaching 4th graders about our "greatest president."
In 2000, Time wrote of the man who freed the slaves: "He supported the noxious pre-Civil War 'Black Laws,' which stripped African Americans of their basic rights in his native Illinois, as well as the Fugitive Slave Act, which compelled the return to their masters of those who had escaped to free soil in the North."
If any doubt looms on his views, one only has to look to his plan for blacks, including celebrated free black thinkers like Frederick Douglass: Lincoln sought to buy and then deport all blacks to Africa and South America, probably forcing them to undergo similar treatment as their ancestors had undergone during the Middle Passage.
2. Vote for Me, Or Else
Most people believe the Civil War was fought over slavery, but taxes had just as much to do with it. The urban North continually pushed for disproportionately higher taxes for the rural South until it couldn't take it anymore and decided to secede from the Union.
Even the Emancipation Proclamation was little more to him than a war tactic. It was Lincoln's prediction that freeing a slew of hostile blacks would allow the South to tear itself apart, or at the least, bring new recruits to the North. Many newspapers of the times, even those in the Union, criticized Lincoln for seeking to destroy the Confederacy at any cost.
Today, presidential campaigns are known for their slander and vile, but people would be surprised to discover that things were just as bad in the 1800s. Amid the chaos of the nation amidst the Civil War, Lincoln decided to employ re-election tactics that would make even Dubya demand a recount.
According to history documents and reporters of the time, Lincoln was using taxpayer dollars to pay for Union soldiers election furlough. Technically, any soldier could vote for any candidate, but there were claims that only pro-Lincoln soldiers were receiving leave to make the trip. While at the ballot stations, it was reported that Union Soldiers were then voting multiple times for friends who "couldn't make it," and in some instances even intimidating civilians into voting for a re-election of Lincoln...
12 Biggest Myths About Abraham Lincoln - The JFK Prophecy - Conspiracies on truTV
We could go on for pages about coincidences between these two tragic lives, but there are already plenty of sites (including OrwellToday.com) that cover this to exhausting extent.
Here's our brief and shocking list -- and, unlike the rest of the myths you may have heard about, this one, well, isn't a myth: there are tons of eerie coincidences between the two Presidents.
Both were elected to Congress in '46 and President in '60 in their respective centuries.
Both were[..]assinated while sitting next to their First Ladies and both women held their respective husband's head in her lap as he bled.
Kennedy's secretary (when he died) was named Lincoln. So was the brand of car he was riding in. The maker of that Lincoln? Ford, the name of the theater where Lincoln was murked.
Lincoln freed the slaves, Kennedy pushed for a Civil Rights bill shortly before his [rip].
Vice Presidents Andrew and Lyndon Johnson were born in 1808 and 1908, respectively.
Both of their[..]assins were k!lled while in custody.
And, our favorite, straight from Orwell Today:
"John Kennedy is the name of a character in a 1951 movie about a detective travelling by train to thwart the[..]assination of President Lincoln. John Kennedy is the name of the real-life detective who travelled in the train with President Lincoln in 1860 to thwart his[..]assination."