- Abraham Lincoln lost the first time he ran for public office. He finished eighth of thirteen candidates.
- Lincoln was to participate in a duel with James Shields on September 22, 1842, until it was called off at the last minute by friends on both sides.
- Lincoln applied for a patent for his "new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant chambers with steam boats or other vessels." The patent (#6469) was granted on May 22, 1849. He is the only President to hold a patent.
- Lincoln's largest collected legal fee was $5000, which he received for successfully defending the Illinois Central Railroad. Unfortunately for Lincoln, the Railroad did not want to pay him, and he had to sue to collect his fee.
- Lincoln did not receive the nickname "Rail Splitter" until the Illinois Republican Convention held in Decatur on May 9-10, 1860.
- Abraham Lincoln established the US Department of Agriculture on May 15, 1862.
- Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, the first one being celebrated on November 26, 1863.
- The Lincoln Home has almost burned down two times since its construction in 1839. The first fire occurred over the Christmas/New Years holiday of 1854/1855. This fire may have encourage the Lincolns to add the full second floor. The second fire was the result of a lightning strike, which burned the roof near the north chimney.
- Gas lighting was installed in the home by the second tenant, George Harlow.
- The first telephone was installed in the Lincoln Home between 1878 and 1879.
- Electricity was first used to light the home in 1899.
- A caretaker lived in the Lincoln Home until December 1, 1953.
- President Richard Nixon signed the legislation authorizing the establishment of the Lincoln Home as a National Historic Site at the Old State Capitol, using the same desk Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address.
Last updated: April 10, 2015