10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Abraham Lincoln

April 15th marks 150 years since the United States lost one of its greatest sons. Abraham Lincoln’s greatest accomplishments are well-documented in history books and film, but there’s much more to the man than his stovepipe hat.

1. Before Lincoln fought the Confederacy, he was beating people up in the wrestling ring. One of his most famous matches took place in 1831 against an Illinois county champion and notorious bully named Jack Armstrong. Abe was able to defeat him with ease. In fact, of approximately 300 matches Lincoln only lost one match to a man named Hank Thompson, who Lincoln got to know while serving with the Illinois Volunteers during the Black Hawk Indian War. Such accomplishments did not go unnoticed: in 1992, Abraham Lincoln was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

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Laura Bridgman Paved The Way For Helen Keller, So Why Have You Never Heard Of Her?

While Helen Keller may be culturally synonymous with the success of young deafblind women at the turn of the 20th century, without a woman named Laura Bridgman, the world may never have known Keller’s story.

Bridgman was born in New Hampshire in 1829 to a poor farming family. When she was two, she developed scarlet fever. The illness was so severe that she lost all of her senses other than touch. With no vision, no hearing, no sense of smell and thus, a very depleted sense of taste, Bridgman’s sensory experience as a child was so limited that she had virtually no method of understanding, or communicating with, the world around her.

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This Retreating World: 31 Remarkable Photos From The World War One Trenches

WW1 Photos Austrian Prisoners

Austrian prisoners pose for a picture in Russia in 1915. Source: Library of Congress

The First World War was not “the war to end all wars.” It was, instead, the beginning of the kind of modern mass violence that would scar the century. For the first time, the armies of Europe used such tools of slaughter as the flamethrower, poison gas, the tank, and war planes.

The war’s catalyst came in the summer of 1914, when Gavrilo Princip, a radicalized Yugoslav nationalist, fired two shots into a car in a Sarajevo side street, killing the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. In the following weeks, all knots of European diplomacy tightened, and a net of alliances dragged the continent into a war that would last for the next four years. 19 million people died, more than half of them civilians.

The gallery below offers a window into the fighting in Europe during the first truly modern war – a conflict that, whether we realize it or not, shaped the dimensions and norms of the world we live in today.

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Better Know A Saint: Philip Neri

Saint Philip Flowers

Source: Karmel

Everybody knows that one jerk who’s always bright and chipper and who never has a bad word to say about anybody else. Everything these people do seems calculated to make the ordinary sinners around them look bad, especially since they’re not actually trying to make others look bad. 16th-century Rome was the last place on Earth you’d expect to find one of these people.

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