HOPF: Lincoln app just a start in examining history on Presidents' Day

Posted: Feb. 14, 2013 2:13 pm Updated: Mar. 29, 2013 9:11 am

Abraham Lincoln's legacy is now available to smartphone users.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, along with AT&T, announced the launch of the "Abe App" in time for the 16th president's 204th birthday, which was Tuesday.

The app is available for both iPhone and smartphones that use Android-based operating systems, and it offers information on the presidential museum in Springfield and daily facts that allow users to their Lincoln knowledge.

For example, as a child, Lincoln was kicked in the head by a horse. You won't forget that if you watch the "Lincoln's Eyes" presentation at the presidential museum. It makes first-time visitors nearly jump out of their seats.

One feature of the app is the sound effects from Lincoln's daily life. The quiz timer is a recording of Lincoln's clock ticking. A wrong answer will sound the clock's gong, and a right answer will ring Robert Lincoln's dinner bell.

It's easy to get lost in the amount of history of the 44 men who have served as the nation's chief executive, and with Presidents' Day around the corner, here are some fun facts:

º Three presidents -- all signers of the Declaration of Independence -- have died on the Fourth of July, the nation's birthday. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, while James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

º Andrew Jackson was the first president who was the target of an assassination attempt. In 1835, Richard Lawrence, a house painter who believed the federal government owed him a large amount of money, shot at Jackson in the House chamber at the Capitol, but his gun misfired. Jackson responded by hitting him with his cane.

º The "S" in Harry S. Truman did not stand for anything.

º Congress approved putting a resemblance of Franklin D. Roosevelt on the dime in 1945 for his efforts in founding the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which later became the March of Dimes.

º The term OK became commonplace because of our eighth president, Martin Van Buren. Originally from Kinderhook, N.Y., he was known as "Old Kinderhook" during his campaign in 1836, and OK clubs were created to support him. The term began to mean satisfactory.

º John F. Kennedy was not only the youngest person at age 43 elected president, he was the first Catholic. Kennedy also had the distinction of being the first president born in the 20th century and the first Boy Scout to live in the White House.

º Despite dying on his 32nd day in office, our ninth president, William Henry Harrison, is known for many things in addition to serving the shortest term. He was the last president born before the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he was the oldest president sworn in (age 68) until Ronald Reagan in 1981, and he gave the longest inaugural address (two hours and 40 minutes in 1841). Harrison caught pneumonia because of the chilly temperatures on inauguration day, which led to his death.

º No president has ever been an only child.

º Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is named after James Monroe.



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