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Odd History

By Madison P. Baslock
Everyone at one point in their lives has taken a history course. Your experience with the class could have been that it was intriguing or painfully boring, no matter your experience, we all know the basics. A lot of folks believe history to be straightforward, that what they learned in class had to be the full and only story. History in reality can be much stranger than you think.
One of the first things learned in an early history class is the history of our presidency. Chances are you went down the line of history first learning about George Washington then ending up at our current place in the time line. What if I told you that George Washington wasn’t actually our first technical president? John Hanson, a signer of the Articles of Confederation, was in 1781 elected to be the first president of the Confederation Congress. Although this presidency isn’t the same as the presidency we know today, it was a precursor to it. Although this interesting little tidbit is not well known, this information is tame compared to the oddness that ensues throughout the history of our presidency.
An example of one of the oddest pieces of presidential history I’ve came across starts with a dream. Recorded in the notes of President Abraham Lincoln’s body guard, Ward Hill Lamon, are the details of said dream that Lincoln shared with him in 1865. President Lincoln was in for the night, about ten days prior to the meeting with Lamon, when he drifted to sleep. As he laid there he started to dream. He then heard the sobbing of multiple people. He left his bed and went downstairs and wandered around in search of the sound but was not able to find anyone. Eventually he makes his way to the East Room of the White House and entered to find a funeral being held. Around the corpse there were soldiers stationed while a crowd of mourners throughout the room wept. “Who is dead in the White House?” Lincoln asks one of the soldiers. “The President, he was killed by an assassin.” the soldier replied. After this is said, a loud burst of grief was heard from the crowd. The President woke up after this and tells Lamon about his dream. He slept no more that night. The day that this story was recorded was April 11th 1865, which was three days before the President was assassinated. After the death of the 16th President of the United States, his body was carried by an honor guard to the White House where he was laid in state in the East Room, the same room in his dream. Is this just a tale Lamon thought of for publicity or was it a true odd occurrence in our past president’s life? What you believe is up to you, but you can’t deny that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to our past. That class you took in school only scratched the surface of our odd history.

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