The Rest

Washington and Lincoln Facts and a Quick Killing Lincoln Review

February 18, 2013

The nice folks at H&R Block have created an infographic for President’s Day.

Some things I found interesting:

  • Both of these guys were really tall.
  • Lincoln was only 56 when he died. Why did I think he was older?
  • There was no federal income tax when Washington was President and only two income tax rates – 3% and 5% – when Lincoln was president.

Click to see a larger versionWashington vs Lincoln

I also just finished the book Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard for our book club. Here’s my quick review:

I learned so much from this book that I didn’t know about Lincoln, the end of his life, and the players involved. I knew Lincoln was killed in a theater of course, but didn’t realize that John Wilkes Booth was a famous actor. I also didn’t realize that the conspiracy was bigger than Lincoln and Booth and that other murders were planned for that night.

The access that the public had to the President and the White House was amazing, especially when contrasted to today’s Secret Service protection.

Also, a note: The book starts with a lot of details about the end of the Civil War. Unless you’re a Civil War or history buff, you might find these chapters slow. But the war details only make up about a quarter of book and they do set the stage for what happens next.

Does anything in this infographic surprise you? Have you read Killing Lincoln or any of the other books out about Lincoln? Have you seen the movie?


  1. I’ve read Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin – which I really liked, more than I thought I would. Fair warning, it’s a big book and it’s an investment of time to get through. Worth it, in my opinion.

    I’ve seen the movie Lincoln, and can’t say the same. I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing as Lincoln, but was disappointed in how little of Lincoln’s life that the movie covered. Too much of the film was old men in a room, yelling at each other.

    1. Nicole, I’ve heard really good things about Team of Rivals. And I know what you mean about the movie Lincoln. I’m really glad I saw it, but I wish I would have known ahead of time that it only covered a small part of his life.

  2. Gore Vidal’s Lincoln. Great book, well-researched, as are all his novels on American history. I really want to read Team of rivals, but need to finish a few others first. I think it might have been Lincoln that instituted the income tax in order to pay for the War. CTD

  3. I have been meaning to see the Lincoln movie but haven’t had the time lately. I read a couple of quotes from Lincoln and they really resonated. That man had such timeless advice its almost scary. My favorite quote from him is “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

    1. Wonderful quote, Marvin. Reading the book and seeing the movie transformed Lincoln from someone on a monument to a real man. At least for me. And the man was amazing.

      I had the same feeling about Washington when I visited Mount Vernon. We hear the same things about these men over and over and they become almost mythical instead of human. Their lives were so interesting.

  4. I can’t wait for the movie Lincoln to come out on DVD. My dad keeps raving about how awesome that film is. I enjoy historical movies. If I had extra time, I’d check out the book. Maybe someday. ;)

  5. Love all the great book suggestions. Apparently H&R Block don’t know our presidents very well. Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky not Illinois. Ooops

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