Abraham Lincoln was in his 50s when he won the presidency and moved in to the White House, so it's only natural that the pictures of the "Great Emancipator" in our history books are the wise, old, bearded Lincoln we recognize from the movies about his life. In fact, there are no pictures of Lincoln as a young man, when he grew up in Kentucky, moved to Illinois and studied law.
So when sculptor Charles Keck wanted to create a statue of "Young Lincoln," he had to use his imagination to conjure up the president in his youth.
While his statue has been in Chicago's Senn Park since 1945, it's been attracting attention recently for a surprising reason.
It seems that photos of the statue shared on social media have been widely shared by young people, who have dubbed the statue "Hot Lincoln" of "Babe-raham Lincoln."
Yes,this 9-foot bronze statue, which features Honest Abe with his sleeves rolled up and his shirt collar open, without a beard or shoes, has become a hit with millennials. The future president is posed on a stump, with a law book in his hand and a steely look in his eyes.
People have been sharing photos of the statue online, and locals are flocking to the park to take selfies with the president. I guess that's one way to get young people interested in history!
While the Chicago statue has become an online phenomenon, it turns out this isn't the first time Lincoln has been given a makeover.
Click the next page to see 2 more bizarre Lincoln statues!
While these glamorous statues of our 16th president seem a little strange, it is true that Lincoln had a rugged streak. He was a renowned wrestler as a young man, and competed in more than 300 matches. Once, after beating his opponent, he actually turned on the crowd and challenged them to a fight. "I'm the big buck of this lick," Abe shouted, "if any of you want to try it, come on and whet your horns." According to the historical account, there weren't any takers.
Still, even in his own time Lincoln wasn't exactly a movie star. His voice was described as sounding "like a tea kettle," as well as "shrill, sqeaking, piping, unpleasant."
Plus, history books tell us he had "wrinkled and dry skin" with "doughnut complexion."
Bryant Baker must have missed the memo, because his statue in Buffalo's Delaware Park is another version of the "Young Lincoln" image (he's even sitting on a stump again).
But these rustic takes on Honest Abe don't hold a candle to the Los Angeles Federal Courthouse statue, which looks like an outtake from Lincoln's GQ cover shoot. Apparently, sculptor James Handen used himself as the model for this "pensive" version of Lincoln, so maybe he was just trying to show off?
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