He was born in a log cabin and went to school for less than one year. But despite his humble background, Abraham Lincoln became one of the great presidents of the United States. As the 16th president, Lincoln ended slavery and held the nation together during the Civil War, America’s biggest and bloodiest crisis.
People often remarked on Lincoln’s striking looks. He was tall and thin with long arms and large hands. Lincoln wore a type of tall hat that looked like a stove pipe. Sometimes, he carried important papers under his hat. When Lincoln was running for president, he grew a beard after a young girl suggested it.
General Benedict Arnold was a hero in the early years of the American Revolution (1775-1783). He later became the most famous traitor in United States history. How did this happen?
Benedict Arnold was born on January 14, 1741, in Norwich, Connecticut. At age 14 he began working for a druggist (someone who sells medicines). But he liked adventure. He ran away and fought with British forces in the French and Indian War (1754-1763). After his father died in 1761, he returned home and became a druggist. His business prospered.
He was one of the most popular American presidents of the 20th century. He was also just the second president in American history to be impeached in the United States House of Representatives. He is Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States.
William Jefferson Clinton was born in 1946 in the small town of Hope, Arkansas. Bill never knew his father, who was killed in a car accident before he was born. After Bill’s mother remarried, Bill took the last name of his stepfather.
Tradition credits Betsy Ross with sewing the first American flag. Historians, however, can’t prove that this story is true. But Betsy Ross did witness the American Revolution (1775-1783) and the birth of a new nation, the United States of America.
WHO WAS BETSY ROSS?
Elizabeth, or Betsy, Griscom was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1752. In 1773, she married John Ross, who owned an upholstery business (covering furniture with fabric). When John died three years later, Betsy took over the business.
Christopher Columbus tried to take a shortcut, and ended up somewhere he never intended to go. He discovered two continents that people in Europe didn’t even know existed. By crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, Columbus opened contacts between lands and peoples that were unknown to each other.
Columbus’s voyage to the Americas opened an exciting period in history. Animals, plants, and new ideas were exchanged between continents. But it also caused terrible tragedy. Millions of Native Americans died as Europeans rushed to take land and riches for themselves.