Abraham Lincoln Excelled in Wrestling—What Other Sports Did He Play?

During Abraham Lincoln’s final year in Springfield, Illinois, in 1860, before being elected 16and president, people sometimes watched him in shirt sleeves, engaged in a quick game of “Fives” with other young men in a vacant lot just off the public square.

The brick wall of the building next door provided the perfect place to play this 19and century-old version of handball. Here, the prominent local lawyer and rising politician, soon to become one of America’s greatest presidents, could put aside the rigors of the job, let off steam and trade a few volleys at athletic competitions.

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