About This Show
A celebration of the quirky and the curious, the thought-provoking and the simply amusing. Each episode explores unusual historical events and other curiosities and features a lateral thinking puzzle that you can try to solve along with us.
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082-Stealing Abe Lincoln
5 days ago
In 1876, a gang of inept Chicago counterfeiters launched an absurd plot to steal the body of Abraham Lincoln and hold it for ransom. In today's episode of the Futility Closet podcast, we'll follow their comical attempts to carry out the bizarre scheme, and uncover the secret society that was formed afterward to protect Lincoln's corpse.
We'll also puzzle over an overlooked way to reduce the odds of dying of a heart attack.
Sources for our feature on Lincoln's bodysnatchers:
Thomas J. Craughwell, Stealing Lincoln's Body, 2007.
Bonnie Stahlman Speer, The Great Abraham Lincoln Hijack, 1997.
John Carroll Power, History of an Attempt to Steal the Body of Abraham Lincoln, 1890.
Thomas J. Craughwell, "A Plot to Steal Lincoln's Body," U.S. News, June 24, 2007.
David B. Williams, "The Odd Reburials of Abraham Lincoln," Seattle Times, April 13, 2007.
Ray Bendici, "Thomas J. Craughwell Discusses the Odd Plot to Steal Lincoln's Body," Connecticut Magazine, Nov. 12, 2013.
Don Babwin, "Presidential Heist," Associated Press, May 13, 2007.
This week's lateral thinking puzzle is adapted from a puzzle in Edward J. Harshman's 1996 book Fantastic Lateral Thinking Puzzles.
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