What better occasion than Presidents' Day to look back at some rather shocking, uncharacteristic behavior from our country's two greatest Presidents? On the cover of Rip Hunter...Time Master #23 (1964), we see what appears to be George Washington ordering the execution of Mr. Hunter...both of whom believe the other to be a British spy!
Flashing forward in time to Weird Western Tales #53 (1979), we see Abraham Lincoln in a heated arm-wrestling match with Scalphunter, a white man raised as an American Indian (with a portrait of George Washington gazing serenely over his left shoulder).
Of course, it's highly unlikely George Washington was visited by a time-traveling adventurer or a snarling Abraham Lincoln arm-wrestled a pseudo-Indian...so for those of you who might be interested in the real history of these amazing statesmen, here's a few "real" books I heartily recommend:
Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Thomas Flexner. In this one volume distillation of his award-winning four volume Washington biography, Flexner makes it clear that the United States we know today might never have come to be without this exceptional man and his remarkable leadership. At the same time, Flexner does a wonderful job of humanizing his subject by exploring the many facets of Washington's life as a farmer, a soldier, and as a statesman.
Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe's America by Andrew Ferguson. This book isn't really a straight up biography, but in many ways, it's more interesting than one. Throughout the book, Ferguson (a self-admitted Lincoln buff) visits a wide variety of people and places associated with our 16th President. Some are the places you'd expect (like a Lincoln museum), others not (like a convention of Lincoln impersonators, or another convention of Lincoln haters). He also visits a number of die hard Lincoln memorabilia collectors, as well as history professors...who each seem to have their own wildly divergent opinions on who Lincoln was and what made him tick. What emerges from this fascinating book is just how elusive the "real" Lincoln is, and how so many different groups project their own unique agendas or pet philosophies upon the man's legacy. Carrying the book along is Ferguson's wonderful writing, which offers a bemused perspective on the touching, perplexing, hilarious, or downright strange permutations of Lincoln's enduring legend.