1. In 1860, an 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell wrote a letter to then-presidential hopeful Abraham Lincoln, encouraging him to grow a beard to attract more votes. “[Y]ou would look a great deal better for your face is so thin,” Miss Bedell wrote. “All the ladies like whiskers, and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.” By the time Lincoln left for the White House, he was fully bearded.
2. Talk about holding a grudge. Valentine Tapley, a Democrat from Missouri, vowed to never trim his beard if Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, won the presidency. When Honest Abe took office, Tapley stuck to his promise. At the time of his death, 50 years later, his beard measured an impressive 12 1/2 feet in length.
3. The world’s longest beard—17 feet, 6 inches—belonged to a man named Hans Langseth, who died in 1927. Mr. Langseth understood the historical value of his facial hair and ensured it was preserved for posterity’s sake. The impressive facial hair is now part of the Smithsonian Institute’s permanent collection.