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11 Nineteenth-Century VP Candidates Who Vaguely Resemble Famous Actors

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In the unlikely event someone wants to make a blockbuster movie about James Polk's vice president or the running mate of the guy who lost to Franklin Pierce, we have the perfect actors.

1. John Breckinridge and Matthew Perry

John Breckinridge was the 14th vice president, and he finished second in the Presidential election of 1860, behind Abraham Lincoln.

Matthew Perry's father was a face of Old Spice in the 1970s.

2. George Dallas and Ian Holm

George Dallas was the 11th vice president, and Dallas, Texas, may be named for him, though that is a matter of debate.

Ian Holm is well known as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings; he also played Frodo Baggins in a 1980s BBC radio adaptation.

3. Thomas Hendricks and Jeff Daniels

Thomas Hendricks died in his sleep at age 66 after eight months as the 21st VP.

Jeff Daniels has been married to the same person since 1979 despite a successful career as an actor. He is also a vocal advocate of Michigan.

4. Chester A. Arthur and Paul Giamatti

Chester A. Arthur wasn't just our 21st President; he was also our 20th vice president, for the 200 days of James Garfield's term.

Paul Giamatti is impersonated by James Adomian on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast, where his resentment of the success of Philip Seymour Hoffman is a recurring gag.

5. William Alexander Graham and Jeff Bridges

William Alexander Graham was a Senator from North Carolina who was defeated as a VP candidate in 1852. He went on to be Governor of NC and Secretary of the Navy.

Jeff Bridges has six Academy Award nominations, with credits dating back to 1950 (role: "Infant").

6. Aaron Burr and Vincent Price

Aaron Burr was the third vice president and the only Founding Father to be indicted for murder and arrested for treason. He was convicted of neither.

Vincent Price was the son of the President of the National Candy Company.

7. Nathaniel Macon and Jeffrey Tambor

Nathaniel Macon was an 1824 vice presidential candidate. Earlier in his career he was an outspoken opponent to the formation of the US Navy.

Jeffrey Tambor is "no longer a Scientologist."

8. Hannibal Hamlin and Beau Bridges

Hannibal Hamlin was vice president under Abraham Lincoln.

Beau Bridges' birth name is Lloyd.

9. Herschel Vespasian Johnson and Eugene Mirman

Herschel Vespasian Johnson was the 1860 running mate of northern Democratic Presidential candidate “Little Giant” Stephen A. Douglas.

Eugene Mirman is a Russian-born comedian currently appearing on Adult Swim’s Delocated but also known for his stand-up album God Is a Twelve-Year-Old Boy with Asperger's.

10. Edward Everett and Tommy Lee Jones

Edward Everett notably spoke for 2 hours immediately before Lincoln’s 2-minute Gettysburg Address. Governor of Massachusetts and President of Harvard University, he garnered very few votes as VP candidate in 1860.

Tommy Lee Jones was friends with future VP Al Gore at Harvard College.

11. Charles Pinckney and Jay Sherman

Charles C. Pinckney was the Federalist VP candidate in 1800 with running mate John Adams.

Jay Sherman was the lead character of the 1994-95 animated series The Critic, which was created by writers of The Simpsons. On the show, Jay at one point was a writer for a film called Ghostcatchers III; a real-life script for Ghostbusters III is written but “in suspended animation,” according to Dan Aykroyd.

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politics
The Secret Procedure for the Queen's Death
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Chris Radburn—WPA Pool/Getty Images

The queen's private secretary will start an urgent phone tree. Parliament will call an emergency session. Commercial radio stations will watch special blue lights flash, then switch to pre-prepared playlists of somber music. As a new video from Half As Interesting relates, the British media and government have been preparing for decades for the death of Queen Elizabeth II—a procedure codenamed "London Bridge is Down."

There's plenty at stake when a British monarch dies. And as the Guardian explains, royal deaths haven't always gone smoothly. When the Queen Mother passed away in 2002, the blue "obit lights" installed at commercial radio stations didn’t come on because someone failed to depress the button fully. That's why it's worth it to practice: As Half as Interesting notes, experts have already signed contracts agreeing to be interviewed upon the queen's death, and several stations have done run-throughs substituting "Mrs. Robinson" for the queen's name.

You can learn more about "London Bridge is Down" by watching the video below—or read the Guardian piece for even more detail, including the plans for her funeral and burial. ("There may be corgis," they note.)

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Christie's Images Ltd. 2017
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History
Abraham Lincoln Letter About Slavery Could Fetch $700,000 at Auction
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Christie's Images Ltd. 2017

The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, in which future president Abraham Lincoln spent seven debates discussing the issue of slavery with incumbent U.S. senator Stephen Douglas, paved the way for Lincoln’s eventual ascent to the presidency. Now part of that history can be yours, as the AP reports.

A signed letter from Lincoln to his friend Henry Asbury dated July 31, 1858 explores the “Freeport Question” he would later pose to Douglas during the debates, forcing the senator to publicly choose between two contrasting views related to slavery’s expansion in U.S. territories: whether it should be up to the people or the courts to decide where slavery was legal. (Douglas supported the popular choice argument, but that position was directly counter to the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision.)

The first page of a letter from Abraham Lincoln to Henry Asbury
Christie's Images Ltd. 2017

In the letter, Lincoln was responding to advice Asbury had sent him on preparing for his next debate with Douglas. Asbury essentially framed the Freeport Question for the politician. In his reply, Lincoln wrote that it was a great question, but would be difficult to get Douglas to answer:

"You shall have hard work to get him directly to the point whether a territorial Legislature has or has not the power to exclude slavery. But if you succeed in bringing him to it, though he will be compelled to say it possesses no such power; he will instantly take ground that slavery can not actually exist in the territories, unless the people desire it, and so give it protective territorial legislation."

Asbury's influence didn't end with the debates. A founder of Illinois's Republican Party, he was the first to suggest that Lincoln should run for president in 1860, and secured him the support of the local party.

The letter, valued at $500,000 to $700,000, is up for sale as part of a books and manuscripts auction that Christie’s will hold on December 5.

[h/t Associated Press]

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