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6 Things Lincoln and Darwin Had In Common

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On February 12, 1809, two of the most revolutionary men of the 19th century were born. Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin had a lot more in common than a knack for growing epic beards. For example...

1. Both Men Loved Shakespeare

As a young man, Darwin particularly enjoyed the Bard’s historical dramas, although he became tired of the playwright as he grew older. Lincoln, meanwhile, recited Shakespeare’s work extensively throughout his life. In an eerie coincidence, Honest Abe quoted the following line from Macbeth mere days before his assassination: “After life’s fitful fever, he sleeps well.” 

2. Neither Rose to National Prominence Until Their Late Forties

Talk about late bloomers! Although both men had previously enjoyed modest professional success, neither turned into a household name in their youth. For Lincoln, that all changed in 1858, when the Lincoln-Douglas debates helped him secure nationwide recognition and, eventually, the presidency. The following year, Darwin became one of the most famous scientists in history when On the Origin of Species was published after a lengthy gestation period.

3. Both Lost Their Mothers Early In Life

Susannah Wedgwood Darwin lost her battle with an unknown disease on July 15, 1817. As for Nancy Hanks Lincoln, she died of milk sickness on October 5, 1818, at the age of 34

4. Both Suffered Through the Death of a Very Young Child

As if the grim reaper hadn’t hounded their families enough, Edward Lincoln died shortly before his fourth birthday, while Anne Elizabeth Darwin succumbed to an unknown illness at the age of ten (her devastated parents kept a box full of keepsakes which went undiscovered until 2000).

5. Both Loved Music, But Neither Could Sing

Lincoln adored opera, while Darwin enjoyed listening to church choirs, classical concerts, and his wife’s piano-playing. Despite this affinity, the former man refused to sing around others and the latter was tone-deaf.

6. Both Were Abolitionists

“If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong,” Lincoln once wrote. The “great emancipator’s” role in passing the thirteenth amendment, which officially eradicated slavery in the United States, speaks for itself, but Darwin, too, loathed the practice. While aboard the HMS Beagle (a voyage that inspired his theory of natural selection), Darwin frequently encountered “those atrocious acts which can only take place in a slave country.” He even weighed in on the American Civil War in a letter to New England botanist Asa Gray, writing “[I wish] that the North would proclaim a crusade against slavery … Great God, how I should like to see the greatest curse on earth, slavery, abolished.”

And Here’s One Critical Difference:

Lincoln was an avid cat-fancier, while Darwin preferred dogs.

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Courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
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Art
Dallas Museum Sets Record for Most Frida Kahlo Impersonators in One Place
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Courtesy Dallas Museum of Art

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo may be the most recognizable face in the art world. More than 60 years after her death, her striking self-portraits and distinctive features (those eyebrows!) and style make her a figure ripe for imitation.

In honor of her 110th birthday (which was on July 6), the Dallas Museum of Art and the local Latino Center for Leadership Development celebrated Frida Fest, a day devoted to all things Frida. Most notable? More than 1000 people showed up to take part in the largest gathering of people dressed as Frida Kahlo in one place, as The Daily Beast reports.

The museum had a makeup artist on hand to give people complimentary Frida makeovers, in service to the museum's semi-strict rules for what exactly constitutes "dressing like Frida." Impersonators were required to have a unibrow, either drawn in makeup or made with fake (or, presumably, real) hair. They had to wear no less than three artificial flowers in their hair, wear a below-the-knee floral dress (no slits!), and don a red or pink shawl.

Three women and one man dressed up as Frida pose for a picture.
Courtesy Ashley Gongora/Kathy Tran

Thanks to the Frida lovers of all ages, races, and genders who came dressed up as the iconic artist, the museum thinks it will be able to secure a Guinness World Record for the feat. Museum staffers are about to send in the evidence—all the Frida look-alikes were registered and counted at the event—and they expect to hear back from Guinness within 12 weeks.

While the Dallas event might have the distinction of being the largest Frida look-alike event, Frida gatherings happen elsewhere, too. The San Antonio version is in its second year.

[h/t The Daily Beast]

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Carvel
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Food
Fudgie the Whale Is Now Helping to Save Real Whales
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Carvel

Of all the notable performers to share a birthday on June 1—including Marilyn Monroe, Morgan Freeman, and Alanis Morissette—none have inspired quite the same devotion in fans as Fudgie the Whale. The chocolate-covered ice cream cake with a crunchy interior has been a staple of the Carvel frozen treat chain since 1977, with his delicious profile repeatedly referenced in shows like The Simpsons, The Office, and Saturday Night Live.

Franchise founder Tom Carvel originally conceived of Fudgie as a fish-shaped cake mold, but dismissed the idea when he happened upon the concept of a whale. The giant mammal theme was intended to be pushed as a Father’s Day gift for “A Whale of a Dad.”

An original ad for Fudgie the Whale
Carvel

For the cake’s 40th anniversary, Carvel is partnering with Save the Whales to help raise funds for their conservation efforts. Customers who donate $10 will be eligible to win free ice cream cakes for a year; donate $25 and you can receive a stuffed (non-edible) Fudgie plush toy. Some specially-marked cakes will also trigger a donation when you purchase a Fudgie at participating Carvel stores.

It’s a noble cause, and one you can support by inviting Fudgie into your home and gastrointestinal tract.

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