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Question: Chosen as Abe Lincoln’s running mate in 1864 was Andrew Johnson, a Southerner to balance the ticket who, with Lincoln’s assassination a year later, suddenly became president and known then as “a difficult, racist, sexist, stubborn president who even fought with his own cabinet.” Eventually he faced impeachment. How did Bloomington become involved in his demise?

Answer: According to a story in Politico, the popular political magazine, in August of 1866 Johnson went on a speaking tour across America and “in Bloomington, Ill., one heckler yelled that traitors weren’t welcome in the land of Lincoln, and the ensuing uproar made it impossible for Johnson to complete his planned speech.” Johnson then returned to Washington, D.C., where within months Congress began articles of impeachment.

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