6. LINCOLN VS. CANCER
Had John Wilkes Booth failed to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, cardiologist and author
John Sotos suspects that Lincoln may have soon died anyway--of cancer. After analyzing pictures of the 16th president of the United States, Sotos suspected Lincoln had a rare disease called multiple endocrine neoplasia
, type 2B, which can lead to thyroid or adrenal cancer, and could explain Lincoln's gastrointestinal problems and height.
Sotos is not alone in suspecting Lincoln was sick, but others have their own theories: some say Marfan syndrome
could explain his stature, and others that spinocerebellar ataxia
might have caused his awkward gait. Since no researcher has had a crack at the president's DNA it's really all conjecture. Perhaps that is well and good for Lincoln's rest in peace, since he has already had to contend with an attempted body snatching
in 1876, when a counterfeiting ring hoped to hold his body hostage for $200,000. To foil further such attempts, Lincoln's coffin now resides in steel and concrete in his memorial in Springfield, Illinois.