“Young Lincoln” has been striking a suggestive pose at a federal courthouse in Los Angeles for decades.

“Babe-raham Lincoln”: The story behind Los Angeles’s sexy Abraham Lincoln statue

There’s a statue of a Abraham Lincoln as a young stud inside a Los Angeles federal courthouse. This fun fact was brought to Twitter’s attention in 2019 by the screenwriter Zack Stentz, whose post about the “swimsuit model” interpretation of the Great Emancipator set off a wave of disbelief and jokes: “honest abs,” “the Gettysburg undress,” “more like Babe-raham Lincoln.”

The limestone work was created back in 1941 by James Lee Hansen, a 22-year-old art student from Fresno who won a national contest for a sculpture at the new federal building. Some people at the time were scandalized by the shirtless Lincoln, whose lithe figure was based on the artist himself. “Well, from a sculpturing standpoint,” Hansen explained to the L.A. Times, “it’s better to show the body without any clothes. That’s why I left ’em off.”

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