Is That an Emoticon in 1862?. In the transcription of President Lincoln’s speech, which added comments about applause and shouts from the audience was this line: “…there is no precedent for your being here yourselves, (applause and laughter ;) and I offer, in justification of myself and you, that I have found nothing in the Constitution against.” Bryan Benilous, who works with historical newspapers at Proquest, said the team felt the “;)” after the word “laughter” was an emoticon, more than a century before emoticons became a widespread concept.
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