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Turners, (gymnasts in English) were a group of German Americans[?] who together with Carl Schurz were instrumental in getting Abraham Lincoln elected as president.

They were formed in turnvereins[?], or "gymnastic unions", which were not only athletic, but also political, reflecting their origin in similar "nationalistic gymnastic" organizations in Europe. The German movement was started by Turn Vater Jahn[?] and was instrumental in German unification[?] after 1848.

American turners provided the bodyguard at Lincoln's inauguration March 4, 1861 and also at Lincoln's funeral.

The turnvereins made an important contribution to the integration of German-Americans into their new home. Outposts of the organizations continue to exist in areas of heavy German immigration, such as Wisconsin. In 1948 the United States Post Office issued a 3-cent commemorative stamp[?] marking the 100th anniversary of the movement.

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