In this Oct. 16, 2012 photo, President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney exchange views during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. (David Goldman/AP)

Consider the following list debate-trivia fodder, conversation-filler and a whole list of stuff you might not remember Friday, but might want to know for Thursday's debate.

1. Debate has long been understood as a way to identify leadership qualities and prove intellectual heft. Until the 1830s, every undergraduate at Yale had to engage in a debate with a classmate to earn a bachelor's degree. And until the 1920s, most colleges included debate or rhetoric courses in their core curriculum. (Source: David Birdsell, Baruch College School of Public Affairs)

2. Except for the 60-minute first-ever televised contests between two men who would each go on to become president -- Richard Nixon and John Kennedy -- general-election presidential debates have always run for 90 minutes. Tonight's primary debate will run two full hours.  (ABC News)

3. In 2005 Chile, which has seen its democracy interrupted by periods of dictatorship, held that country's very first presidential debate. (From the book, "Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future")

4. In the 1860s, Oberlin College created the nation's first all-women debate team. That team was one of the first to raise the issue of women's suffrage on a debate stage. (Oberlin Review)

5. Debates are a form of public argument. So technically are public executions, protests, lynch mobs and duels. Aren't you glad we chose debate? (Ben Voth, South Methodist University's Bush Institute)

6. In the late-18th century, when running for Congress was still a pretty novel thing to do, James Madison and James Monroe faced off for the same Virginia Senate seat in 1789. When they did, the two felt debate was so important to voter's decision-making process that they split the costs of a shared carriage, traveled from town to town in their district and debated one another in taverns. Madison won, but Monroe was elected to the Senate by the state legislature the next year. (David Birdsell,  Baruch College, school of public affairs)

7. The debates that are probably the country's most famous -- the Lincoln-Douglas debates  in 1858 -- weren't part of a presidential contest. They just boosted both men's reputations and made them national political figures. Abraham Lincoln, who would go on to become president, and incumbent Sen. Stephen Douglas were actually running for a Senate seat at the time of the debates. The two debated one another in seven different Illinois congressional districts. Lincoln lost. Two years later, the same men became presidential candidates. Lincoln won. (National Park Service)

According to conventional wisdom, no one would vote for Abraham Lincoln in 2016 because he looks like a hipster. (AP Photo/File)

8. In 2000, the behind-the-scenes negotiations about the Mexican presidential debate, its format and details reached a stalemate. So, the three candidates held a debate to debate the format of presidential debates. After some back and forth, actual policy debates did happen. (From the book, "Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future")

9. Both Kennedy and Nixon refused a session with television makeup artists before their precedent-setting 1960 debate. But both men did a little something about their appearance. Kennedy's team gave him a private freshening, details unknown. And Nixon's team slathered his face with something called "Lazy Shave" to try to deal with his hard-to-manage 5-o'clock shadow. Of course, it's almost certain all the men on stage on Thursday night won't forgo time with a makeup artist. Modern television makeup can make a person -- that's right person -- appear healthier and camouflage the shine created by small amounts of sweat. (From the book, "The Presidential Debates, 50 Years of High Risk TV")