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Lincoln and More Bad Actors
Lincoln wanted to enjoy an evening at the theater. An actor and some of his pals had other ideas. Today we remember the tragedy at the theater.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, was assassinated on this date, 156 years ago.
In the fall of 1864, Lincoln easily won reelection against his former general, George B. McClellan, who actually ran against his party platform. Not the best way to try and win, George.
The newly formed Republican party was clear in its objective of racial equality. Take some time to read the party platform from that year.
1. Slavery was the cause of the War – the Rebels don’t get to change the narrative.
2. All men, regardless of race, deserve protection under the law.
3. Let's build a railroad to Seattle; we heard it's incredible there!
4. Bring us all the immigrants because our food is terrible.
Like today, these few proclamations upset many people, mainly an actor named John Wilkes Booth. What's with acting, and why does it get involved with the presidency? Goodness.
Anyway, come April 14, 1865, the Civil War was winding down. Richmond had been sacked, and Jeff Davis was on the run. To take a break from all this winning, the Lincolns attended a play at the Gerald Ford Theater in downtown DC. I believe it was called My Cousin Vinny. I might have to check that.
Booth, who by this time was a famous guy, really, really, really disliked Lincoln. Interestingly, Lincoln had invited Booth to the White House a few times because he dug Booth’s acting. But Booth, being the racist confederate jerk that he was, was more content to show up at the inauguration and seethe. He even wrote in his diary how he wished he killed Lincoln that day. I have a dairy. I call it a journal because I'm a man.
Instead, he and other bad dudes devised a plan to take out Lincoln, Secretary of State, William Seward, and VP Andrew Johnson. We knew what happened to Lincoln. Seward had his face slashed, but his son fought off his attackers and lived. The would-be killer of Johnson would end up chickening out.
Booth managed to escape the theater despite breaking his leg and headed south to Maryland. He had his leg fixed by a Dr. Mudd, which is where the phrase, “Your name is as good as Mudd," comes from – don't bother looking it up, just trust me.
Another interesting tidbit. I borrowed a book on Seward back in 2017. I read like a third of it; then I met my girlfriend, Jenn. Fast forward four years later, and I might as well start again. Also, I live near Seward Square, which is a constant reminder I need to finish the thing. It's like, "Oh hey, Chris, have you finished the book yet?" Leave me alone, random park in my neighborhood.
Okay! As we remember Lincoln today, what’s your favorite Lincoln story? Tell us below.
Have a great day. The week is almost over. 111 days until I go to St. Martin.