On this day, at around the hour I am writing this, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC, by actor John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, who wished to reverse the Union victory accomplished five days earlier by the surrender of Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
Lincoln looks better all of the time, and we are now commemorating the sequicentennial of the Civil War, which lasted officially from April 12, 1861 to April 9, 1865, and killed two percent of the population, approximately 620,000 men!
The sectionalism that helped to cause the Civil War still exists, and much of the South is celebrating the Civil War anniversary, rather than just commemorating it!
American history would have been quite different if Lincoln had lived, and it is still the greatest human tragedy of the nation’s history, as far as any individual’s role in history is concerned.
Much is published regularly about Lincoln, but the mountain of material never stops, and a lot of attention will be given to it over the next four years because of it being 150 years ago, a notable anniversary!
A movie well worth seeing, opening tomorrow, is THE CONSPIRATOR, which portrays the assassination of Lincoln, and the supposed complicity of Mary Surratt, who ran the rooming house where the Lincoln conspiracy was discussed by the group involved in the plot, including her son, John Surratt, who escaped punishment for his complicity in the event, but had his mother become the first woman executed in American history, due to a military tribunal illegally condemning four of the conspirators to death, rather than having trial by a civilian jury!
The movie informs us of the unconstitutional actions taken by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who was in such a hurry to eliminate the conspirators that he broke the Bill of Rights, a troubling followup to the tragedy of the Civil War!
It is a warning that even in crisis, we must not forget the Constitution and Bill of Rights, too often ignored in the name of national security!