April 14-the day Lincoln was shot

Today marks the anniversary of the day that John Wilkes Booth changed American history forever. Until April 14, 1865, no American president had been assassinated and only two had died in office (William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor). However, that April evening in 1865, Lincoln and his wife were enjoying the play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in DC, when John Wilkes Booth entered the President’s box and fired his derringer, lodging the ball in Lincoln’s head. Today is a sad anniversary for our nation, as we lost one of our greatest leaders before we should have. Much speculation reigns today about the course of Reconstruction and post-war America had Lincoln finished his second term. I would argue that had Lincoln not been shot, the nation would have endured a much gentler Reconstruction and relations between the North and South would have been more positive in the late nineteenth century. Imagine the post-Presidential life that Lincoln could have enjoyed. Would he have toured the world delivering addresses, or returned to the life of an attorney in Springfield? Rest in peace Mr. Lincoln.

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