Skip to main content

tv   Fords Theatre Lincoln Assassination 150th Anniversary Day 1  CSPAN  May 28, 2015 4:01am-5:00am EDT

4:01 am
captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2008 captioning performed by vitac national book festival celebrating its 15th year. that's a few of the events this summer on c-span 2's book tv.
4:02 am
coming up on c-span 3, american history tv looks at president abraham lincoln's assassination which took place 150 years ago. next, we'll show our coverage of a commemorative event that took place recently at ford's theater where president lincoln was taken after being shot on april 14th 1865. then, american artifacts takes a closer look at the house where lincoln died. after that, we'll hear about president lincoln's last ride to his cottage retreat the day before his assassination. later, american artifacts will profile ford theater's artifacts as news unfolded about president lincoln's death. good evening. this is the scene outside of
4:03 am
ford theater in peterson house. john booth shot president lincoln as he sat at the booth in ford theater. our 16th president died the next morning at 7:22 a.m. and what you're looking at is a recreation we're requesting to see this unfold live on c-span
4:04 am
television. ♪
4:05 am
♪ ♪
4:06 am
♪ ♪ ♪
4:07 am
♪ ♪
4:08 am
and you're looking at the scene directly outside of ford's theatre which is outside the peterson house which is directly across ford's theatre. general colin powell on hand to commemorate what happened 150 years ago, the assassination of president abraham lincoln. 202-748-8900 for those of you in the eastern or central time zones. 202-748-8901. joining us also outside of ford's theatre is james swanson, author of the book "manhunt" and this is something that you've commemorated for many years dating back to 1987. >> it's good to be with you. >> can you only imagine what it was like 150 years ago this evening. the civil war had just ended general lee had surrendered and
4:09 am
it was supposed to be a night of celebration for the president and first lady to get out of the white house, to travel to ford theatre and enjoy something that the president loved the theatre. walk us through the events. >> as you said, the north was celebrating. we had surrendered and there were parties, people getting drunk in bars and oyster saloons and on this day abraham lincoln decided to seek some relief and come to ford theatre to see the comedy "our american cousin." lincoln loved to be in the crowd but suffered from the crowd. he loved to be in the theater by himself but suffered with other people. they had two guests with him at that time and earlier this afternoon the president and his wife went on a carriage ride through washington and during that ride lincoln said something incredible. he said, mary this day i consider the war has come to an end. we must be happy again.
4:10 am
between the death of our young boy willy and the terrors of the war, we were very unhappy. we must be happy again. his desire to go to chicago after he finished the second term and said he wanted to see the pacific ocean and he had said to mary but we must be happy again. hours later they arrived here about 8:30. when the lincolns walked in he came without an ent rouj and without guards. they played hail to the chief and the crowd went wild. he had done as he said he would. he had won the civil war. he had ended slavery and preserved the union. this tonight was lincoln's greatest triumph of his life time and got into that presidential box, took off his hat and bowed and sat down and the play continued. i would have liked to have seen
4:11 am
that. i wouldn't have wanted to have seen the assassination but i would have loved to have seen that magical moment at 8:30 p.m. on april 14th when he arrived here with majestic simplicity and said thanks to the american people. it was a magical night. >> you have been coming to this spot since 1987 and tonight, of course, for you especially and so many historians who have followed the life of abraham lincoln, it must feel special for you tonight? >> it does. i've been coming here since '87 when i first moved to washington to serve in the reagan administration and my future wife and i came here on april 14th thinking we'd see a celebration, honoring lincoln. so we went to a restaurant across the street from the theatre and waited and no one ever came. all we saw was a station wagon drive by with a parent and two little kids. the car slowed to the stop. the father pointed to ford theatre and they looked and the
4:12 am
car drove on. that's how in that night the american people celebrated and remembered abraham lincoln. they did nothing. and so all the years i've been coming here since then, there was no celebration on the street. what you see behind me now is what the street looked like 150 years ago tonight. i'm so happy that ford theatre society and the national park service made a point of bringing the american people here for the 150th anniversary. it's the most moving night i've ever been here. the performance inside the theatre was incredible tonight. we really felt the presence of abraham lincoln. it was a magical performance. and it really created the happiness that lincoln must have felt before he was shot. he was laughing at the play, put his coat on, it was a little chilly and then at one point mary lincoln reached out and held his hand in the theatre and the president said what will miss harris think of me hanging on to you so? and lincoln then said, she won't think anything about it. those were the last words they
4:13 am
spoke. so for me, having written many books about the lincoln assassination, having come here for much of my lifetime, it's deeply moving to be standing on tenth street as these people are gathering in memory of abraham lincoln. >> and we want to bring in our viewers and listeners and get to callers in a moment. but as you look back at exactly what happened 150 years ago and you reflect on what abraham lincoln meant to this country, what do you think it was like in terms of the communication of getting the word that lincoln had died early the next day? >> well, people knew that it was a deathbed visual. around 11:00 that night the president's unconscious body was carried across the street behind us. dr. leeel had pronounced him dead but he could not die on the floor of a theatre. they said take him to the saloon. he was taken to the peterson house across the street and there began the vigil from 11:00
4:14 am
at night until 7:22 the next morning. >> i'm going to have to jump in. this is a scene outside of peterson house. ♪ ♪
4:15 am
♪ ♪
4:16 am
at approximately 10:15 p.m. on april 14th 1865 president abraham lincoln was shot by john wilkes booth inside ford theatre while attending the play "our american cousin." the first person to enter the presidential box was dr. charles leale, a 23-year-old physician who had only completed his medical studies a few weeks prior. along with dr. charles savantak, dr. leale assisted the injured president and enlisted the assistance of a group of
4:17 am
soldiers to carry president lincoln out of the theatre pushing against crowds of onlookers and stopping frequently to administer aid to the fallen president. outside the theatre a light rain began to fall. dr. leale recognized that a bumpy carriage ride through the muddy streets of washington, d.c. would be far too much for abraham lincoln's weakened body to bear. just then across the street from the theatre, the door opened at the top of the stairs and said bring him in here. the soldiers, who had just moments earlier been celebrating the union victory of the civil
4:18 am
war now had to carry the weakened body of their fallen commander through crowds of people. the bed that they found in the rear bedroom of the petersen house was too small to accommodate the president's 6'4" inch frame. they had to lay him diagonally across the bed. dr. leale and dr. taft attended to lincoln and tried to make him as comfortable as they could because they knew from the first moments that his wound was mortal. mary lincoln spent most of that night in the front parlor of the petersen house overcome with grief, already mourning the death of her youngest son willy the assassination of her husband
4:19 am
was too much for her to bear. her eldest son, captain robert todd lincoln came to her from the white house and attempted to comfort her throughout the night. in the rear parlor of the petersen house secretary of war, edward stanton began his investigation into the events surrounding the assassination of president lincoln. he questioned eyewitnesss. he sends orders out for the arrest of john wilkes booth and he began to send information out about the events at the theatre. as the news spread citizens from all over the city came to see for themselves if the horrible rumors that they had heard were, in fact, true. in the confusion and chaos of the night's events panic and fear of a southern conspiracy
4:20 am
began to spread misinformation throughout the crowd. some said that the vice president had also been killed. others said that general grant had met the same fate. one rumor came about that general mosby and his confederate troops had taken possession of the city. a thousand and one exciting tales, some true, some false, were started and died out. and the atmosphere of shock and craze, crowds of people and filled with opportunity for it they began to turn on each other. one man who was thought to have been heard uttering words of support for the assassin was mobbed by the gathering crowd and nearly hanged from a
4:21 am
lamppost before he was rescued by a policeman. as the moments dragged on on that wet and chilly night feelings of anger and fear became feelings of sadness and melancholy. women and men clung to each other for support. they stood for hours outside the petersen house on that wet, chilly night standing and waiting for word on the fate of their beloved father abraham. >> his wound is on the left side of the head on line with the left here and three inches
4:22 am
behind. the history of surgery has failed to record a recovery from such a wound and it is surely fatal. it is impossible that he will recover. but as god has it i will return throughout the evening to alert you of the status of our great leader. his pulse is 44 and growing weaker. >> my name is laura keene. it was my company that presented
4:23 am
"our american cousin" this evening. i new president lincoln was in the theatre. had i not been told i would have felt his presence. actors are trained in the art of reading an audience, even from behind a curtain and i felt a change in the room when the president and his wife arrived. it was unmistakable. as it happens, i was behind the curtain on the opposite side of the theatre from the president's box at the very moment of the tragedy waiting to make my entrance into the scene. i was listening intently to the action upon the stage not wishing to miss my queue so i did not hear the sound of the pistol but when john wilkes booth, a man of my acquaintance but was not thinking i'd see, i knew something was amiss.
4:24 am
and then the cries began. women screaming, men hollering children whaling almost as if the entire theater was burning and that i knew, was quickly my new queue to enter. i strut down to the audience and said for god's sake, have presence of mind and keep your places. all will be well. but i was wrong. all was not well. and never will be be again. not for president lincoln not for our country. and not for me. and immediately miss harris, who had been seated with the president, called to me to bring some water, a task i took up with as much haste as i could manage, arriving at the
4:25 am
president's box, having pushed myself up the crowd and up the staircase, i saw mrs. lincoln in agony. i shall never forget the sound of her pityiest cries. i realized at once that any help would be in vain. i could do nothing for her. but poor president lincoln. he looked so very like death that i begged to be allowed to comfort him while he drew what i suspected would be his last breaths. i sat myself down on the floor, took his wounded head into my lap and tried to be of some small comfort. i bathed him with water and tried to force some of the liquid through his insensible
4:26 am
lips and held him there until at long last they carried him away from me and away from the theatre. i do not know how long i sat there seated on the floor of the president's box. i remember the realization that my frown was permanently stained with his blood. my hair my face my hands with the same sadness. my hands shook too, as i rose and made my way back down toward the lobby. all i could think all i can still think, even now is that my life had changed from comedy to tragedy in an instant. and god only knows if my
4:27 am
happiness will ever return again. >> we want to rejoin with james swanson, the author of "manhunt" and who is joining us outside of ford theatre. it's ironic, as you feel the temperature tonight t. was very similar to how it was 150 stopped early this evening but it was a rainy chilly night as well in 1865. >> yes. it's incredible how the day is so much like it was 150 years ago. in fact, it began raining and misting and it was very chilly like it is tonight. and the crowd was, as it is now even bigger than it was at the moment. about 1800 people, then 2,000 then 3,000 then 4,000. that entire length of 10th street was choked with people,
4:28 am
so much that when the careriage couldn't penetrate the crowd. they had to push their way through the mob to get to the petersen house and throughout the night, several thousand people waited. they wanted to know, how is the president? will he live? will he die? they stayed all night and many were newly freed slaves. in fact, secretary wells at 6:00 in the morning got a breath of fresh air and he was stunned to see a largely african-american crowd outside weeping and praying for abraham lincoln to live. >> david is joining us from infield, connecticut. good evening. thanks for waiting. >> caller: hi. good evening. how are you tonight? >> we're fine. go ahead with your question david. >> caller: well, it's more of a comment, really. i was just struck by everything so far. i've been watching. this i was thinking back on how when i was younger i went to ford theatre and took a tour and
4:29 am
went to the peter sensen house and took a tour there as well. i always loved the history of the civil war and the story of abraham lincoln. i've seen a bunch of movies and books about him and i read a lot of his speeches and, you know, a lot of things that he wrote. he is a really smart man. anyway i was watching this and thinking how impressive it is that 150 years later that he still matters in the american consciousness, you know? i was just -- i mean i wish that i could be there right now with everyone standing out there right now. >> david, thanks for the call. dave swanson? >> well he's right. we do remember lincoln to this day. he's our best beloved president and certainly one or two of the three most important ever. washington created the nation and lincoln helped save it. he matters today.
4:30 am
look at lincoln's greatest characteristics, we can learn much about how to do politics today if we look at abraham lincoln's example. he's so relevant today. and also this he's relevant in a negative way because he was killed at the end of the war. we didn't have abraham lincoln to supervise the reconstruction in the nation and i'm convinced, had lincoln lived, reconstruction would have been different. the newly freed blacks would have appreciated their voting rights, their citizen rights to be free and it took the days of lyndon johnson to fulfill lincoln's promises because he wasn't there -- he was there at the end of the civil war. >> as we commemorate the events of 150 years ago, good evening. >> caller: good evening. mr. swanson, i had a couple of questions about the couple that went with the lincolns to the
4:31 am
theatre that night. what were the circumstances that they led that night and i heard they led tragic live after the assassination, if you could comment on that. >> yes. yes. abraham lincoln's theatre guests were mayor rathborn and his fiance clara harris daughter of a senator of new york. they were not the first choice. mr. grant was supposed to become but mrs. grant couldn't stand mary lincoln. she told the general, i'm not going to the play with the lincolns, we're going back home to visit our kids. ultimately, mr. rathbone and clara harris went. mr. rathbone was stabbed. they had tragedy living in germany he went insane and years later using the same weapons that booth used a pistol and a
4:32 am
knife, he murdered his wife in front of their children and he was confined to a german insane asylum. clara clara harris would have been better if booth had killed him that night. it would have spared her life. abraham lincoln didn't believe in security. he was not imperial president. he thought he was a common man. he once said, my story is the short and simple of the poor. when he arrived here he was in the carriage with mary, his wife with wrathbone and harris and the coachman francis burk. there's a legend of who abandoned the white house and gardening the box. there was no secret service then. it was not his sworn duty to be
4:33 am
a bodyguard and follow lincoln everywhere. furthermore, booth was so famous and so well regarded. abraham lincoln had seem him perform on stage. no one would have stopped booth from coming into that theatre book. lincoln, i'm surprised, was not murdered in the executive mansion during the war. security was so poor. you could be a stranger go to the white house and gain entry and say i'd like to see the president and you would likely be told if you sit down for a few hours you could have a couple of words with lincoln. it's incredible he wasn't killed a year or two earlier. he didn't believe in having guards or security and unfortunately, that was his undoing. >> we're talking about dave swanson, author of "manhunt." we're giving you a look at what it was like outside of the ford
4:34 am
theatre and we'll do that right now. >> the attention of the whole audience was centered upon the stage and booth took advantage of the distraction and made his way into the box where president lincoln sat. we heard the report of the shot and the subsequent tumbles in the theatre but in the remote regions at the back of the stage, we thought the noise was occasioned by some new picture of the evening's entertainment. and just then, my brother came running toward me out of the audience trying to me that booth had shot lincoln. we were together only a moment when booth himself came running in between us with a great knife in his hand and the knife was about a foot in length.
4:35 am
he waved the knife in his hand and slashed at my fellow actor mr. withers. we were stagnant and couldn't understand the meaning and we both thought the man had gone mad. for a while, the lives of the members of the company were in grave peril. a great frenzy crowd much like this one had gathered outside the theatre and because of some of the rumors that some of the members of the company were conspirators with booth, some of them were excited proposed that they burn the theatre and cremate the alleged offenders. this peril was acute until the military got the situation in
4:36 am
hand. my father and i left for home and mr. withers came with us. not until we arrived there did we realize mr. withers coat had been slashed in two places. for my part, i remember perfectly well the last appearance of john wilkes booth on the stage or rather the last but one. he played the part of [ inaudible ]. the real tragedy, though, was when he threw the world in orbit. [ applause ]
4:37 am
>> hundreds of people gathered outside of ford's theatre on 10th street in northwest washington, d.c., about six blocks from the white house. as we reflect on the events that happened this very evening 150 years ago, the consequential events that ended in our 16th president's death. joining me is dave swanson. in about 45 minutes or so you'll be inside petersen house for a tour. you've been in that house so many times. what stands out? >> what stands out is the intimacy of the petersen house. unlike ford theatre which collapsed inside had to be totally renovated, the petersen house feels totally authentic. it's never been gutted or restored or changed. i can just see him being carried
4:38 am
down that hallway laid in that bed. it's interesting, at the time there was commentary that it was inappropriate that the president of the united states die in a boarding house. but lincoln was such a simple man. he would not have felt that way. also, the coffin was not a fine coffin. soldiers went to a military workshop and brought a long pine box with a screwtop lid and brought it inside. lincoln's naked body was wrapped in the american flag and put in this box and the only sound of the room was the sound of the screws being tightened in their holes and people were very upset to see the president in this pine box but it was almost poetic. that harked back to lincoln's days as a young man. so i feel lincoln's presence. in fact when i was working on "manhunt," i would often stand-alone in the petersen
4:39 am
bedroom and write my initial notes. i must have come to ford's almost a hundred times, to the petersen almost a hundred times and did the same thing in the petersen house. these places are really important and emotional to me and a part of my life. >> before we let you go, we want to ask you about the 12-day chase for the capture and ultimate death of john wilkes booth. first, let's go to laura joining us from sun city, california. good evening to you. >> caller: hello. thank you. i was very much interested in the celebration of 150 years. i think that the first time i learned about lincoln was properly through robert e. lee and that's all in the past and it was that lincoln got robert e. lee's homestead for a wonderful memorial park and then
4:40 am
i learned about it more through walter knott at knott's berry farm because he had a play that would darken at the moment lincoln was shot and, of course, walt disney had the disneyland lincoln beautiful walking statue, which i don't know if it still exists. but then of course, as a lover of books, i learned about the lincoln library which i under is just five books. so as he wrote this wonderful book. >> thank you, laura. we'll get a response. >> i'm not sure i understood the question. it was a question about the lincoln library in springfield illinois. but steve, what was the question? >> she was talking about really how so many people over the years, including walt disney, had tried to carry on the life
4:41 am
of lincoln and bring him to life to people who obviously were not around when he was here in 1865. >> yes. well, i very much like that walt disney figure. disney called it an audio figure of lincoln that he created for the new york world's fair of 1963 and proved tremendously popular so he made it a permanent attraction at disneyland. of course, now at disney world, at the hall of presidents, there's moving and talking presidents. i'm a big believer in getting history to people in all kinds of ways. some historians scoff but i enjoy t i enjoy it. i think it's a great way to reach people and walt disney had a real role in popularizing lincoln. i'm all for that. and also with the libraries and the museum exhibits, here at ford theatre, we brought together relics that haven't
4:42 am
been in place in the last 150 years. i think more people will see relics and objects than will ever read my books or friends of mine. public of education is really well-served from walt disney to museum exhibitions to reach out to the american people and inspire their interest in american history. >> dave swanson including the kidnapping of the president and ultimately killing the president. it came together pretty quickly on the day of april 14th 1865. because as we all know, john wilkes booth had heard that the president was going to be coming to ford's theatre during the noon hour. i wonder if you could just turn around and explain what happened after he fired the shots and got on the stage and then took off. >> yes. well, booth came to the theatre about 10:00. had he been here earlier to make his secret preparations. star saloon next to ford theatre
4:43 am
and then walked along the back wall. a few people who recognized booth, a famous actor watched him. and then he stood for a moment outside the first doorway leading to the vestibule that led to a second door that would lead to the president's box. booth shoots lincoln during an act when an actor is on stage. he fires the shot, stabs major wrathbone and falls 12 feet to the stage. at that point, booth did not want to conceal his identity. he could have shaved his mustache. instead, he stops thrusts his chest in the air and cries out "the south is avenged" and then he cried out "the state of virginia" and brandishes the blood-stained dagger. it has a motto, "land of the free liberty, independence."
4:44 am
how ironic. and then booth utters one final exclamation. booth says to himself, i've done it. and then he runs out a hallway, goes out the back door to the alley behind ford's theatre gets on his horse and gallops away. he's gone before the audience even realizes completely what's happened and that's the first moment of booth's successful escape from ford's theatre and took 12 days to hunt him down. >> more events are happening outside of ford's theatre. we'll continue to listen in. >> struck something. i looked down and picked up a very small but notable pistol. the pistol is now property of the metropolitan police. my friends, please, pray with me and pray for our beloved
4:45 am
president. thank you. [ applause ] >> just some of the sights and sounds along 10th street in northwest washington, d.c., as people gather to reflect what happened 150 years ago. we want to thank james swanson author of the book "manhunt: search for abraham lincoln's killer." we know you have a tour in a few minutes. final thoughts from you on this historic evening? >> spending a lifetime researching abraham lincoln. he was not only our greatest president, he was one of the greatest american who is ever lived and he still lives today. it's a great example of how to live, how to do politics, how to serve the country. so it's very important that tonight we remember not just lincoln who was shot tonight and died tomorrow.
4:46 am
tonight is the night i like to remember the living abraham lincoln and the sources of his greatness and what he did for the american people. so i would say, don't remember april 14th and 15th just as his assassination and death. remember who he was in life and what lessons he gives us today. >> james swanson, the book "manhunt: the 12-day search for lincoln's killer" and for the lucky 30 people a one-hour tour as the events unfolded 150 years ago. thank you for being here on c-span 3. >> thank you. my pleasure. >> do you have any direction which way he was headed? >> i couldn't say. i saw him leave the alleyway and he was off like a shot. >> were there accomplices perhaps? >> i heard rumors that there were. i only know of booth. but -- yeah. i've asked conspiracies.
4:47 am
>> thank you for listening to my story. >> thanks for telling it. >> anyone who left the theatre that night left under suspicion. >> thanks. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president's pulse is 45 his respirations are between 25 and 27. there is still no sign that he's aware but all efforts are being made to make him as comfortable as possible. again, thank you for your vigil. >> open phones for the next half hour or so. lee is joining us from palmdale
4:48 am
california. good evening. >> caller: good evening. you know i can't help but in watching this -- and i want to thank c-span for putting it on -- i think it's fantastic. the coverage of this is being done by c-span. you know i can't help but relate to the kennedy assassination of this and i had a question to ask mr. reynolds that i was curious when president kennedy was assassinated, mrs. kennedy referred to historical documents on the lincoln assassination to determine how the funeral was going to play out. when president lincoln was assassinated, did mary lincoln have any president to go to or did she just originate what later was duplicated with president kennedy's funeral? >> on the evening of november 22nd 1963, mrs. kennedy did exactly that referring to what
4:49 am
happened in 1865. so thank you for that comment. not sure about mary todd lincoln, what she used for her own reference point. there is one photograph that a few -- a week and a half later in 1865, where president lincoln's body was laying in state in new york city. we'll go to ken who is joining us from fremont, california. again, live scenes outside of ford's theatre here in washington, d.c., and good evening, ken. >> caller: good evening, ken. i just have a quick question for mr. reynolds. in his opinion what is the best thing that lincoln has ever done? in my opinion, it was -- [ inaudible ]. i would just like to know his opinion about that. thank you very much and thank you for c-span. >> thank you for your comment. our guest is not with us.
4:50 am
this is just a chance for you to reflect on the events from 150 years ago and we'll watch the scene outside of ford's theatre. and this is what it looks like. live coverage here on c-span 2. >> it's very hard to believe that just a few days after being out there, playing out the surrender we would find ourselves here in washington city and then hearing the news about the shooting tonight, my god, for this to happen so suddenly. >> when this is supposed to be a moment of jubilation. but at all times, good friday. what's the world coming to? >> we would -- that surrender ceremony was really something watching the troops go by.
4:51 am
>> uh-huh. >> seeing the army of northern virginia coming by the last time coming here to washington, d.c., and hearing this horrible news has just been awful. we should stay here tonight and see what is going to happen. >> yeah. >> i hope that they find something out something by morning. we can only pray for the president and pray for our nation now. did you hear about the assassin who it was? >> no, i didn't. >> believe it or not great actor, john wilkes booth. >> you're kidding me. they caught him? >> no, i don't think so, he got away. the booth family, they're a great family of actors it was that john wilkes booth. and somehow he got away. >> crazy. >> i'm sure there's going to be a manhunt to find that.
4:52 am
>> i am sure of that. i just don't understand what's coming in the world now. also i heard that vice president johnson was also attacked. and secretary stewart was stabbed in his bed as he slept. there's murderers everywhere. >> sounds like conspiracy. >> i think so. >> i saw the secretary of war walking through the building. i think he is going to interrogate some people. >> just some of the actors recreating events from 150 years ago. of course, it was a 12 day manhunt before the capture and ultimate death of john wilkes booth, outside ford theater where the president and first lady traveled. he was shot 12:10:00 p.m. eastern time he passed away at
4:53 am
7:22 in the morning the following day, what was easter weekend, the president at ford's theater as you heard from the re-enactors on good friday a few days after the settlement and peace agreement, culminating conclusion of the civil war. >> realization came to the audience along with the demand for retribution. scores poured over foot lights, on to the stage. a few ran to the lobby to ascend to the box. pistols were drawn and the search for booth commenced. >> thank you for your story. >> thank you for listening.
4:54 am
>> it was a big celebration, the president was coming to see a show. and the word was out and they had special things out that night. and it turned into a horrible night. >> luke at the scene unfold, imagine what this was like 150 years ago, the war had come to an end. lincoln had been shot behind the left theater, was carried across the street. his pulse getting weaker. after that shock he would pass away. what's happening now is outside ford theater. courtesy of national park service, recreation of sorts of the events to give you perspective from 150 years ago.
4:55 am
chas joins us from miami, florida with a comment. good evening to you. >> good evening to you. my wife and i are touched by watching this. we wish we were there. i lived in d.c. a bit myself. i am a researcher and writer with florida humanities council, written extensively about jose marquise, the other great emancipator. i wanted to share an anecdote. sometimes we forget that lincoln was a world figure. we know about the russians asking about the great emancipator in that far away land where people spend their lives getting to and never reach it. there was the spanish colony of cuba, about to be embroiled in an awful struggle. trying to emancipate its own slaves or enslaved people. and jose marte was 13 when
4:56 am
lincoln died was a great supporter of the union, he took to wearing an arm band. in fact, all of the union people in havana, a cosmopolitan city, rivalled by new york, wore and bands. the spanish thought it was provocative, wanted to hold onto slavery, so they started to fine people for wearing the arm band. what they did, they paid the fine pinned the receipt on their lapel. i love that story because you can't hide the sun with your finger. freedom will out everyone. i am just very touched by this. thank you very much. >> chas, thank you. for all of you with your calls, comments, questions. the scene outside ford's theater. the vigil will continue overnight if you're in the washington, d.c. area, travel to 10th street and ford's theater.
4:57 am
want to share what associated press correspondent wrote as he carried the original reporting of the assassination of the president, saying a military guard was placed in front of the private residence to which the president had been conveyed, that of course peterson house. an immense crowd was in front of it deeply anxious to learn the condition of the president. it had been previously announced the wound was mortal, but all hope otherwise. the president was breathing slowly blood oozed from the wound in the back of his head. surgeons exhausted every effort and medical skill but all hope was gone. then he says the parting of his family with the dying president too sad for description. again, that early report from an associated press correspondent on april 15th 1865. continue to watch the scene for the next few minutes. thanks for tuning in as we reflect on the historic the
4:58 am
consequential events 150 years ago tonight. american history tv in prime time continues with programs commemorating the 150th anniversary of press lincoln's funeral in springfield, illinois. we will take you to the station where his funeral train arrived learn about itself seven state journey from washington, d.c. it all begins thursday at 8:00 eastern here on cspan3. this sunday night at 8:00 eastern on first ladies, influence and image.
4:59 am
we will look into the personal lives of three first ladies. sarah polk margaret taylor, and abigail fill more. sarah polk had a strong belief in politics often helped her husband james make political decisions. margaret taylor was opposed to her husband's nomination for president. zachary taylor enjoyed telling people she was praying for his opponent to win. as a teacher, abigail fill more was the first to have a profession, began efforts to establish the first white house library. sarah polk, margaret taylor, and abigail fill more, sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cspan's original series, first ladies, influence and image, examining the public and private wives of the women that filled the position of first lady, from martha washington to michelle obama. sundays 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on cspan3. as a complement to the series, cspan's new book first ladie


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on