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tv   Fords Theatre Lincoln Assassination 150th Anniversary Day 1  CSPAN  April 19, 2015 8:00am-9:01am EDT

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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> on april 14, 1865, 150 years ago. he died in the back bedroom. we joined a candlelight vigil will swanson -- with author james swanson. james: this is the scene from washington dc outside of ford's theater and pearson house. it was on it was on this day 150 years ago when john wilkes booth shot and fatally wounded president lincoln as he shot in the box in the florida theater. the dollar to -- the form
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theater. he died the next day at 7:22 a.m. what you are looking at is every creation as reenactors are remembering what happened on the evening of april 141865. the next few minutes we were watch and see this event unfold live here on c-span television. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]>> very -- [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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♪ ♪ 's. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> and you are looking at the scene directly outside of ford's theater which is directly outside the peterson house, directly across house, directly
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across ford's theater. general powell hung those outside for the event. this commemorates what happened 150 years ago the assassination of president abraham lincoln. phone lines are open. (202)748-8901. joining us outside of ford's theater is james swanson author of the book manhunt something you have commemorated for many years dating back to 1987. thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you. great to be with you after one can only imagine what it was like. the civil war had just ended 's, generally had surrendered. this was supposed to be a night of celebration to get out of the white house, travel to ford's theatre enjoy something that the president often loved. walk us through as the events unfolded.
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>> guest: well the well, the north was celebrating, lee had surrendered five days earlier command washington had a week of celebrations. on this day abraham lincoln decided to seek some relief and come to ford's theatre. lincoln loved to be in a crowd but separate. he loves to be in the theater by himself. he and mary decided to come here to guests with them. earlier this afternoon the pres. on his wall -- the pres. and his wife went on a carriage ride. he said, mary, this day i consider the war has come to an end. the death of our young boy. we have been unhappy. he talked about his desire to go to chicago.
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he said he wanted to see the pacific ocean. but we must be happy again. hours later they arrive here they arrive after they arrive after the play started's. lincoln came without an entourage, without guards. when he got to that box the actors saw that the pres. had arrived. they played hail to the chief and the crowd went wild. here was lincoln. he had done he had done as he said he would, won the civil war ended slavery, and preserve the union. this this was his greatest triumph. he got into the presidential box and bowed and sat down and the play continued. i would have liked to have seen that. i would not have wanted to seen the assassination, but i would've loved loved to see that magical moment when abraham lincoln arrived here
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with majestic simplicity and accepted the greetings and thanks of the american people after one you have been coming to this box since 1987. for you and so many historians it must feel special for you tonight. abcatoo tonight. >> guest: it does. i have been coming here since 87. my future wife and i came here on april 14 14th thinking we would see a celebration honoring lincoln's. we went to a restaurant and waited them and no one ever came. all we saw was a station wagon drive-by. the car slowed car slowed to a stop, the father pointed the force theater, the kids look, nodded, nodded their heads and drove on. that is how the american people remembered. they did nothing's. no
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celebration. what you see behind me now is what the street look like a hundred and 50 years ago tonight and i am happy that they made a.of bringing the american people here's. the most moving 9 i have ever been here. the performances here. the performance inside the theater was incredible. we felt the presence of abraham lincoln. they created the happiness that lincoln must've felt. laughing. he put his coat on. a little chilly. at one point mary lincoln reached out and held his hand. the pres. president said what we will miss her think of me hanging on to you some those were the last words i spoke. for me having for me having written many books, having come here for much of my life command is deeply moving to be standing on 10th street.
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>> we want to bring in viewers and listeners. as listeners. as you look back at exactly what happened and reflect on what abraham lincoln meant to this country's, what do you think it was like in terms of the communication and getting the word that lincoln had died early the next day? >> well, people do. about 11:00 o'clock that night the pres.'s i can't his body was carried across the street. he was pronounced mortally wounded. the pres. of the united states cannot diana floor of the theater. taken to a saloon. we can have the pres. diana saloon. he was taken to the peterson house command there began a vigil. >> listen for a moment if we could.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> at approximately
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10:15 p.m. on april 14 1865 1865 president abraham lincoln was shot by donald booth inside ford's theater while attending the play our american cousins. the 1st person to enter the presidential box was dr. charles leal 23-year-old physician who had only completed his medical studies a few weeks prior along with doctor charles, doctor leal enlisted the assistance of a group of soldiers to carry pres. lincoln out of the theater pushing against crowds of onlookers and stopping frequently to administer aid to the following president.
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outside the theater a light rain began to fall. dr. leal recognized that a bumpy carriage ride through the muddy streets of washington dc would be far too much for abraham lincoln's weakened body to bear. just then just then a resident, william pierce boarding house across the street from the theater opened the door at the top the stairs and said bring him in here's. the soldier who had just moments earlier been celebrating the union victory of the civil war now had to carry the weakened body of the following commander through crowds of people. the bed that they found in the rear bedroom of the
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peterson house was too small to accommodate the pres.'s 6'4" frame, so they had to lay him diagonally across the bed. doctor leal and doctor taft attended to lincoln and tried to make them as comfortable as they could for they knew that the 1st moment that his wounds was mortal's. mary lincoln spent most of that night in the front parlor of the peterson house overcome with grief, already mourning the death of her youngest son the assassination of her husband was too much for her to bear her eldest son's came to her at the white house and attempted to comfort her
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throughout the night. in the night. in the rear parlor of the peterson house secretary of war stanton began his investigation into the events surrounding the assassination of president lincoln. he questioned eyewitnesses sent orders out for the arrest of john wilkes booth and began to send information out about the events at the theater's. 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 and the confusion and chaos of the nights events panic and fear of a southern conspiracy began to spread misinformation throughout the crowd. the vice president had also been killed. others said that general grant and met the same fate.
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one rumor came about that the general and confederate troops had taken possession of the city. a thousand and one exciting tales were started and i doubt. the atmosphere of shock and craze, crowds of people fill the frenzy and waiting to seize an opportunity for it 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 lamp a lamp post before he was rescued by policemen. as the moments as the moments dragged on on that wet and chilly night feelings of anger and fear became feelings of sadness and melancholy.
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weary weary that the weight of world, women and men's plan to each other for support. they stood for hours outside the peterson home on that wet and chilly night standing vigil, waiting for any word on the fate of there beloved father abraham. >> is wound is on the left side of the head online with the left ear and 3 inches behind. the history of surgery has failed to record a recovery from such a bond. it is impossible's that he will recover.
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but as god has it i we will return throughout the evening to alert you of the status of our great leader. his pulses 44 and growing weaker. it's >> my name is laura keene. it was my company that presented our american cousin this evening. i knew president lincoln was in the theater but i had not been told i was still have felt his presence. actors are well trained in the art of reading an audience, even from behind the curtain. and i felt a change in the room with the president and
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his wife arrived. it was it was unmistakable. as it happened, i was behind the curtain on the opposite side of the theater from the presidents and 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 so i did not hear the report of the pistol but john wilkes booth, an actor of my acquaintance, but a man i was not was not expecting to see, push through the curtain, striking my hand with his own as the rest by. i knew at once that something was amiss. and then the cries began. women screaming, men hollering, children wailing as if the entire theater were burning.
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and i quickly realized that was minute you to enter. it's to the front of the stage and address the audience. for god's sake have presence of mind. all will be well. but i was wrong. all was not well. and never we will be again. not for president lincoln not for our country and not for me. immediately ms. harris went with the president called for me to bring water. it's arriving at the president's box having pushed my way through the crowd and up the staircase as though mrs. lincoln was in agony, i shall never forget the sound. i realized at once that any
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help would be in vain. i could do nothing for her. more 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 breath. i sat myself down the floor took his wounded head into my lap and tried to be of some small comfort. i begged him and tried to force some of the liquid through his lips and held him there until at long last they carried him away from me and away from the theater i do not know cheated on the
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floor of the president. under the dawning realization. permanently stained his blood. it's with the same sadness. my hand shook 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 of my happiness will ever return again park service re-creating the historic events the consequential events of 100 years ago.
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we want to rejoin with the author of manhunt joining us outside of ford's theater. ironic as you feel the temperature tonight that it is similar to how it was a hundred and 50 years ago today. a rainy, chilly night. >> yes. it yes. it is incredible how the day is so much like it was. it it began raining and misting and was very chilly like it is tonight. the crowd was as it is now even a little bigger. about 1800 about 1800 people then 2,000, than 3000, than 4,000 choked with people so much people, so much that when the carriage containing secretary of war stanton and secretary of the navy wells arrived they're carriage could not penetrate the crowd. it's throughout the night several thousand people waited wanted to know how is the president we will be live: he died.
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many were newly freed slaves secretary wells came out. sitting at lincoln's side and was stunned to see a largely african-american crowd outside weeping and praying. >> david is joining us from enfield, connecticut. good evening. thank you for waiting. >> good evening. how are you tonight? >> we are fine. go ahead with your question. >> more of a comment. i was struck by everything so far. i was thinking back on how when i was younger i went to ford's theatre took a took a tour, went to the peterson house and took a tour there as well and always loved the history of the civil war and the story of abraham lincoln i have seen a bunch of movies and books about him. i have read a lot of his
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speeches you know a lot of the things that he wrote. he he was a really smart man. i was watching and thinking how impressive it is that 150 years later he still matters in the american consciousness you no? i was just -- i wish i could be there right now with everyone standing at the right now. >> thank you. >> we do remember lincoln to this day. our best beloved president and certainly one of the two or three most important never. and he matters today. today. but get his greatest characteristics, his empathy for others, his greatness as a writer. ..
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>> caller: good evening. mr. swanson i had a couple of questions about the theater that night. what were the circumstances that led them that night and i heard
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they had led very tragic lives after the assassination and if you could comment on that. just go abraham lincoln's the other guests were henry rascon and daughter of senator from new york. they were not the first race. general grant was supposed to come but mrs. grant did not like mary lincoln. and most of women in official washington couldn't stand mary lincoln. others were asked and they didn't come so ultimately rascon was chosen and claire harris. major revcon was stabbed right john wilkes-booth aftergood shot the president and try to prevent booth from escaping into the stabbed in the arm. they had a tragedy later. living in germany rathbone went insane and years later using the same weapons, the type of views to the pistol and a knife he murdered his wife in front of their children and he was confined to a german insane asylum. so they had a tragic life.
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clara harris would have been better off if booth had killed her fiancé this night on april 14, 1865. they would have saved her from being murdered at his hands late late -- years later. the president did not have a security detail. explain that if you could for a moment. >> guest: abraham lincoln didn't believe in security. he was not an imperial president. p1 said my story is the short and simple annals of the poor and he didn't like having personal bodyguards so when he arrived here he was in a carriage with mary his wife with rathbone and harris and the coachman francis bird. there is a legend of the white house guard john parker that abandoned the president wasn't guarding the box. he was really guarding the white house. there was no secret service them. it was not his sworn duty to be the bodyguard for all immature and furthermore they have showed his card to charles forbes and
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employee of the white house was sitting outside the box. he handed it to him and booth was so famous and well regarded abraham lincoln had seen them perform on stage. no one would have stopped the booth from coming into the theater box. lincoln on surprise was not murdered in the executive mansion during the war. security was so poor. you could be a stranger, go to the white house gain entry and say i want to see the president and likely if you set down for couple of hours you could have a few words with president lincoln. lincoln just didn't believe in having guards and security and unfortunately that was his undoing. >> host: we are talking to james swanson the author of "manhunt." >> i'm at a dramatic point in the place of the attention of the whole audience was centered upon the stage and booth took
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advantage of the distraction and made his way into the box in which president lincoln that. we heard the report of the shot and the subsequent tom maltin the theater. we thought the noise was occasioned by some new feature of the evenings entertainment. and just then my brother came running toward me out of the audience crying to me that booth had shot lincoln. we were together all me a moment when booth himself came running between us with a great knife in his hand and a knife was about a foot in length. he dashed toward the building waving the great knife in his
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hand and trusted me aside in the/of my fellow at their mr. withers. we were astounded and could not conquer and its meaning. we both thought the man had gone mad. for while the lives of the members of the company were in grave peril. a great crowd frenzied crowd much like us who had gathered outside the theater and because of some of the rumors that some of the members of the company were conspirators with booth some of the more excited -- that they burned the theater and would cremate the alleged offenders. the sparrow was acute until the military got in the situation hand. my father and i left for home and mr. withers came with us.
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not until we arrived there to be realized that mr. withers coat had and slashed into 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 the scholar in apostate. the real tragedy though was when he threw the world and two morning. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> host: hundreds of people gathered outside the ford's theatre on tenth street in northwest washington dc-6 blocks from the white house as we reflect the events that unfolded on this very evening 150 years ago. the consequential events that resulted in the death of our 16th president and joining us outside of ford's theatre's historian james swanson. i know in about 45 minutes or so you were going to be inside peterson house for a tour. you have been in that house so many different times. what stands out? >> guest: what stands out is the intimacy of the theater. unlike ford's theatre which collect inside had to be totally renovated renovated. the pearson house feels completely authentic. it's never been gutted. it's never been fully restored or changed my feel the presence at even more thank you in ford's theater. i can see him being carried down that hallway late in that ed and it's interesting, the time there
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was commentary that it was an appropriate that the president of the united states died in the house that lincoln was such a simple man. he would not have felt that way and also when the coffin was called for after lincoln had died it was not a fine coffin. soldiers went to a military workshop and brought a long time box with a screw top lid and brought it inside. lincoln's body was wrapped in the american flag and he was put in this box and the only sound in the room was the sound of the screws being tied in and of the holes. people were very upset to see the president this time box but it was almost poetic. he was really the roughly hewn coffin of a rail splitter that hearts back to lincoln's origins as a pioneer pioneer boy in the young woodsman in illinois and indiana as a young man. and so i feel lincoln's presence. in fact when i was working on "manhunt" i would often stand alone in the peterson house in the bedroom and make my official notes on how to write that scene. all the time i was writing the book i must have come to awards
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100 times. i would sit in the seats of ford said make no stride that can do the same thing in the peterson house. these places are very important and emotional to me. they really are very much a part of my life and the researching of the books have done. >> host: before you go i want to ask about the 12 day chase the capture and ultimate death of john wilkes-booth but first we want to go to laura joining us from sun city california. >> caller: thank you. it is very much interested in the celebration of 150 years. i think the first time i learned about lincoln was probably through robert e. lee traveler but that's all in the past and anyway blinken.robert e. lee homestead for a wonderful memorial part and then i learned about it more through walter
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knott at knots berry farm because he had applied when mccain was shot and of course while disney had the disneyland lincoln statue. it's been a disneyland for a long time but then of course i learned about the lincoln library which i understand is -- so i was just wondering how they lincoln library influence this persons life as as he wrote this wonderful book lacks. >> host: thank you laura. we will get a response. >> guest: i'm not sure i understood the question. it was a question about the lincoln library in springfield illinois but what was the question? >> guest: she was talking about really how so many people over the years including walt disney had tried to carry on the life of lincoln and bring him to life to people who obviously were not around when he was here
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in 1865. >> guest: i very much like that walt disney figure. as they called it the audio animatronic figure of lincoln that he created for the new york world's fair 1963 improved tremendously popular so you made it a permanent attraction at disneyland and of course at disney world in the hall of presidents there's so roomful of talking living presidents. i'm a big believer in getting history to people in all kinds of ways. some historians scoff at a wax figures are moving figures but i enjoy. i think it's a great way to reach people and i think walt disney had a huge role in popularizing abraham lincoln during the civil war centennial in the 1960s. so i'm all for that and also with the libraries and the museum exhibits come here at ford's theater we brought together relics that haven't been in one place in the last 150 years. i think her people will see relics and objects than will ever read my books are the books
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on abraham lincoln. public -- public education is well served by everything from walt disney to museum exhibitions to reach out to the american people and inspire their interest in american history. >> host: james swanson after discussing a couple of her implants including kidnapping the president and ultimately killing the president they came together pretty quickly on the day of april 14, 1865 because as we all know john wilkes-booth had heard the president was going to be coming to ford's theater during the noon hour. i wonder if you can turn around and explain what happened after he fired the shots. he jumped onto the stage and then took off. >> guest: yes, well booth came to the theater at about 10:00. he had been there earlier to make presentations -- preparations. the same door lincoln came through the same curved staircase walk along the back
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wall. a few people who recognize booth the famous actor watched him and then he stood outside the first doorway leading to the vestibule that led to a second or that would lead to the president's box. booth shoots lincoln during a moment when one actors on stage. he fires a shot he stabs richard rathbone and drops 12 feet to the stage. at that point booth did not want to conceal his identity. he could have shaved his mustache or warner disguise. instead he stops, he faces the audience and he thrusts his chest in the air and cries out the south is avenged. then he cries out the state motto of virginia. the new brand brandes is the bloodstained dagger that he used to stab major rathbone. the dagger was the motto land of the free home of the brave liberty independence independence. how ironic because abraham lincoln leads in exactly the same things. those runs off stage and before he gets to the wings he utters one final exclamation. it's really a choice!
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himself but a few patrons here. booth says to himself i done it. and then he runs out the hallway hallway, goes out the backdoor to the ford's theatre gets on his horse and galloped away. he's gone before the audience realizes what has happened. that's the first moment of his successful escape from ford's theater and it took 12 days to hunt him down. >> guest: more event happening outside of ford's theater. we'll continue to listen in. >> he struck something. i looked down and i picked up a very small but notable derringer pistol trade that pistol is now property them or metropolitan police and my friends, please pray with m [inaudible conversations]
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>> host: some of the sights and sounds of among tenth street in northwest -- northwest washington d.c. as people gather gather. want to thank james wants and the author of the book "manhunt" the 12-day chase for lincoln's killer and we know if you have a tour coming up in just a couple of minutes. final thoughts from you on this historic evening? just go after spending a lifetime researching a bram lincoln. it a bram lincoln was not only our greatest president of one of the greatest americans who ever lived and he still lives today as a great example of how to live, how to do politics in several countries country so it's very important that tonight we remember not just lincoln who was shot tonight. tonight is a night at like to remember the living and the sources of the greatness and what he did for the american
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people. i would say don't remember april 14 and 15th just as his assassination in death. remember who he was in life and what lessons he teaches us. >> host: james wants in the book sub for sub live "manhunt" the 12-day chase for lincoln's killer a >> so soon after you in the end at the work. >> a real tragedy. all the celebration and excitement that we were expecting at the end of the war and gone and instead. >> do you have any idea which direction he was headed? >> i couldn't say. i saw him leave the alleyway and he was off like a shot. >> are there conferences perhaps. >> i heard there were. i know only -- only know of booth but a vast conspiracy they are saying. thank you for listening to my story.
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>> ladies and gentlemen the president's poll says 45 his respirations are between 25 and 27. there is still no sign that he is aware coming to you on c-span2 and a reminder every weekend on c-span3 we bring in 48 hours of the events that shaped american history. you can check out our full schedule information on line anytime at c-span.org. open phones for the next half-hour, lee is joining us from palmdale california. good evening. >> caller: good evening. i can't help in watching this
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and i want to thank c-span for putting it on. think it's fantastic that this is being done by c-span. i can't help but relate to the kennedy assassination with this and i have a question to ask mr. reynolds. i was curious when president kennedy was assassinated mrs. kennedy restored to -- referred to a store called documents on the lincoln assassination to determine how it was going to play out. when president lincoln was assassinated mary lincoln have any president to go to or did she originate what later was duplicated with president kennedy's funeral? >> host: lee thinks. of course it's been well accounted that on the evening of of -- mrs. kennedy did that referring to what happened in 1865 so thank you for that comment. i'm not sure about mary todd
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lincoln and what she is for her own reference point. there is one photograph from about a week and a half later in 1865 where president lincoln's body was lying in state in new york city, the only known photograph of president lincoln in the casket. we will go to ken joining us from fremont california again like scenes outside of ford's theatre in washington d.c.. >> caller: good evening steve. in mr. reynolds opinion what was the best -- lincoln had ever done. [inaudible] it was a lot better than spielberg lincoln that came out a few years ago when i would like to know his opinion about that. thank you very much and thank you for c-span. >> host: our guest is not with us. this is a chance to reflect on the events from 150 years ago as
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we watch the scenes outside of ward's theater. this is what it looks like live coverage here on c-span2. >> it's very hard to believe that just a few days after appomattox after the surrender we would find ourselves here in washington city and hearing the news about the shooting tonight. for this to happen so suddenly at the end of the war when this is supposed to be a moment of jubilation and of all times on good friday. what's the world coming to? that surrender ceremony was really something. seeing the army of northern virginia pass through for the last time in coming to
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washington and seeing this and hearing this horrible news. we should stay here tonight and see what's going to happen. we can only pray for the president pray for our nation right now. it's the only thing we can do. did you hear about the assassin and who was? >> no i didn't. he was the great actor john wilkes-booth. >> you are kidding me? >> the booth family. the great family of all the actors, it was that john wilkes-booth and somehow he got away. i'm sure there's going to be a manhunt to try to find him. i am sure of that. i just don't understand what's happening to the world
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right now. also i heard vice president johnson was also attacked and secretary steward was stabbed in his bed as he slept. there are murders everywhere. >> it's a conspiracy of some type trade. >> i believe so. i saw the secretary of war walk into the building there so i think he's going to interrogate some people. i hope they can find him. >> some of the actors re-creating the offense from 150 years ago. of course it was a 12 day manhunt for the capture and ultimate death of john wilkes-booth outside of ward's theater where the president and first lady travel to see our american cousin andy was shot shortly after 10:12 p.m. eastern time moved across to peterson house and passed away at 7:22 in the morning the follly to take you outside of the ford's theatre. there was upper arm its earlier
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in the evening and many people including reenactors to reimagine what it was like on the evening that we lost our 16th president. >> suddenly realization came to the audience along with the demand for retribution. scores poured over onto the stage. a few persons ran to the lobby to ascend to the box. pistols were drawn and the search for booth commenced. >> it's a replica that seats 600 people but back then it sat about 1800. and everyone, it was a big celebration in now because the president was coming to see a show. the word was out and they had
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special things happening that [inaudible] you have tried to addition for all of those. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> host: as you look at the scene unfold imagine what the moment was like 150 years ago. the war had come to an end and now the vigil had begun for president abraham lincoln who had been shot behind the left ear and was carried across the street with his polls getting ever weaker and a few hours after the shot he would pass away. what's happening right now outside of ward's theater courtesy of the national park service and re-creation of sorts of the events to give you some perspective from 150 years ago. chas is joining us from miami florida with a comment. good evening to you. >> caller: good evening to
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you. my wife and i are very touched by this and we wish we were there. i'm a researcher and writer for the florida humanities and the other emancipator of the americas. i wanted to share an anecdote because sometimes we forget that lincoln was a world figure and of course we know the story about the russian serfs asking tolstoy about this great emancipator in a faraway land where people spend their lives getting to and never reaching. but closer there were the spanish colonies of cuba and embroiled in an awful struggle trying to emancipate its own slaves or enslaved people. josé markey was 13 years old when lincoln died and was a great supporter of the union.
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he took to wearing an armband. in fact all union people in havana which was a very cosmopolitan city rival by new york at the time were armband. the spanish thought this was provocative. of course they wanted to hold onto slavery so they started confining people for wearing the armband. people had to take the armband off so what they did is they paid the fine and penned the receipt of the fine on their lapel. i just love that story because you really can't hide -- freedom will out everything. i'm just very touched by this.
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the surgeons had exhausted every effort and all hope was gone. the parting of his family had left the dying president to set for description8:00 a.m. eastern time. check out our schedule information online. thank you for tuning in as we reflect on the historic but consequential events 150 years ago tonight. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> today we are marking the 150th anniversary of the assassination of president lincoln. first, this perspective on the lincoln assassination. >> picture of the chaos that erupts around you as you fear for your own safety, recollecting in panic any words that might be construed as hostile to the president as well
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as the times you were soon socializing with the assassin the drink you took with him in the barn next door. there is a saloon on the south side of the ford's theater, the star saloon, which was where the secessionists hung out. there's a saloon on the north side, the greenback saloon where the unionists hung out. there were a lot of trips to those saloons that day. near as i can figure booth alone made seven or eight trips over there in the course of the afternoon or evening which gives you something about working up his courage for doing what he did. from that moment on for those people as would be the case for any of us today, your world would never be the same. you would be interrogated, perhaps imprisoned. you would have to provide testimony, keeping it scrupulously accurate and consistent, and endure interview after interview for weeks, months, years. constantly retelling, reliving every detail of an event that occurred in less than 30
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seconds. for the rest of your life, you would move frequently, you would avoid reporters, perhaps change your name. and the words "that night" would define the rest of your life and headline your obituary. and precisely that scenario was the terrifying new reality for 46 people hired by ford's theater the night of april 14th, 1865. >> last wednesday american history tv was live from 10th street and washington, d.c. at the peterson house where president lincoln was taken 150 years ago after being shot at the form theater by john walters. the president died -- ford thea ter by john wilkes booth. the president died the next day. the federal city brass band played taps at the exact
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moment of the president's death and tells told across the -- bells tolled just as they did in 1865. ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪

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