Posts Tagged With: News

The 4th of July at Port Royal

Port Royal Event 7-4-2015

Every year for the past 16 years, Port Royal, Virginia has put on a celebratory Independence Day event.  The day is filled with musicians, Revolutionary and Civil War reenactors, speakers, 18th century dancers, bagpipers, and a formal reading of the Declaration of Independence. It is a wonder annual program and a great way to spend part of the 4th.  Here are a few pictures that I managed to take of the event:

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This year, I had the honor of being asked to give a short speech.  Knowing my interest in the Lincoln assassination story, my fellow board members of Historic Port Royal asked me to speak on the topic of John Wilkes Booth.  I heartily agreed.  Later on though, as I was trying to prepare for my speech, I had a hard time reconciling the discussion of a Presidential assassin on the day of our country’s birth.  So, rather than discussing John Wilkes Booth, I decided to present a more Revolutionary tale.  Below is a video of the speech I presented.

I wish you all a very happy Independence Day.

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Take an Assassination Vacation!

With summer in full swing, now is the time to get out there and take a vacation. Whether it be a lengthy week long trip to a city or shore far distant, or a day’s drive to a “not so nearby” locale, there’s nothing like the thrill of going somewhere new. For the historically minded, vacations often involve adventures such as visiting a museum, rediscovering a National Park, or just taking a selfie with a historical marker off the highway. No matter what form they may take, vacations allow us to make our own marks and memories in places outside our everyday lives.

I’ve long said that the story of Lincoln’s assassination is told all over this nation. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been in the middle of nowhere when suddenly I find a reference to the assassination staring me right in the face. The impact of Lincoln’s death and the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth reached around the globe. Over the last week, I have been working diligently to update the Maps section of this website in order to demonstrate how far reaching it truly is. The result has been the creation of five new maps, four which cover the entirety of the United States and a fifth map representing the rest of the world. All of these maps provide the locations, a brief description and the exact GPS coordinates of different sites related in some way to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and his assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

Lincoln Assassination Maps

The maps are still in the beginning stages. The 225 locations currently marked are little more than a drop in the bucket of the potential sites worldwide. Everyday, however, new sites pop into my head and I diligently research to determine their exact GPS coordinates. I’ve analyzed Civil War era maps to determine their modern counterparts, struggled with foreign languages in order to find international sites, and I have even spent hours staring at aerial pictures of cemeteries trying to determine the exact locations of specific graves. It is very slow work, but by pinpointing these sites with GPS coordinates, we can ensure that they will never be lost. The buildings and terrain around them may change but, with GPS, where they once stood can always be found.

With this in mind, I encourage you all to check out the newly updated Maps section of BoothieBarn. See if there’s something “not so nearby” that you might want to drive and see. Better yet, if you are already planning a trip somewhere, take a look and see if you’ll be passing by something assassination related. I mean what kid wouldn’t love to make a detour on their way to Disney World in order to visit a cemetery in Geneva, Florida? “Forget Cinderella’s Castle, Mommy. What I really want to see is the grave of Lewis Powell’s skull!”

So check out the Maps section here on BoothieBarn by clicking the image above. Then get out there and have yourself an assassination vacation!

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“President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination” at the Newseum

Located on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street in northwest D.C., the Newseum is an impressive institution devoted to the evolution of news reporting and the importance of free press in a society. The seven floor museum contains impressive permanent exhibits relating to some of the most news worthy events in American and world history. There are also many galleries in the museum which house an array of different temporary exhibits. When I visited Washington, D.C. for the first time in 2009, I made sure to tour the Newseum due to the fact that they were displaying a temporary exhibition based around James Swanson’s book, Manhunt. One of my very first posts on this site recounted that wonderful exhibit.

Since that time (and my subsequent move to Maryland), I have made many visits to the Newseum.  Their exhibits are fascinating and it is a wonderful place to bring guests from out of town.  As you might expect, there are several permanent items on display at the Newseum related to Lincoln’s assassination that I see each time I am there.  One permanent, 80 foot long display on the top terrace overlooks Pennsylvania Avenue and recounts the history of Washington’s most famous street.

Newseum Terrace

The display also points out that the site currently occupied by the Newseum was once the home to the National Hotel, the preferred hotel of John Wilkes Booth when he was in Washington.

The Newseum collection also contains different newspapers, both physical and digital, that cover the assassination of Abraham Lincoln:

However for this year, the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Newseum has created a very special exhibition:

New York Herald Exhibit Newseum

President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination” is a detailed look at how one of the most widely read newspapers in the country covered the events of April 14, 1865.  Over a period of 18 hours following the shot at Ford’s Theatre, the New York Herald would publish an unprecedented seven special editions, each with new information regarding the President and Secretary of State’s conditions and the subsequent search for their assassins.  The Newseum may very well be the only institution in the world that contains copies of each of the seven editions of the New York Herald from that tumultuous time.


Coverage Chronologically

 
Seven Issues of New York Herald Newseum

The current exhibit at the Newseum contains an original of each of these editions paired with large wall displays that highlight the differences and additions between them.

2:00 AM edition:

NYH 2 am edition Newseum

3:00 AM edition:

NYH 3 am edition Newseum

8:45 AM edition:

NYH 8 am edition Newseum

10:00 AM edition:

NYH 10 am Uncovering the Plot edition Newseum

10:00 AM “Reward” edition:

NYH 10 am Reward edition Newseum

2:00 PM edition:

NYH 2 pm edition Newseum

3:30 PM edition:

NYH 3 pm edition Newseum

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge


Floor to Ceiling Coverage

 
While the “President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination” exhibit is only contained in one small room of the Newseum, there is no wasted space.  Even the floor and ceiling contain displays.  On the floor is a map of Civil War Washington with labelled sites relating to the assassination:

Floor map Newseum

Meanwhile the ceiling is festooned with wonderful banners (several of which I wish I could own myself) relating to the assassination:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


The Stories Behind the Story

 
The displays not only provide commentary on the evolving story of how the country came to learn the details of Lincoln’s assassination, but they also introduce us to the people involved in reporting the news.  One of my favorite stories is that of Associated Press reporter, Lawrence Gobright who was responsible for the very first telegraphic dispatch covering Lincoln’s assassination:

First dispatch Newseum

In 1869, Gobright would recollect his actions that night:

“On the night of the 14th of April, I was sitting in my office alone, everything quiet : and having filed, as I thought, my last despatch, I picked up an afternoon paper, to see what especial news it contained. While looking over its columns, a hasty step was heard at the entrance of the door, and a gentleman addressed me, in a hurried and excited manner, informing me that the President had been assassinated, and telling me to come with him! I at first could scarcely believe the intelligence. But I obeyed the summons. He had been to the theatre with a lady, and directly after the tragedy at that place, had brought out the lady, placed her at his side in his carriage, and driven directly to me. I then first went to the telegraph office, sent a short ” special,” and promised soon to give the particulars. Taking a seat in the hack, we drove back to the theatre and alighted; the gentleman giving directions to the driver to convey the lady to her home.

The gentleman and myself procured an entrance to the theatre, where we found everybody in great excitement. The wounded President had been removed to the house of Mr. Peterson [sic], who lived nearly opposite to the theatre. When we reached the box, we saw the chair in which the President sat at the time of the assassination; and, although the gas had for the greater part been turned off, we discovered blood upon it…

Lawrence Gobright

Lawrence Gobright

My friend having been present during the performance, and being a valuable source of news, I held him firmly by the arm, for fear that I might lose him in the crowd. After gathering all the points we could, we came out of the theatre, when we heard that Secretary Seward had also been assassinated. I recollect replying that this rumor probably was an echo from the theatre; but wishing to be satisfied as to its truth or falsity, I called a hack, and my companion and myself drove to the Secretary’s residence. We found a guard at the door, but had little trouble in entering the house. Some of the neighbors were there, but they were so much excited that they could not tell an intelligent story, and the colored boy, by whom Paine was met when he insisted on going up to the Secretary’s room, was scarcely able to talk. We did all we could to get at the truth of the story, and when we left the premises, had confused ideas of the events of the night. Next we went to the President’s house. A military guard was at the door. It was then, for the first time, we learned that the President had not been brought home. Vague rumors were in circulation that attempts had been made on the lives of Vice-President Johnson and others, but they could not be traced to a reliable source. We returned to Mr. Peterson’s house, but were not permitted to make our way through the military guard to inquire into the condition of the President. Nor at that time was it certainly known who was the assassin of President Lincoln. Some few persons said he resembled Booth, while others appeared to be confident as to the identity.

Returning to the office, I commenced writing a full account of that night’s dread occurrences. While thus engaged, several gentlemen who had been at the theatre came in, and, by questioning them, I obtained additional particulars. Among my visitors was Speaker Colfax, and as he was going to see Mr. Lincoln, I asked him to give me a paragraph on that interesting branch of the subject. At a subsequent hour, he did so. Meanwhile I carefully wrote my despatch, though with trembling and nervous fingers, and, under all the exciting circumstances, I was afterward surprised that I had succeeded in approximating so closely to all the facts in those dark transactions…”

In addition to his quick reporting and continual dispatches throughout the night, Gobright also holds a place in history due to his brief custodianship over the derringer that was used to kill Abraham Lincoln.

Edwin Pitts holding the Derringer 1

After shooting Lincoln with the single shot pistol, John Wilkes Booth immediately dropped the gun onto the floor of the theater box. Somehow it went unnoticed during the chaos that ensued in the small box as physicians entered to care for the mortally wounded president. One of the men who had entered the box along with the physicians was a man named William Kent. Kent would later claim it was his penknife that was used to cut the collar from around Lincoln’s neck. After departing the theater that night, Kent discovered he had lost his keys and so returned to the theater and gained entry into the now empty box. He was searching for his keys when his foot struck something. Lawrence Gobright had also just arrived in the box to report on the scene of the crime:

“A man [Kent] standing by picked up Booth’s pistol from the floor, when I exclaimed to the crowd below that the weapon had been found and placed in my possession. An officer of the navy — whose name I do not now remember — demanded that I should give it to him ; but this I refused to do, preferring to make Major Richards, the head of the police, the custodian of the weapon, which I did soon after my announcement.”

As stated, Gobright did turn the derringer over to the Metropolitan Police and William Kent identified it on April 15th:

William Kent statement


Don’t Believe Everything you Read in the Newspapers

 
The New York Herald exhibit at the Newseum also demonstrates how the newspapers covering Lincoln’s assassination made the same mistake as some modern journalists by printing unreliable or unsubstantiated claims in hopes of being the first to provide their audience with an exclusive.

Booth in custody Newseum

Rumors and speculation would fill every mouth, diary, and newspaper for the next twelve days as the entire country searched for John Wilkes Booth.

In addition to misinformation that was printed in a rush, the New York Herald exhibit at the Newseum also brings attention to later instances that have caused unintended deception.  The New York Herald’s coverage of Lincoln’s assassination was so wide spread that even many years later, the paper was still very well connected to the event in the minds of the public.  Many advertisers attempted to benefit from this connection by creating their own, custom reprints of editions of the New York Herald.  On the face of it, the reprints appeared genuine though some, like the one below, included engravings that were never in the originals.  No matter how real they looked however, hidden either in the text of the front page or within the interior pages were advertisements for the latest miracle tonic, liniment, or some other product.

Fake NYH Newseum

This type of “historical advertising” was very popular in the late 19th and early 20th century.  People were more likely to hold on to the advertisement if it had something compelling on it.  Another example of this type of advertising is this reproduction CDV of John Wilkes Booth’s escape on a bag for dysentery syrup:

John Wilkes Booth Dysentery Syrup

While the newspapers were well known to be advertisements in their day, as time has passed reproductions like the one above have fooled many unknowing treasure seekers into thinking they have a genuine (and pricey) piece of American history. Most of the time, however, a careful read through (especially of the interior pages which are usually just full page ads for the product) will reveal it is a reproduction.  You can see a small sampling of some of the many advertising reproductions of the assassination editions of the New York Herald here.


Plan Your Visit

 
I highly recommend a visit to the “President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination” exhibit at the Newseum.  It is located on the 4th floor of the museum which is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Tickets to the Newseum cost $23 for adults and allow you to return the next day for free.  While this price may seem a bit expensive compared to the federally funded museums in D.C. that offer free admission, the Newseum has many wonderful galleries and exhibits that make the price more than worth it.  This special New York Herald exhibit only runs until January 10, 2016 so be sure to visit the Newseum before it is gone.

References:
President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination at the Newseum
Recollection of men and things at Washington during the third of a century by Lawrence Gobright (1869)
National Archives
Library of Congress

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Calendar: May 2015

I hope you were all able to take part in some of the April events that commemorated the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the escape, and subsequent death of his assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Even though most of the big events have passed, there are still some programs and exhibitions going on in the month of May.  May 9th, in particular, has two very exciting events planned. Take a look at the events below and be sure to visit the Calendar section of this site for a full list.

May 1st – 4th:

Lincoln Funeral Train Weekend in Springfield, Illinois

  • Those of you in the central Illinois region will definitely want to make plans to visit the state capital.  Springfield is going all out with events and activities recreating the arrival of Lincoln’s Funeral Train.  For more information and a list of the many events planned, click here.

May 4th:

Brian Unger show

“Lincoln’s Killer on the Run” episode of Time Traveling with Brian Unger debuts on the Travel Channel

  • How the States Got Their Shape host, Brian Unger has a new show taking unsuspecting tourists to lesser visited historic sites.  On May 4th, at 10:00 pm EST, a new episode dealing with John Wilkes Booth is set to air.  Unger will take a group into a Maryland pine thicket (my doesn’t that sound familiar…), row across the Potomac, and visit the site of the conspirator’s execution.  For other dates and times of airings, click here.

May 9th:

2015 Tudor Hall Symposium Graphic

Tudor Hall, the Booths of Maryland and the Civil War Symposium in Bel Air, Maryland

  • The Junius B. Booth Society (JBBS) and the Historical Society of Harford County (HSHC) are holding a one day, one-of-a kind symposium titled Tudor Hall, the Booths of Maryland and the Civil War from 8:00 AM to 4:45 PM at the Bel Air Armory in Bel Air, MD. Tudor Hall, the home of the theatrical Booths of Maryland, a short distance away will be open to the attendees following the symposium for tours till 7 PM.  This is a fundraiser and the proceeds will be split between JBBS and HSHC. All proceeds to JBBS will be used for turning Tudor Hall into a museum. For more information and for directions on how to register for the symposium, click here.

150th Anniversary of the Trial of the Conspirators at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

  • Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C. contains Grant Hall, the site of the trial and execution of the Lincoln conspirators.  To mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the trial, Fort McNair will be having a very special event. Historians and authors, including Betty Ownsbey, Barry Cauchon, and John Elliott, will be presenting on the imprisonment, trial, and execution of the Lincoln conspirators.  Since Fort McNair is expecting higher than average visitation on this day, those wishing to participate in the programs need to RSVP for their desired hour of programming.  For more information, including the links of how to register to visit, click here.

May 17th:

Ann Hall's Grave

“The Loyal Servants of the Booths: Joe and Ann Hall” presented by Jim Chrismer at the Booth family home of Tudor Hall in Bel Air, Maryland

  • Harford County Historian Jim Chrismer will present at 2:00 pm about the Booth family servants Joe and Ann Hall.  Ann Hall is buried not far from Tudor Hall. For more information, click here.

May 21st:

“Forensics of the Lincoln Assassination” presented by Douglas H. Boxler at the Lew Wallace Study in Crawfordsville, Indiana

  • Speaker Douglas Boxler used a Derringer pistol and a “Spatter Head” that simulates the structure of the human cranium to conduct research on his talk about the “Forensics of Lincoln’s Assassination”. Visit the home of Lew Wallace, a member of the military commission that tried the Lincoln conspirators at 7:00pm to watch his speech.  The Wallace Study also does a wonderful job live tweeting their lectures.  For more information, click here.

May 29th:

Silent Witnesses” Ends at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

  • This day marks the end of special exhibit, “Silent Witnesses“, at Ford’s Theatre.  Make sure to visit Ford’s on or before this date to make sure you see these unique treasures before they go back to their home museums:

paine

Alias “Paine”: A Book Lecture by Betty Ownsbey at the Seward House Museum in Auburn, New York

May 31st:

“The Loyal Servants of the Booths: Joe and Ann Hall” presented by Jim Chrismer at the Booth family home of Tudor Hall in Bel Air, Maryland

  • Deja vu? Jim Chrismer will repeat his May 17th program about the Halls at Tudor Hall. For more information, click here.

Ongoing Events/Exhibits:

Undying Words: Lincoln 1858 – 1865 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL
A Fiendish Assassination at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL
Remembering Lincoln at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, IL (ends May 10th)
Now He Belongs to the Ages at the Lincoln Heritage Museum in Lincoln, IL
A Nation in Tears: 150 Years after Lincoln’s Death at the University of Illinois’ Rare Book and Manuscript Library in Champaign-Urbana, IL (ends May 4th)
So Costly a Sacrifice: Lincoln and Loss at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, IN
Autopsy for a Nation: The Death of Abraham Lincoln at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY
The Attempted Assassination of William Seward at the Seward House in Auburn, NY (ends June 1st)
Shooting Lincoln at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA
His Wound is Mortal: The Final Hours of President Abraham Lincoln at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland
President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Silent Witnesses: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. (ends May 29th)
The Full Story: Maryland, The Surratts, and the Crime of the Century at the Surratt House Museum in Clinton, MD
Remembering Lincoln a digital archives project by Ford’s Theatre
History on Foot: Detective McDevitt is a great walking tour of D.C. put on by Ford’s Theatre of some of the sites associated with Lincoln’s assassination:

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BoothieBarn Live on Fox 5!

This morning at 7:30 am EST, I was interviewed along with Tim Morgan, the Chief of Tourism and Special Events for Charles County, MD, about the escape and death of John Wilkes Booth on Fox 5 in D.C. It was my first time on live television and definitely an exciting experience for me. Here’s a capture of the interview:

UPDATE: Fox 5 has put up a much better version of the interview on their website.  Watch it here: http://www.myfoxdc.com/clip/11429378/talking-john-wilkes-booth39s-escape-with-tim-morgan-and-dave-taylor

Admittedly, I made a couple slip ups during the interview. I caught myself after accidentally saying that Dr. Mudd broke John Wilkes Booth’s leg rather than setting Booth’s broken leg. I also gave the wrong weekend for the upcoming Symposium at Tudor Hall. That symposium is taking place on May 9th and you should all sign up for it today!

Well, I’m off to Port Royal now. At 2:00 pm we are having an unveiling ceremony at the Port Royal Museum of American History. We will be unveiling the new highway marker that has been placed near the site of John Wilkes Booth’s death, 150 years ago today. Keep an eye on my Twitter for details.

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Make Plans to Visit Ford’s Theatre on April 14th

One week from today will be the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.  Appropriately, Ford’s Theatre will be marking the occasion with a Lincoln Tribute.  The Tribute will consist of a 36 hour period of nonstop activities including orators reciting some of Lincoln’s favorite poetry, speakers discussing his legacy, a special performance leading up to the moment of his assassination, reenactors recreating the solemn death watch, and a wreath laying ceremony at 7:22 am on April 15th.  The Lincoln Tribute will, I’m sure, prove to be a particularly fitting vigil for our 16th President.

Perhaps the culminating piece of the Tribute is the special performance planned inside of Ford’s Theatre starting at 9:00 pm EST.  The program is entitled, “Now He Belongs to the Ages: A Lincoln Commemoration“.  Ford’s Theatre is describing the commemoration thusly:

Now he belongs to the ages

Ford’s Theatre will present a moving commemorative tribute to President Abraham Lincoln, 150 years to the day since his assassination. This evening event will include readings of Lincoln’s words and stories, Civil War-era music, excerpts from Lincoln’s favorite theatre and operas, and more. The event seeks to remind us that we not only lost a president; we lost a man who treasured his family, his friends and his country with a love so strong it could hold the Union together.

Tickets for the commemoration program sold out within minutes but those who do travel to D.C. can still share in the experience by viewing the commemoration with others at the nearby National Portrait Gallery.

For those who do not live in, or cannot make it to, the Washington, D.C. area, Ford’s Theatre has partnered with UStream to stream the commemoration online for free.

As cozy as it might sound watching the commemoration from the confines of your own home, I want to encourage you all, especially those of you in the D.C. metro area, to come out and be a part of the Lincoln Tribute and Commemoration in person.  I can think of no better way to truly immerse yourself in history.  Ford’s Theatre is providing a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity to essentially travel back in time.  Costumed reenactors will allow you to experience first hand what it was like in the hours leading up to and following Lincoln’s death.  As someone who has taken the opportunity to reenact a portion of this story, trust me when I say that immersing yourself in the history is an unparalleled learning experience.  I wouldn’t miss this exclusive chance to “live through” Lincoln’s assassination.

Free Ticket Giveaway!

To further motivate you all to make plans to visit Ford’s Theatre on April 14th and 15th, I have two (2) extra commemoration tickets that I will be giving away that night.  The winner of these tickets will be able to view the 9 pm program, “Now He Belongs to the Ages: A Lincoln Commemoration” from inside Ford’s Theatre rather than the streaming version at the Portrait Gallery.  Instead of giving them away in a contest ahead of time, I will be bringing the two extra tickets along with me when I attend the Lincoln Tribute on the evening of April 14th.  At a certain point before the show’s debut, I will send out a tweet on my @BoothieBarn Twitter page.  This tweet will contain a clue as to my location on the Ford’s Theatre campus.  The first person to find me and ask me for the tickets after I send out the tweet, will win the tickets.

So please, make plans to attend the Lincoln Tribute at Ford’s Theatre between April 14th and 15th.  It truly is going to be a once in a lifetime event that you won’t want to miss.  And, if you’re lucky and keep an eye on my Twitter page, you could win two free tickets to the “Now He Belongs to the Ages: A Lincoln Commemoration” going on at 9:00 pm at Ford’s Theatre.

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Calendar: April 2015

This month will mark the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  This milestone will be accompanied by MANY events, exhibits, and talks.  I, for one, plan to be very busy during the next few weeks.  Below is just a sampling of some of the more notable Lincoln assassination events that are planned for this historic month.  Take a look at the events below and be sure to visit the Calendar section of this site for a full list of events.

April 2nd:

A Fiendish Assassination” opens at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois

  • In addition to their, “Undying Words” exhibit, the ALPLM in Springfield will debut a new exhibit on the assassination featuring items never before seen by the general public.  The exhibit runs until mid-July. For more information, click here.

April 7th:

Fortunes Fool tiny

Author Terry Alford will give talk on his book, Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth, at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

  • As part of the Archives’ “Noon Book Lectures” series, Dr. Alford will discuss his biography of the assassin.  For more information and to make your free reservation for the event, click here.

April 9th:

The Mystery of Dr. Mudd & John Wilkes Booth” presented by Tom Mudd, a descendant of Dr. Mudd, in East Lansing, Michigan

  • While I don’t always agree with Tom Mudd regarding his descendant’s innocence, it is always a treat to hear him talk about his famous ancestor.  For more information, click here.

April 12th:

Tudor Hall Speech Dave Taylor

“A House Divided: Edwin and John Wilkes Booth” presented by Dave Taylor (Hey, that’s me!) at the Booth family home of Tudor Hall in Bel Air, Maryland

  • I’m honored to be speaking at the home of the Booths about the siblings Edwin and John Wilkes.  If you attend, please come up and say hi after.  For more information, click the image above.

James Swanson, author of the book, Manhunt: The Twelve Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, will speak at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

  • James Swanson will discuss his own interest and study of Lincoln’s assassination.  For more information, click here.

April 13th:

“Lincoln’s Legacy: An Evening with Doris Kearns Goodwin” at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.

  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals, will discuss Lincoln’s enduring legacy.  In addition, the chair Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated, will be put on special display for this event and the following day. For more information, click here.

“Lincoln’s Last Days” debuts on the Smithsonian Channel.

  • At 8 pm EST, Smithsonian Channel will debut its newest documentary about the death of Lincoln.  For more information and additional showtimes, click here.

April 14th:

“Horror! Horror! Most Dreadful News!: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln” presented by Scott Schroeder in Bloomington, Indiana

  • While they are many talks planned in Indiana on April 14th (check out the Calendar page for a full listing), if you are in the Midwest, I highly recommend you attend this one by Scott Schroeder.  This is the first of three lectures Scott will give on the subject of Lincoln’s assassination which shows his deep familiarity and knowledge on the subject. For more information, click here.

Lincoln’s Last Hours at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland

  • The NMHM is planning an open house and several commemorative events for April 14th and 15th.  For more information, click here.

fords-150-remembering-lincoln

The Lincoln Tribute at Ford’s Theatre

The entire Ford’s Theatre campus will be bustling with activity for a 36 hour period between April 14th and 15th.  Reenactors in period garb will be out on 10th St. discussing the end of the Civil War and the hopes of reconciliation under President Lincoln. Those hopes will be shattered upon the “news” of Lincoln’s assassination and the night’s deathwatch.  In addition to this free and public reenactment, several ticketed events will occur that night:

“A Vigil for President Lincoln (An Evening of Readings)” at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL

  • In addition to the many wonderful exhibits the ALPLM in putting on in recognition of the Lincoln 150th, they will be presenting an evening’s vigil for the President.  For more information, click here.

April 15th:

7:22 am Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Petersen House in Washington, D.C.

  • Each year, the National Park Service honors Lincoln’s memory by laying a wreath at the Petersen House, when Lincoln died.  This year’s ceremony will be accompanied by the church bells of Washington ringing out in memory of our fallen leader.

April 16th:

Author Harold Holzer will give talk on his book, President Lincoln Assassinated!!: The Firsthand Story of the Murder, Manhunt, Trial, and Mourning, at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

  • As part of the Archives’ “Noon Book Lectures” series, Harold Holzer will discuss his book.  For more information and to make your free reservation for the event, click here.

April 17th:

American Civil War Roundtable (UK) Conference featuring author, Michael Kauffman

  • Residents of the United Kingdom aren’t being left out of all the Lincoln assassination events.  Michael Kauffman, author of American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies, will be giving two speeches at the ACWRT’s Conference in Ascot, Berkshire, England.  For more information on this three day conference, click here.

April 17th – 19th:

Charles County Lincoln 150

Lincoln 150: On the Trail of the Assassin in Charles County, Maryland

During this weekend long commemoration, Charles County will be having many events relating the story of John Wilkes Booth’s escape through Charles County.  The events include:

  • An Evening of Civil War Music and Words at the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata, MD
  • A Global View of The Escape at James E. Richmond Science Center in Waldorf, MD
  • Lincoln 150 – On the Trail of the Assassin at the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House in Waldorf, MD
  • Villains, Rebels & Rogues at Rich Hill, the home of Samuel Cox, in Bel Alton, MD (I, Dave Taylor, will be giving tours and talks here)
  • Conspiracy – The Talk of Port Tobacco in Port Tobacco, MD

Here’s a commercial and an interview I did with the Charles County Government about the event and my interest in John Wilkes Booth:

For more information about the Charles County Lincoln 150, click here.

April 20th:

“The President is Shot! The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the Hunt for his Assassin” presented by Geoff Elliot in Loudonville, Ohio

  • Geoff Elliot runs the Abraham Lincoln Blog and has a large following on Twittter as @Mr_Lincoln. For more information on his speech, click here.

April 23rd:

“Horror! Horror! Most Dreadful News!: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln” presented by Scott Schroeder in Crawfordsville, Indiana

  • Couldn’t attend Scott Schroeder’s speech on the 14th? Here’s your second chance when he speaks at the home of the Lew Wallace, a member of the military commission that tried the Lincoln conspirators.  For more information, click here.

April 24th – 26th:

Caroline County event small

Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Capture of Lincoln’s Assassin” in Caroline County, Virginia

  • Caroline County, Virginia will commemorate the death of John Wilkes Booth with a weekend long event including a bus tour of Booth’s route through Virginia, a speech by author Terry Alford, and a lunch with Mr. and Mrs Lincoln.  For more information about the three day event, including how to register, click here.

April 25th:

A Walking Tour of Lincoln’s New York Funeral Procession by Richard Sloan in New York City, New York

  • Richard Sloan will present a walking tour of some of the sites Lincoln’s hearse passed in NYC. Reserve your space by contacting the Lincoln Group of New York.

Luther Baker and the Capture of John Wilkes Booth” presented by Steve Miller in Lansing, Michigan

  • Learn about the manhunt and death of Booth by a leading expert on his capture, Steve Miller.  For more information, click here.

April 26th:

“John Wilkes Booth and Tudor Hall” presented by Jim Garrett at the Booth family home of Tudor Hall in Bel Air, Maryland

  • Jim Garrett will provide a wonderful history of Tudor Hall, the home of the illustrious Booth family, and the black sheep of the family, John Wilkes Booth.  For more information, click here.

Garrett Farm Historical Marker Unveiling in Port Royal, Virginia

  • The historic highway marker located at the site of the Garrett farmhouse where John Wilkes Booth died was stolen a few months back.  The Surratt Society raised funds to create a new sign with updated text.  Join us on April 26th at 2:00pm at the Port Royal Museum of American History in Port Royal, Virginia, for the unveiling of the new sign.

Ongoing Events/Exhibits:

Undying Words: Lincoln 1858 – 1865 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL
A Fiendish Assassination at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL
Remembering Lincoln at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, IL
Now He Belongs to the Ages at the Lincoln Heritage Museum in Lincoln, IL
A Nation in Tears: 150 Years after Lincoln’s Death at the University of Illinois’ Rare Book and Manuscript Library in Champaign-Urbana, IL
So Costly a Sacrifice: Lincoln and Loss at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, IN
Autopsy for a Nation: The Death of Abraham Lincoln at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY
The Attempted Assassination of William Seward at the Seward House in Auburn, NY
Shooting Lincoln at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA
His Wound is Mortal: The Final Hours of President Abraham Lincoln at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland
President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Silent Witnesses: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.
The Full Story: Maryland, The Surratts, and the Crime of the Century at the Surratt House Museum in Clinton, MD
#Todayin1865 tweets from @fordstheatre and @BoothieBarn
Remembering Lincoln a digital archives project by Ford’s Theatre:

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#Todayin1865 and #Surratt15 on Twitter

Twitter_Icon

It has been just over a year since I joined Twitter with the username, @BoothieBarn.  I will be honest and say that, at first, I questioned whether this “social media” site would truly benefit me or my blog in anyway.  The Lincoln assassination is hardly a common topic in typical social media interactions.  As opposed to animations of cats or angry rantings about politics, celebrities, sports, etc., I wanted to hold my Twitter account to the same standard as this site.  My goal was to provide educational and informative tweets about Lincoln assassination topics, articles, and events.  So, uncertain if I would sink or swim, I decided to test the waters and see what this Twitter thing was truly like.

I’m happy to say that, time and time again, my decision to join Twitter has proved to be a wonderful choice.  Through Twitter, I have discovered a brand new world of connected history.  Devoted historians, both professional and amateur, use Twitter to share their discoveries and new thinking about the past.  I have used this “social media” site to connect with individuals, organizations, and museums around the country in meaningful and collaborative ways.  I’ve learned so much about a huge range of topics far beyond the Lincoln assassination.

Here's a small sample of the different people/organizations I follow on Twitter.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the different people/organizations I follow using Twitter.

The reason I state all of this is twofold.  First, I say all of this to slightly motivate you, my blog readers, into thinking about joining Twitter yourself.  Trust me when I say that Twitter is far more than inane, juvenile chatter about TV shows and celebrities.  If you follow the right people and groups, Twitter can be as educational as a text book.  It’s completely free to join and you don’t even have to tweet anything yourself.  You can just register, select or search for people to follow, and watch as your Twitter feed provides you with updates when those people tweet something.  The more you explore the more you’ll find that many of your favorite museums or groups are on Twitter providing great material to the masses.

The second reason I am saying all of this is to make you aware that Twitter is a great resource for Lincoln assassination content.  Between Ford’s Theatre (@fordstheatre), the Spirits of Tudor Hall (@SpiritsTH), and me (@BoothieBarn), I can promise you consistent updates about things going on in the field.  This is particularly true now thanks to a wonderful initiative started by the Ford’s Theatre Society.

#Todayin1865

A couple weeks back, Ford’s Theatre started a hashtag called #Todayin1865.  By putting a hashtag (#) in front of a word or phrase in Twitter, you create a searchable link for other tweets with the same phrase.  Therefore, by clicking the hashtagged phrase, #Todayin1865, you can quickly find all other tweets that contain that phrase.  Ford’s Theatre has been using that hashtag to tweet about Lincoln’s final days before his assassination.  I have jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak, and I have also started using the #Todayin1865 hashtag to discuss the activities of John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators during this time 150 years ago.  While real life events have kept me from tweeting with this hashtag everyday, I am making a strong effort to keep up at least until Booth’s death on April 26th.

#Surratt15

Another hashtag that I will be using soon is #Surratt15.  This hashtag is in connection with the 2015 Surratt Society Lincoln Assassination Conference happening this weekend in Clinton, Maryland.  For those of you who can’t make it, I will be tweeting quotes from the different speakers and events during the weekend conference.  Check my Twitter account often this weekend and follow what occurs at this annual Boothie get together.


The best way to keep apprised of what I (and others) tweet is to join Twitter and follow me, but here are all three ways you can stay connected.

1.  Bookmark my Twitter page

You can bookmark my Twitter profile page on your computer or phone and manually check it for new tweets.  My profile page is:

https://twitter.com/BoothieBarn

2. Check my Twitter feed on the side of this page

You can always catch up on my tweets when you’re visiting this site.  There is a Twitter widget on the main page.  My most recent tweets should show up on the right underneath the most recent comments here on BoothieBarn.

Twitter widget 2

 

3. Join Twitter and Follow @BoothieBarn

This is the best way to go.  Even if you don’t want to make tweets, having an account allows you to get notifications every time I tweet a tweet.  Setting up an account is quick, easy, and free.  Sign up at Twitter.com and start connecting with others.


At the very least, I hope you’ll try checking out my Twitter feed in the coming months.  I will be very busy for the foreseeable future with different activities and events relating to the 150th of Lincoln’s assassination.  This will severely limit the time I have to write full posts for this blog, which generally take me awhile to do.  To make up for it, I’ll be doing a lot of tweeting about the things I’m up to and John Wilkes Booth’s activities #Todayin1865.

It’s an exciting time to be a Boothie, and I hope you’ll join me in using Twitter to expand awareness and knowledge about this pivotal point in American history.

Sincerely,

Dave @BoothieBarn

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