The gunshot that killed Lincoln came from John Wilkes Booth’s .44-caliber derringer as the president and his wife watched “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre.
At 7:22 the following morning, April 15, 1865, in the Petersen boarding house across from the theatre, the 16th president of the United States took his last breath, but not before making his mark in history. Who the Secretary of State Edwin M. Stanton called “the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen.”
Ford’s Theatre is hosting a comprehensive series of Lincoln memorials, which it calls Ford’s 150: Remembering the Lincoln Assassination. The commemorations will be on Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the details of the upcoming commemorations.
Today, February 12, we remember the birthday of perhaps the most popular American president that has ever served our United States. Lincoln lived an against-the-odds story. He started life off in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky, and yet, despite his humble beginnings, he succeeded in attaining the highest possible office.
He had a difficult childhood losing his mother, who died of tremetol, a.k.a. milk sickness, when he was just 9 years old. An interesting sidenote is that, according to An Evolutionary Psychology of Leader-Follower Relations , there is a real connection between losing a parent to death in one’s childhood and achieving eventual public eminence.
When Lincoln was 22, his father moved the family to Coles County, Illinois at which time he took on a number of manual labor jobs. As he advanced from rail fencing to shopkeeper, postmaster, and then a general store owner, he began developing vital social skills and a story telling ability that he would later become well known for.
In 1834 he discovered his political leanings as an elected member of the Illinois state legislature and also a member of the Whig Party. From there he made the decision to become a self-taught lawyer by studying William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. He reached his goal in 1837 and moved to Springfield, Illinois to practice law at the John T. Stuart law firm.
In the November 1860 presidential election, Lincoln won the vote by gaining 180 of 303 Electoral votes; though only gaining not quite 40 percent of the popular vote. He became the 16th president of the United States.
Abraham Lincoln. (2013). The Biography Channel website. Retrieved 04:25, Feb 11, 2013, from http://www.biography.com/people/abraham-lincoln-9382540.