Lincoln’s Last Night
In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth. President Abraham Lincoln
Strong and impactful words from the 16th President of the United States, in a message to Congress in 1862. The country was in the middle of its deadliest war ever.
Less than 3 years later, the Civil War was drawing to a close. General Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union Army on April 9th, 1865. And just 5 days later, on April 14th, President and Mrs. Lincoln attended the play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. It was there that the course of history changed forever.
John Wilkes booth, a southern sympathizer, slipped into the President’s box and assassinated him… part of a larger, failed plan to revive the Confederate cause. The nation turned from relief at the end of the war, to mourning.
Abraham Lincoln’s vision of a free America was an uphill battle from the start, and ultimately put him directly in the line of fire.
Watch more of the documentary Lincoln’s Last Night on CuriosityStream. And don’t miss The Gettysburg Story, bringing to life the history of the greatest battle fought in the Western Hemisphere, with innovative imagery that captures the battleground as never seen before. And in our Curious Minds: American History collection, learn more about Lincoln’s fascinating relationship with abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
And in October of this year, guests at the annual Curiosity Retreat will have the chance to talk directly to renowned Lincoln historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin, a Pulitzer prize-winner, is the author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and she is a 2016 Curiosity Retreat Luminary. You can learn more about the event, and all of our Curiosity Retreat Luminaries from the worlds of science, technology, civilization and the human spirit, here.