Lecture: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 1 -2:45 p.m.
Sixteen Acres Branch Library
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Please join us for a thought-provoking program on the 1865 assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. The lecture will be given by Palmer Massachusetts Town Councilman Donald Blais. Lincoln’s gruesome assassination occurred just five days after the South surrendered to the North ending a bloody Civil War that resulted in 620,000 casualties. The relentless search for Lincoln’s assassin was the largest manhunt of the 19th century. The assassination was a tragic reminder of the still simmering hatred between the North and South over the issues of slavery and racial hatred following the Civil War.
The death of President Lincoln just six months into his second administration and six days after the Civil War ended created an enormous void in overseeing the reconstruction of the South after the war. If vigilantly pursued reconstruction by the Union was not instituted the South would try to strip its black population of its rights and reestablish a racially segregated society using threats and intimidation. Lincoln vowed in his Second Inaugural Address to not rollback hard-fought gains in civil rights for blacks and to try and heal the still searing enmity between the North and South — “With malice toward none, with charity for all”. Many people have made a sound argument that the death of Lincoln had a devastating effect on race relations that is still being felt today.