Now scrolling: The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Usual Suspects?

April 15th is coming up and we all know what day that is -- the day Lincoln died. It is also tax day and the day the Titanic sank.

Anyway, I was looking around, wondering if there were any new assassination theories out there and I came across this one – Mary shot Abe. Now maybe that’s not new, but it’s new to me. I laughed at first, but you know how it is, you start thinking about it and the next thing you know – well, here’s a link to the whole story.

It is intriguing that the weapon used was a woman’s pistol, that the bullet wound was on the side where Mary was sitting, and that she was the only first lady to be refused a widow’s pension. But then, Mary had that kind of luck. And while I don’t believe Lincoln had twins by a Hapsburg, I do know that Mary had plenty of anger toward her husband, enough to threaten him with an axe on one occasion. But who did Mary blame for the assassination? Johnson. Johnson Did It.

But wait, there’s more! Consider these spin-off theories: Lincoln was slated to be kidnaped and turned into an opium addict; Lincoln was really Booth’s spurned lover; Boston Corbett killed Booth to cover up his own complicity; McClellan was seen dining with Booth in Canada; Booth had an understudy and a double.....

If you have a pet conspiracy theory of who really killed Lincoln, see if it isn’t one of these: We All Did It. Don’t worry about how strange your idea might be. After all, there’s a theory that Edgar Allan Poe was killed by his cat. The Cat Did It.

All this may not mean anything but it certainly proves one thing: you can get right up behind somebody, blow him away, trip over a flag, break your leg, get identified by dozens of people and still have to share the spotlight with a bunch of contenders. Poor Booth. From the very beginning, he resented that.