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The Divine Witness (15 of 40)
Series: Book You Can Trust
We all know that things special to us are usually as close as possible. We keep things around, in our pockets and wallets and purses that are special. When someone carries something in their pocket by habit like a watch or a locket, it means a lot to them. Well, someone you know from history carried some precious objects in his pockets the night he died. They tell us a world about his life.
What Was Special to Abraham Lincoln?
Do you know what Abraham Lincoln had in his pockets the night of his assassination at the Ford Theater? The actor John Wilkes Booth, shot and mortally wounded the 16th president of the US, on April 14th, 1865, just 5 days after the South surrendered and the Civil War ended. But what did a man we now admire so greatly value enough to take with him? Most people in America have carried the picture of the man we are considering this morning. His face has shown up 285 billion times on the penny. Add another 1.4 billion five dollar bills always in circulation and you have one of the most well known faces in history! The label (1) on the box read: CONTENTS OF THE PRESIDENT'S POCKETS ON THE NIGHT OF APRIL 14, 1865.
Since that was the fateful night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, every viewer's attention was seized.
Boorstin then proceeded to remove the items in the small container and display them on camera. There were five things in the box:
GIFTS OF LOVE: A handkerchief, embroidered "A. Lincoln"
REMINDERS OF LIFE'S BREVITY: A country boy's pen knife
REMINDERS OF OUR FRAILTY: A spectacles case repaired with string
PAINFUL MEMORIES: A purse containing a $5 bill-Confederate money(!)
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT: Some old and worn newspaper clippings
"The clippings," said Boorstin, "were concerned with the great deeds of Abraham Lincoln." And one of them actually reports a speech by John Bright which says that Abraham Lincoln is "one of the greatest men of ...
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