Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A Little "Believe It or Not..."

President Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
March 4, 1865

As Lincoln's procession was passing through the Capitol rotunda on its way to the eastern portico for the inaugural address, the crowd was rushed by a man looking "very fierce and angry". He was wrestled away by Benjamin Brown French, public buildings director of D.C., and a policeman named Westfall. The man was sent on his way, as no threat was perceived. The "fierce and angry" man... was John Wilkes Booth.

The above photograph was taken by Alexander Gardner minutes later, as Lincoln delivered his address. According to the Library of Congress, "Above Lincoln, to the right and behind an iron railing, stands John Wilkes Booth, though he cannot be seen clearly in this photograph... He has a mustache and is wearing a top hat. Five of the other conspirators in Lincoln's assassination stand just below the president. Looking at a detail of the figures behind the railing in the photograph presented here reveals a man with a mustache holding a top hat in his hand who could well be John Wilkes Booth. "