John Wilkes Booth was a well-known actor – and less well-known Confederate spy – who was not actually performing in “Our American Cousin” on the fateful night. It was the merest chance that he even knew Lincoln would be there, Booth only learning this because the theatre was also his mailing address. But once he learned of the president’s planned visit earlier the same day, Booth resolved that the time had come to do something “decisive”.
Lincoln, for his part, had foregone his usual security precautions on the night. At the time of his assassination (about 10:25 PM), Lincoln was not guarded, his bodyman for the evening having gone to a nearby tavern for some drinks. Booth shot the president in the back of the head as Lincoln laughed at the funniest line in the play (Booth had timed this carefully, hoping that the crowd’s noise would cover the gunshot). The wound was mortal, although Lincoln did not die until nearly 7:30 the next morning. Booth fled into the night, but was eventually caught and died in a shootout on April 26.
Paul Bogle was a Jamaican church Deacon in the Native Baptist Church in Jamaica established by George William Gordon. Gordon and Bogle, like many members of the church, were critical of the Jamaican governor, Edward Eyre. When a protest over the conviction of a black man under suspicious circumstances was brutally put down by government forces, what would later be known as the Morant Bay rebellion ensued.
439 Jamaicans were killed in the fighting, and another 354 were arrested and executed afterwards, including Bogle. Gordon was arrested separately but tried and executed in the same round of trials. Bogle and Gordon became martyrs to the cause of independence, and heroes to the nation of Jamaica. Today, Bogle’s face appears on the Jamaican ten cent and five dollar coins.
George William Gordon was a Jamaican businessman who established the Native Baptist Church in Jamaica, of which Paul Bogle became a deacon. Gordon and Bogle, like many members of the church, were critical of the Jamaican governor, Edward Eyre. When a protest over the conviction of a black man under suspicious circumstances was brutally put down by government forces, what would later be known as the Morant Bay rebellion ensued.
439 Jamaicans were killed in the fighting, and another 354 were arrested and executed afterwards, including Bogle. Gordon was arrested separately but tried and executed in the same round of trials. Bogle and Gordon became martyrs to the cause of independence, and heroes to the nation of Jamaica. Today, Gordon’s face appears on the Jamaican ten dollar note, and the parliament of Jamaica meets in Gordon House, named for him.
The remains of Abraham Lincoln and his son, William Wallace Lincoln, were placed on a funeral train which left Washington, D.C., on April 21, 1865 at 12:30 pm, and arrived in Springfield, Illinois, on May 3, 1865. The train retraced the route Lincoln had traveled to Washington as the president-elect on his way to his first inauguration, and millions of Americans viewed the train along the route (the reason the trip took so long was that several stops were made along the way, at each of which Lincoln’s body lay in state).
Lincoln was buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. The site of the Lincoln Tomb, now owned and managed as a state historic site, is marked by a 117-foot-tall granite obelisk surmounted with several bronze statues of Lincoln, constructed by 1874. Mary Todd Lincoln and three of his four sons are also buried there. Some historians have called this event “The Greatest Funeral in the History of the United States” on account of its length.
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky when he was only 24, “Characteristic Dances” was the first of his pieces to be publically performed. Tchaikovsky himself was not present for the performance, which was conducted by Johann Strauss (itself an honour to a neophyte composer). However, he was pleased with both the fact of the performance and its reception.
Amazingly, “Characteristic Dances” has never been published, and exists today only in a modified form, as Tchaikovsky reworked it as “Dances of the Chambermaids” in his 1867 opera, “The Voyevoda”, and this is the form that they were recorded and popularised in. However, despite its obscurity, the public performance of his works was a turning point in the career of Tchaikovsky, and marked the first step to his becoming one of the best known of all Russian composers.
Alice was written in 1865, three years after the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson first devised the story to entertain the real Alice and her sisters. He had originally told the tale to Alice and her sisters while he and the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed in a boat up the River Thames with three little girls: Lorina, Alice and Edith Liddell.
The girls loved it, and Alice asked Dodgson to write it down for her. After a lengthy delay — over two years — he eventually did so and on 26 November 1864 gave Alice the handwritten manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, with illustrations by Dodgson himself.
But before Alice received her copy, Dodgson was already preparing it for publication and expanding the 18,000-word original to 35,000 words, most notably adding the episodes about the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Tea-Party. In 1865, Dodgson’s tale was published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by “Lewis Carroll” with illustrations by John Tenniel.
Alice – Stevie Nicks
Alice in Wonderland – Lisa Mitchell