Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln Establishes Thanksgiving Day


Proclamation of Thanksgiving This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America’s national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving. Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old … Continue reading

Abraham Lincoln
[TEXT] Witnessing Lincoln on His Deathbed


“Intense grief was on every countenance when I replied that the President could survive but a short time. The colored people especially-and there were at this time more of them, perhaps, than of whites – were overwhelmed with grief.” Gideon Welles served under President Lincoln as Secretary of the Navy. … Continue reading

Abraham Lincoln
[Text] Abraham Lincoln Admits Ulysses S. Grant Was Right


Executive Mansion, Washington, July 13, 1863 Major General Grant My dear General, I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment for the almost inestimable service you have done the country. I wish to say a word further. When you … Continue reading

Abraham Lincoln
[Text] The Death of John Wilkes Booth

Library of Congress

On April 24, 1865, Lieutenant Edward Doherty sits on a bench across from the White House conversing with another officer. The arrival of a messenger interrupts the conversation. The messenger carries orders directing Doherty to lead a squad of cavalry to Virginia to search for Booth and Herold. Scouring the … Continue reading

Abraham Lincoln
[Text] On Lincoln: ‘I Heard the Discharge of a Pistol Behind Me’


Major Henry Rathbone, sat with the Lincolns in their theater box and later testified at the official inquiry into the assassination. We join his story as he and his fiancé accompany the Lincolns to the theater: On the evening of the 14th of April last, at about twenty minutes past … Continue reading

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln Gives the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863


Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is considered one of America's greatest speeches and is memorable for its message of equality and human rights. Continue reading