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SPEAKER: Anthony Pitch
EVENT DATE: 02/20/2009
RUNNING TIME: 57 minutes
The assassination of the 16th president is one of the singular events in American history, and historian Anthony Pitch uses primary source material to document and reveal previously unknown facts about Lincoln's death; the murder of his secretary of state, William Seward; and the events that led to the torturous incarceration of John Wilkes Booth's co-conspirators. According to Pitch, Lincoln was under threat of assassination from the time of his first inauguration, in 1861. Gen. Winfield Scott, in charge of military defenses in Washington, feared secessionists would kill Lincoln even before his inauguration. And six weeks before shooting Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, Booth was forcibly restrained from approaching the president as he walked through the rotunda of the Capitol to be sworn in for his second term. Pitch details the murder plots that were unsuccessful as well as the successful one by referencing hundred of sources. Most of his research was conducted at the Library of Congress.
Speaker Biography: Historian Anthony Pitch is also the author "The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814." He spoke about that book at the Library in 1998.
SERIES: Books & Beyond