I hesitate giving this posting from the League of the South, announcing their intention to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, any more attention that it has already attracted, but it is useful in making a couple of points.
The League of the South looks to the present and future. However, from time to time we do look back at our past.
This 14th of April will mark the 150th anniversary of John Wilkes Booth’s execution of the tyrant Abraham Lincoln. The League will, in some form or fashion, celebrate this event. We remember Booth’s diary entry: “Our country owed all her troubles to him, and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment.” A century and a half after the fact, The League of the South thanks Mr. Booth for his service to the South and to humanity.
Stay tuned . . .
First, it betrays a rather naive understanding of how Americans (North and South) responded to the actions of John Wilkes Booth. Continue reading “Celebrating the Murder of a President”
Update: The bobbleheads have been removed from the shelves at the Gettysburg Visitor Center.
“I don’t think it’s right to sell a memorial of him, he assassinated President Lincoln,” said Patrick Nee, a 17-year-old who attends the Tatnall School in Wilmington, Del.
“Maybe there’s a place for these, but not here in Gettysburg,” said their 11th-grade history teacher, Ruth Hiller.
Harold Holzer, perhaps the most prominent Lincoln scholar alive, agreed Lincoln’s death should not be trivialized, nor his killer celebrated with such a souvenir.
“I’m not a fan of censoring things, but I do think there is an awfully sick marketing person who came up with this idea,” Holzer said when contacted for this story. “It’s not a joke that someone who is a murderer and a criminal is celebrated in any way.”
“I would say it’s pretty sleazy. It’s almost like promoting the assassination,” said battlefield visitor Tracy Chronister, of York. “Why would you celebrate that with a bobblehead?”
There is a market for those people who glorify and revel in our Civil War. We went down this road a long time ago. I am no more offended by a John Wilkes Booth bobblehead than I am about 90% of the crap that is sold in Civil War gift shops. All of it trivializes.
[Hat-Tip to Steve West]
How would you like to attend a reenactment of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. On March 7 the Sovereign Majestic Theater in Pottsville, Pennsylvania will be transformed into Ford’s Theater. Booth will be played by Charles Sacavage, a retired Pottsville Area School District history teacher who now teaches history part-time at Alvernia University, Reading. He started reenacting Booth as a way to get his students interested in the subject:
We were on the Civil War. They weren’t impressed. I was inspired somehow. We were on the death of Lincoln. (Portraying Booth) I got up on top of my desk and glared at them, and all of a sudden I got their attention. Then I jumped off my desk and yelled ‘Sic semper tyrannus.’ That became almost required in my course. Every kid in Pottsville expected to see me jump off my desk.
Well, whatever works. There is something a little disturbing about reenacting the murder of a president. Given the reference to John F. Kennedy how would we feel about a reenactment of his murder? In that case they could also reenact the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby – 2 for 1. The news article noted that children under 12 get in free. In all seriousness, would you bring children under 12 to see the reenactment of a murder? Am I missing something here?