Assassination of Abraham Lincoln : Isn’t this ironic?
On 14th April 1865, Abraham Lincoln signed a piece of legislation that effectively created the United States Secret Service , an organization which is today responsible for the protection of the US President, past presidents, vice presidents and presidential candidates among many others.
Later that night, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth
Another piece of irony here is that Lincoln used to be a fan of John Wilkes Booth, who was an actor by profession.Considering that he killed Lincoln, we can safely say the appreciation was not reciprocated.
While Booth and Lincoln did not know each other, Lincoln did know about Booth and enjoyed watching him perform at Ford’s Theatre.
Lincoln watched Booth perform in numerous plays, including one called the Marble Heart at Ford’s Theatre on November 9, 1863. The Washington Chronicle called it a “beautiful emotional play” and Booth earned rave reviews for his role in the production. According to the book Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln And The Soldiers’ Home, Lincoln enjoyed Booth’s performance so much he sent a note backstage inviting him to the White House so they could meet. Booth, a rebel sympathizer and Confederate spy, evaded the president’s invitation. Booth didn’t give Lincoln a specific reason why he couldn’t visit but he later told his friends “I would rather have the applause of a Negro to that of the president!” According to the book Inside Lincoln’s White House, the actor Frank Mordaunt later corroborated this story:
“Lincoln was an admirer of the man who assassinated him. I know that, for he said to me one day that there was a young actor over in Ford’s Theater whom he desired to meet, but that the actor had on one pretext or another avoided any invitations to visit the White House. That actor was John Wilkes Booth.”