Historian explains Michigan’s reaction to Lincoln assassination

Apr 14, 2015

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated while sitting in this chair at Ford's Theatre. It's now on display at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.
Credit Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures / Flickr

For the past four years, American have been captivated by events remembering the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Two years ago, the nation saw one of the largest gatherings in memory of the Battle of Gettysburg. Now we’ve come to the dramatic climax of the war: 150 years since the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

On April 14, 1865, actor John Wilkes Booth crept up behind Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater and shot him in the back of the head. Lincoln’s death was shocking because it was the first time in America’s short 89 year existence that it has lost a president to murder.

Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with Roger Rosentreter, professor of history at Michigan State University, about Michigan’s response to that fateful moment.