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Manhunt: Ford's Theatre

After reading the Epilogue, do you feel Ford's Theatre is a monument to Abraham Lincoln, or his killer?


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ziggyp0099
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre

Living in DC I visited Ford's Theatre a couple of weeks ago while reading this book. I think that Ford's Theatre is a monument to "The Great Crime" and there were two main parties in that crime, Lincoln and Booth. I think it is a monument to both people.
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maxcat
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre

I used to live near D.C. but never visited Ford's Theater. I think it would be a great monument to Lincoln. Whenever anyone mentions Ford's theater, I would remember it for his assasination.
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre

After reading the epilogue, I also think Ford's Theater is a monument to both Lincoln and Booth.
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Donti
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre



BookClubEditor wrote:

After reading the Epilogue, do you feel Ford's Theatre is a monument to Abraham Lincoln, or his killer?



Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."

Note: This topic refers to the book as a whole.



I didn't read the Epilogue yet, but from what I can remember when I toured Ford's theater and the Peterson House around 15-20 years ago, I did not get the impression that they were monuments to John Wilkes Booth. I would have to say, definitely, they honor Abraham Lincoln.
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cbg3868
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre



ziggyp0099 wrote:
Living in DC I visited Ford's Theatre a couple of weeks ago while reading this book. I think that Ford's Theatre is a monument to "The Great Crime" and there were two main parties in that crime, Lincoln and Booth. I think it is a monument to both people.


I must agree with Ziggy. Ford Theatre is a monument to the assassination and the attacker and victim of this crime that changed our history.
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aurora
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre

I was in D.C. a few years ago, but didn't have time to visit Ford's Theatre. I've always regretted that, because it was one of the main places I wanted to see. I can't remember if they were allowing people to go up to the box where the assassination took place, or if it was closed to the public. Whenever they have a televised event from the theatre, they never show anyone sitting up there. It seems to be reserved forever to honor Lincoln, so I guess it could be considered a monument to his memory.
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katknit
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre

Having been there several times, I would say I never once felt that there was any attempt to memorialize Booth, only what he did to a great man on that site. It's a very somber, thought provoking, sad sort of place....very evocative.
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre



katknit wrote:
Having been there several times, I would say I never once felt that there was any attempt to memorialize Booth, only what he did to a great man on that site. It's a very somber, thought provoking, sad sort of place....very evocative.




I agree! Very well said!
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vivico1
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre and other memorials

I have never been there but after reading the book, and the epilogue, first of all I agree with Stanton and those who said it should never be opened again as the theatre it was. I think it just memorializes a horrible crime that even today, those of us fascinated with the sensationalism of such things will trek to. Here's a thought, if in that theatre, you can sit in the chair where Lincoln sat, not to see his view of the stage, just to sit in it, or stand behind it in what they would say is the exact place Booth did and be able to raise your arm in the position to the presidents chair that Booth did....which do you think most people would be more curious to do? I also find it a bit morbid that other presidents go there to see plays..."just not in Lincoln's booth". Thats just morbid.

I think that if they wanted to make a monument to the President and who he was and not give one more moment in the sun to the man who killed him, what they could have done is, after the gutted building was bought again, make another theatre there, but dont make it in anyway like the one that was there. Do not put up booths, like where Lincoln sat. Make it a wonderful theatre and NAME it, the Lincoln Theatre. Give something he loved to do, go to the theatre, the memory of his name in the place he loved but with nothing past that to remind everyone of what crime took place there. I think even he would like to see it as a beautiful theatre full of new things and life, not a constant memory of death and treason.

I would like to say, I live in Oklahoma, I nearly lost 3 friends in the Murrah Federal Building in 1995. I did not go down to the site for about 4 months, I wanted to stay out of the way of those who needed to be there, not be a lookyloo. It was horrible even then, with the building down, because of what the blast did to surrounding buildings and one apartment building in particular. The day that it happened, I even saw 2 people I knew on tv down there in the midst of it. Not until two years ago, did I go down to the new memorial and museum center. The outside memorial grounds are beautiful but sad too, you can go on the internet and see it all. I have no problem with the Memorial there, its now a wonderful peaceful place that while honoring the dead, has a tree of life and a beautiful reflecting pool. Here is something I have problems with now tho and some of my friends do too, including a couple of people who lost someone there. The thing is, its been 12 years now and there is a wonderful memorial for anyone to go to anytime, including family members but on April 19 of each year since, there is a sad ceremony down there and naming each victim again and televised all day and families looking torn apart again. Its been 12 years and to ever year on that date, memorialize the event again seems too much. Some just cant stop grieving! Many of the family members go down there again on that date, and the tv coverage is full of fresh tears from them. But some, like I mentioned above, wont go anymore, not on that day for sure. Its like opening a healing wound all over again. One lost her child and just cant keep going there. Some of us feel that, with the whole memorial area completed, its time to stop the memorial services every year on its anniversary and let the families and the state mourn on our own now and let go, how and as we need too. The faces and names of all those who died, including the children, are inside the museum part for any who want to see, or for those looking to try to understand that day in history, but what the call "the memorial" is a place of beauty, with names there too but surrounded not by images of their deaths but of life, its a resting place for living and dead and a place of peace some go to, just to sit and not think about the tragedy at all, just sit in a pretty spot downtown.

I think of those still tearing at each other over what the memorial for the twin towers should be and theirs will take much more time. These are the reasons I feel what I do about what could have been done with the Ford Theatre to honor Lincoln. All those things that are a part of the actual history of it could be somewhere else for real "histories" sake. We dont need to take Booth's steps to know what he did or to satisfy our more carnal natures.

JAMES, if you read any of these, do you really think he is the failure you say in the end, if after all this time, his deeds are memorialized and played out for the curious in a show that for the actor Booth, has got to be some great victory. His actions there have been memorialized and in turn, so has he, just as those great "heroes" he was so fond of quoting, who are immortal because of it? I wonder.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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katknit
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Re: Manhunt: Ford's Theatre and other memorials

I'm afraid I disagree about Ford's. It's a very moving experience to visit there. I don't believe that everything has to stop after traumatic death. For some people, yes, but not for everyone. It's kind of like when someone dies in a car accident, their friends place flowers on the site for months and sometimes years. Ford's has always been tastefully and sensitively done. I for one have been grateful for the opportunity to visit, and while I have no plans to go to a performance there, I wouldn't refuse if something came up that I wanted to attend. The historical presentation downstairs is exemplary.
But that's my opinion and I can understand how you would feel the way you do.....
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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