Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Leave 'em laughing
Abraham Lincoln died on this day in 1865. He had been felled the night before by assassin John Wilkes Booth.
Lincoln was watching a play, Our American Cousin, at Ford's Theater in Washington, when one of the actresses called for a shawl to protect her from the draft. One of the actors ad-libbed this reply:
"You are mistaken, Miss Mary, the draft has already been stopped by order of the President!" Lincoln was laughing with the rest of the audience when he was shot.
It is appropriate that laughter was Lincoln's last earthly utterance. It had served him well throughout his short and unhappy life.
As the Civil War was raging, someone once asked Lincoln why he was laughing.
"With the fearful strain that is on me night and day," he replied, "if I did not laugh I should die."