02-20-Events

A few days ago, I thought it might be fun to write a post with the title 02-20-2020. I created the page, but never became inspired to put any text on it. I still don’t know what information I can impart about February 20th 2020 except maybe I thought I like the date because it had so many 2s in it. 02-20-events, all the months will have a day 20 in the year 2020, but only February will have the month being 02. Not very exciting. Maybe I will look on the Internet and see what events happened over the years on February 20th and list them on this post. How far should I go back? I will start with 10 years and if that doesn’t bring me any information I’ll go back 20 years and if that doesn’t work I will give up on this little project.

I searched for 02-20-Events that happened on February 20th over the years, and I found a website that listed them all. No need to recreate that information here so I will give you a link to that page and you can investigate for yourself. They call the website On This Day: Historical Events on February 20.

There are a good many 02-20-events that happened on February 20th over the years, but one event stands out as a historical incident. That incident was the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth at London’s Drury Lane Theatre.

02-20-Events

Quote

by Ray Setterfield

Published: January 2, 2017

Two leading English actors went head to head at London’s Drury Lane Theatre on this day in a thespian battle to decide which of the two was the nation’s finest actor. It was a contest that led indirectly to the death of one of America’s most famous presidents.

Junius Brutus Booth and Edmund Kean were outstanding Shakespearean actors, each with their own band of supporters known as Boothites and Keanites. In this clash, Kean played Othello while Booth performed as Iago. 

It seems that Kean took the acting laurels in the production, but the rivalry between the two continued until 1821 when Booth finally called it a day and emigrated to the United States. There, the ninth of his ten children–John Wilkes Booth–was to become the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln.

JW Booth himself became an actor, making his debut at the age of 17 with a part in Richard III at Baltimore. He then toured the country with a Shakespearean acting company. 

In 1862, he made his New York debut, this time as the lead in Richard III and the New York Herald described him as a “veritable sensation.”

The following year, Booth was struck down by a respiratory illness and had to give up the stage–for a while at least. 

It was at a time when the American Civil War was raging and the young actor–said to suffer from emotional instability–was not only a vigorous supporter of the Southern cause, but a critic of Lincoln with a vehemence that bordered on hatred.

In March 1865, he became involved in a plot to kidnap the President. Booth and six Southern sympathizers, with Lincoln held hostage, would demand either peace or the release of Confederate soldiers as a ransom. 

But the President failed to appear at the location where the kidnap was to take place and the plot had to be abandoned.

Frustrated, Booth looked for new ways to get at the President. And on the morning of April 14, 1865, he learned that Lincoln was to attend an evening performance of the comedy Our American Cousin at Ford’s theater in Washington. 

As a famous and popular actor, Booth had free access to the theatre and took a seat for the performance. Then, during the play’s third act, he went to the outer door of the presidential box and found Lincoln and his guests essentially unguarded. 

Entering the box, he drew a gun and shot Lincoln through the back of the head. 

Booth then swung himself over the balustrade and leapt to the stage, shouting, “Sic semper tyrannis!” (“Thus always to tyrants!”). He broke his leg when he landed, but was able to make his escape to an alley where he had a horse waiting.

He was tracked down to a farm 12 days later and shot dead when he refused to give himself up.

Although Junius Brutus Booth was the father of a notorious assassin, another of his sons–Edwin Thomas Booth–became a great Shakespearean actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe. 

Some theatrical historians consider him the finest American actor of the 19th century, and certainly the greatest Hamlet.

Event Date: February 201817
Event Location: Washington, D.C., USA

My Comments

In the 1st paragraph of this post, I said that I thought writing this post would be fun, and it was. But as I have said before, I am not the best content writer. I am still practicing and to make this post sensical I had to use a quote from another website. I need to include a link to a page on my website, and I am not sure if I have written anything that even pertains to this page. There are always small excerpts of related posts in the very bottom of this page, but those don’t count. Anyway, thanks for reading and leave a comment if you are so inclined.


1 Comment

Sam · February 26, 2020 at 8:03 am

Interesting thoughts. I had forgotten about the assassination of President Lincoln.

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