Education Through Entertainment

The Day Lincoln Died and Other Tales From School Assemblies

Posted on Mon, Apr 14, 2014

lincoln school show picture resized 600Today is April 14, a day most Americans know as the day in which they madly scramble to finish their taxes before the deadline for filing tomorrow, April 15. But something of great moment happened on this day, a long time ago.

On April 14, 1865, it was Good Friday of the Easter weekend. The Civil War had just ended and celebrations and jubilance were in evidence all over at least the North of the United States, where a people were weary from four years of warfare and carnage and death.

No where was this more evident than in the nation's capitol of Washington, DC.

lincoln school show pic 2That morning, at Ford's Theatre in Washington events took place that set in motion a plan that would rock the country and the world and the ripples from which still affect us today.

At the theatre there was a bustle in the air. One play had just closed, and another was scheduled to open that night. The outgoing piece had starred a well known actor, John Wilkes Booth, the less critically acclaimed younger brother of the greatest actor in the country, Edwin Booth. It was said that watching Edwin Booth perform a work by Shakespeare was like reading the work by flashes of lightning. The new play opening that night was called Our American Cousin, and starred an audience favorite named Laura Keene. A packed house was assured for the opening.

That morning, young John Wilkes Booth stopped by the theatre just one last time to pick up his mail. There he learned that it had been announced that the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, would attend the opening with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. With the revelation of that news, a series of events was set in motion that would lead to the assassination that night of the great American leader, and the beginning of the largest manhunt in American history. lincoln school show pic 3 resized 600John Wilkes Booth would return to the theatre that night and fire a bullet into the head of the president who would die the following morning. Booth would elude capture for another twelve days before being run down by troops in a barn thirty miles from Washington and shot dead. This assassination would lead to the near deification of the president, and to untold suffering for the newly subdued Southern states. The affects of these events carry great weight even today.

At Mobile Ed, we have been telling this story along with many others from history, to excited students all over the country for more than twenty five years. Doubtless, there are children hearing these stories from us today, whose parents heard the same stories from us when they were in school. The stories were exciting then, and they are exciting now. Students, usually not interested in history at all, will hang, literally on the edge of their seats, as they hear again the tale of the death of a president or of a young girl, blind, deaf and dumb, and her first communication with another human. They will sit dumbstruck at hearing the story of a young African American who rose to lead the country out of racial intolerance and toward the light of freedom, or of the life of founding father Ben Franklin. They will be amazed at the story of a young man from Ohio, raised in Michigan, and how his ideas brought light to the world.

History is full of grand adventures and amazingly exciting stories. These stories inspire greatness in our young. But these stories require a great story teller to truly motivate and hold the attention of the young. Mobile Ed hires the very best story tellers and actors that we can find, so that the stories we bring to your children are illuminated … though by “flashes of lightning”.

It has been said that it is impossible to truly know where you are going if you do not know where you have been. In the race to educate students today in science and technology, we at Mobile Ed, while we applaud that goal, also feel that teaching our students about their past is also of paramount importance. We hope you will feel the same way.

lincoln school show pic 4 resized 600And today, knowing him as well as we do, we take a moment to mourn the premature and tragic passing of Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the greatest American president ever, and certainly a true and authentic genius who also happened to possess a heart of gold and a brilliant sense of humor. Rest in Peace, Mr. Lincoln. We will do our best to be sure your memory is never forgotten.

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Geoff Beauchamp is the Regional Manager of Mobile Ed Productions where "Education Through Entertainment" has been the guiding principal since 1979. Mobile Ed Productions produces and markets quality educational school assembly programs in the fieldsof sciencehistorywritingastronomynatural sciencemathematicscharacter issues and a variety of other curriculum based areas. In addition, Mr. Beauchamp is a professional actor with 30 years of experience in film, television and on stage. He created and still performs occasionally in Mobile Ed's THE LIVING LINCOLN. He also spent ten years coordinating assembly programs for the elementary school where his own children went to school.

Topics: Abraham Lincoln school assemblies, African American Assembly Programs, African American History Assemblies, Abraham Lincoln School Assembly Program, ben franklin school show, ben franklin school assembly, Abraham Lincoln School Show