Tag Archives: assassination

Abraham Lincoln Shot

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, occurred on April 14, 1865.

Actor and confederate supporter John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln in the back of the head while he was watching the play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. The assassination came days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered and was part of a bigger plan to revitalize the Confederate Army.

The arrangement was that John Wilkes Booth and two other men would each kill an important member of the United States Government; Booth was to murder President Lincoln, Lewis Powell was assigned to kill Secretary of State William H. Seward, and George Atzerodt was supposed to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson. Killing the President and his two successors was an attempt to throw the government into disarray, but only John Wilkes Booth accomplished his task.

Abraham Lincoln died the next morning, on April 15. He was the first American President to have been assassinated.

Sources: Wikipedia, History

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Malcolm X Assassinated

The assassination of African American Muslim minister and civil rights activist Malcolm X took place on February 21, 1965.

Malcolm X was born as Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska on May 19, 1925. His family suffered severe harassment from white supremacist groups who were threatened by his father Earl’s civil rights activism. Constant threats from groups like the Ku Klux Klan caused the Little family to move to East Lansing, Michigan.

Shortly after moving to Michigan, Malcolm’s father was killed. It is speculated that he was murdered by white supremacists, but no investigation was ever opened. Unable to deal with her husband’s death, Malcolm’s mother was committed to a mental institution while her eight children spread out over several orphanages and foster homes.

Even though he excelled in school, Malcolm dropped out at the age of 15 after a teacher told him that there was no point in pursuing his education because of his race. He moved toBoston,Massachusettsto live with his sister and turned to a life of crime. Malcolm was sent to prison in 1946 to serve a 10-year sentence for larceny.

While incarcerated, Malcolm read the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and converted to the Nation of Islam. He decided to drop his last name “Little” and adopted the surname “X” as homage to his unknown black ancestors. Upon his release, Malcolm’s charismatic nature and commanding presence led him to become the spokesperson for the Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammad’s right hand man.

The teachings of the Nation of Islam differed from the civil rights movement in that it emphasized complete separation of the races and change through violence rather than peaceful integration. In 1964, Malcolm became disenchanted with the Nation of Islam and decided to convert to Sunni Islam after making the Muslim pilgrimage toMecca.

After his trip, Malcolm was more positive about the civil rights movement than ever and sought to collaborate with other civil rights leaders for constructive change. On February 21, 1965 he was supposed to give a speech at the Audubon Ballroom inManhattanbut was shot several times at point blank range. At the age of 39, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Malcolm X will always be remembered as one of the most influential African Americans in history, and a charismatic civil rights figure that was taken too soon.

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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