10 Seemingly Insignificant Choices That Changed The World Forever

4. Abraham Lincoln's Decision To Go To The Theatre

According to Lincoln's biographer and friend, Ward Hill Lamon, the President had dreamed that he saw a corpse and mourners in the White House, and upon inquiring as to who was dead, he discovered it was himself. This supposedly occurred 10 days prior to his assassination, but sources claim it was extremely disturbing for the President; this was understandable considering that he had just overseen the biggest massacre in American history - and all on their own soil. With this eerie premonition it is fair to say that Lincoln could have opted to stay in and take extra precautions to ensure his safety. As history shows, he opted for a trip to the theatre with next to no security to protect him; Lincoln's death was pivotal to American history. It was the first successful assassination of a President; it allowed President Andrew Johnson to pursue policies which would repress newly freed African Americans; and finally, it created a martyr for the Unionist forces of the North. The repercussions of Lincoln's death remain prominent. The 1963 March on Washington culminated at the Lincoln Memorial as a symbolic act to show the dismal failure of the emancipation proclamation. The Gettysburg Address (four score and seven years ago...) is a constant fixture in American notions of national identity. Lincoln's trip to the theatre, ending with his murder, has been quintessential to the establishment of American national identity, and this small scale decision remains poignant to American society and identity today.
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