Candlelight vigil commemorates death of Lincoln 150 years ago

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  April 15, 2015 at 9:48 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- A candelight vigil was held to commemorate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated 150 years ago today by John Wilkes Booth in the presidential box at Ford's Theatre.

The vigil was held outside of Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. as part of an around-the-clock event marking the assassination. Former U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell attended the event, as did Civil War reenactors and period actors.

Abraham Lincoln was a House of Representatives member from Illinois until he became the 16th President of the United States in 1861. He led the United States through the Civil War.

Lincoln issued a warning to the South in his Inaugural Address:

"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you... You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it."

Lincoln died on April 15, 1865, less than a week after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia.

A print from the U.S. Library of Congress depicts Lee's surrender to Grant marking the impending end of the Civil War.

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