And the question is: "What was the name of the play Abe Lincoln was watching when John Wilkes Booth shot him?"

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln. Yes, he was shot at 10:13PM on the night of April 14th, but he lingered in a coma before he died the following morning at 7:22AM. He was shot while watching "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington D.C. It was a comedy and one of the most popular plays in America at the time. According to a story from the NBC TV station in D.C., watching "Our America Cousin" was like "watching an episode of 'SNL' from the '80s”, with the actors ad-libbing, improvising and talking right to the audience. And the line that got the biggest laugh of the night was, “Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal — you sockdologizing old man-trap.” I don't know what it means, (supposedly it was making fun of yankee slang) but it was during the big laugh after that line that John Wilkes Booth shot the president.

The linked story is an interesting one about how different theater was 150 years ago and how that play and Ford's Theater were affected by the assassination of the president. The play is having a revival of sorts and the theater is finally a national landmark. But the nation didn't have the stomach for either for a long time.

 

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