James L. Swanson

Special Program: O Moody, Tearful Night!

April 14, 2009

Guest: James Swanson

By Newseum staff

James L. Swanson, Edgar Award-winning author of The New York Times best-seller "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer," presented a dramatic retelling April 14 at the Newseum of the events surrounding the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. It was a one-night event by Swanson, who has spent much of his adult life tracing the history surrounding this American tragedy.

Swanson collaborated with the Newseum on the museum’s new "Manhunt" exhibit that features 40 artifacts and documents from Swanson’s personal collection, many of which are being displayed publicly for the first time. The retelling was preceded by a performance by the Federal City Brass Band, an authentic Civil War uniformed band that played Lincoln’s favorite songs.

The Newseum has a unique connection to Lincoln’s assassination. The museum is located on the site of the National Hotel, a favorite of Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth. Booth stayed in Room 228 before he shot the president at Ford’s Theatre. Investigators later found evidence in his room connecting him to the assassination.

"O Moody, Tearful Night!" is one of several programs presented by the Newseum as part of the nationwide commemoration of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. The program is made possible through the generous support of Scholastic Inc. and Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins.

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