Feature

Today in history: The assassination of Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the first of four presidents to be killed while in office

April 14, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln was shot as he attended a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington. He died the next morning without regaining consciousness. His assassin, John Wilkes Booth, murdered the president to avenge the South's defeat in the Civil War. He had stalked the president for weeks, glaring down at him during Lincoln's second inauguration ceremony, and coming within feet of him as the president strolled through the Capitol rotunda. Lincoln became the first of four presidents to be murdered — Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy are the others.

April 14, 1950. In one of the most important — but least known — developments of the Cold War, President Harry Truman received a top secret National Security Council report (NSC-68) outlining what would become a decades-long policy to contain communism during the Cold War. The report predicted the eventual demise of communism and emergence of a "new world order" centered around American values. Truman officially signed NSC-68 on September 30, 1950. It was declassified in 1975.

The report said that in the wake of World War II, the United States and Soviet Union were the only two great powers in the world. The U.S.S.R., it added, was ruled by those with "a new fanatic faith" in communism who were solely focused on imposing "its absolute authority over the rest of the world." Therefore, the report said, clashes with the United States were inevitable. The possibility of military annihilation was present, and to prevent this the U.S. should embark on a rapid military buildup and focus on "containing" Soviet power. Truman officially signed NSC-68 on September 30, 1950. It was declassified in 1975.

Quote of the Day

"The ballot is stronger than the bullet." — Abraham Lincoln

More from West Wing Reports...

Recommended

Biden: Police departments that 'violate the public trust must be held accountable'
President Biden.
'we have to do better'

Biden: Police departments that 'violate the public trust must be held accountable'

State of the Union: Biden touts bipartisan bills, urges lawmakers to pass more
President Biden.
reaching across the aisle

State of the Union: Biden touts bipartisan bills, urges lawmakers to pass more

Mitt Romney and George Santos exchanged words before State of the Union
Rep. George Santos.
GOP on GOP violence

Mitt Romney and George Santos exchanged words before State of the Union

McCarthy asks GOP House members to behave during State of the Union
Kevin McCarthy.
mind your manners

McCarthy asks GOP House members to behave during State of the Union

Most Popular

The U.S. economy is shifting toward disinflation. Here's why that's welcome.
Discount pricing
Not getting worse

The U.S. economy is shifting toward disinflation. Here's why that's welcome.

The next pandemic?
A hen.
Briefing

The next pandemic?

Ohio town at risk of deadly chemical explosion following train derailment
A train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
Choo-Choo Trouble

Ohio town at risk of deadly chemical explosion following train derailment