Ford's Theater in 1865. Photo: Matthew Brady. National Archives and Records Administration

The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance

February 10, 2009
On February 10, 2009, the Overbeck project marked the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth with a lecture by DC historian Anthony Pitch on the Lincoln assassination plot and the events that followed.

Pitch based his lecture on his highly praised new book “They Have Killed Papa Dead!”: The Road to Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance. He recounted how, through nearly a decade of research, he was able to make new discoveries about the Lincoln plot and its aftermath. Noteworthy among these was the discovery of an attempt by John Wilkes Booth to accost Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol on the day of his second inauguration.

The presentation was a return performance for Pitch. In 2003 he delivered an Overbeck lecture on the burning of Washington by the British in 1814, based on his book on that subject. The author of several other books as well, Pitch has worked as a journalist in England, Africa and Israel, as a broadcast editor for the Associated Press, and as a senior writer for US News and World Report’s books division. He is a highly sought-after public speaker and has been featured as a historical commentator on NPR, The History Channel and C-SPAN, among other media outlets. He also has developed a broad following as a director of historic tours in the Washington area.

Past Lectures