Most Americans are aware that their 16th president was mortally wounded by a man named Booth at a Washington theater in April 1865. These are facts that nobody can dispute. However, a closer look at this history-changing catastrophe raises questions that have still not been fully answered. The passing of the 150th anniversary of the United States' first presidential assassination is an ideal time for students and scholars to consider these questions.
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James K. Polk, who believed it was the nation’s “Manifest Destiny” to expand its boundaries and rebuild western lands in its own image, swiftly led America into war with Mexico. Polk claimed that Mexican forces had killed American soldiers on American soil, yet this claim was viewed with skepticism by members of Congress, including Representative Abraham Lincoln.
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