Episode 8

The Lincoln Assassination Facts You Never Knew

We walked in the footsteps of history when we visited each location of the various events surrounding the night of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Walking in the footsteps of Lincoln and his cabinet, John Wilkes Booth and his fellow Conspirators is an experience you don't want to miss!!

The Video: On Location at the Lincoln Assassination Sites

Walk with History & Talk with History

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Transcript
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[Music]

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greetings and welcome to the talk with

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History Podcast I am your host Scott

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here with my wife and historian Jen hi

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on this podcast we talk about history's

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continuing impact on us and our personal

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journey through YouTube as we continue

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to explore record and share our history

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walks with you this is our five-star

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question of the week portion

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[Music]

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but seeing as how it is still just you

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and I with five star reviews

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on our own podcast here I'm just gonna

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put out a call folks will start hearing

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this once the fifth episode comes out so

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if you guys want to get a question

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answered on this portion of the podcast

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in the future

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please leave us a review on iTunes and I

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will do my best to get your question

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answered on a future podcast episode

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[Music]

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today

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we have a topic that everybody's heard

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about this is a Big E and if you grew up

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in the United States you learned about

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the assassination of President Abraham

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Lincoln

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on April 14 1865 John Wilkes Booth shot

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the 16th president in Ford's Theater

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cementing himself in American history as

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the notorious criminal that he was

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but

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did you know that Abraham Lincoln was

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supposed to watch a different play at a

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different theater that night

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to John Wilkes Booth know that or was he

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just lucky

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Jen I think that's what made this video

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so interesting is I kind of found out

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that little tidbit of information

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probably about a week before we went to

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DC and I thought oh this would be a

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really great way to open walk with

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history and that's how we open it we

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open at the Lincoln Memorial

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on the mall we open with that question

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that he actually had tickets to the

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National Theater to see Aladdin that

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night and John Wilkes Booth knew he was

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going to the National Theater and he had

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bought tickets to the box right beside

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him

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knowing that that's where he was going

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to be that night but as we all know he

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went to Ford's Theater so

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my question was

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would Booth have known would would

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things have been different if if Booth

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hadn't found out that he was going to

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Ford's Theater and if you watch

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with history I kind of explained about

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how he finds out he actually goes to

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Ford's Theater at noon

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the the day of the 14th to get his mail

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and the theater owner says to him oh the

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Lincolns have rsvp'd for tonight's play

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our American cousin because it was a

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comedy and Mrs Lincoln wanted

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um her husband to to laugh and because

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this was only a week after yeah one week

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after the end of the Civil War at the

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end of the Civil War and one of the

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things that you did a good job in the

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video of was was emphasizing how famous

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John Wilkes Booth was and comparing him

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to

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famous actors of today he'd be like a

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Brad Pitt or Denzel Washington like

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A-list A-list Tom Cruise A-list like

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to that extreme of an A-list actor where

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you would see them walk in and you

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wouldn't even question their access

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because they're just that high up on the

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echelon right we have friends who work

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in the military and they've met High

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Echelon actors because they feel like

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they have that kind of closeness to

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military members and so that's who Booth

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was and and as a general right as a non

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history geek myself I I just didn't know

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that right I thought he was like

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planning and scheming and like had to

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sneak in and all this stuff and he

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really yeah because of his access he

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just kind of walked in because he's John

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Wilkes Booth like he had performed there

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like the night before a couple nights

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before and he performed at Ford's

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Theater all the time so all of the staff

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there they they see him come in or like

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oh yeah you know Mr Booth come on in you

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know and use like you said he was

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collecting his mail there they think

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nothing of it they think he's just going

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to say hi to the president when he goes

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into his box if Ford's Theater they're

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just thinking he's gonna say hi check in

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and he has that access he's so famous

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what's interesting about this video is

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it's like 12 locations so it's one of

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our like

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when it comes to locations the most

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saturated so when you think when you

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walk if you watch this video we're going

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to all these different places and trying

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to show you how that night

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the conspiracy was to kill not just the

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president but the Vice President Johnson

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and Secretary of State and I say his

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name wrong in the video it's Seward but

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I say it's c word the whole time I'm a

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name butcher just putting that out there

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and so people have corrected me it's

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spelled like c word right but it's

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pronounced Seward so um so we go to all

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those locations because this was a

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conspiracy to [ __ ] the Union

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they wanted to take out all the top

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leadership at one time so that the South

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had its opportunity to rise again but it

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started out as a kidnap plot right and

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it started out at uh what's the what's

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the house Mary Mary sarad so John serrat

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her son was a it was a spy for the con

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for the Confederacy and he basically

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helps start this whole kidnap plot and

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the kidnap plot was to kidnap Lincoln

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take him to Richmond trade him for all

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these Confederate prisoners of war that

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was the whole plot before the end of the

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war

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now that the war is over it switches

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quickly as you can see to a

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assassination plot and

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Lincoln we show this in the video we'll

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give a very famous speech right after

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the surrender

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and Booth is at that speech now

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and then he makes a comment like that'll

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be the last speech he ever says and so

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this is another thing that happens to us

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is you had edited that video and you had

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used

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a snippet of that speech from the movie

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Lincoln right with Daniel Day-Lewis

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right and

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then you had used the picture from

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something else and you said this is the

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picture from that speech well it wasn't

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that speech was his inauguration speech

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and the picture was something else so

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people kind of caught us on that so we

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were just trying to show proximity how

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he had that access to the president yeah

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and again it's not like

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John Wilkes Booth had to sneak into

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wherever the president was giving

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speeches he was John Wilkes Booth he's

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an A-list actor and and honestly back

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then people could just go attend the

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president's speech they didn't have to

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have an invitation yeah but it was that

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speech that just kind of like ignites

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the fire he was really like

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strong strong Southern sympathizers okay

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that that speech ignites this fire that

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held he said that's the last speech the

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president will ever give like he's very

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on fire about that so that's when he

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meets with Powell and asarat and he's

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like we're we're killing everyone

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tonight we're gonna kill them yeah now

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the and these were the other

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co-conspirators and again to paint the

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picture for people who haven't seen the

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video yeah we we kind of we set the

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scene with all the players we do Mary

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sarrod and the co-conspirators of John

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Wilkes Booth right those are some of the

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most famous folks yeah so John Wilkes

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Booth is going after Lincoln Powell is

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going after c word and asarat is going

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after Johnson Johnson's the vice

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president seaward Secretary of State

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those are who they put in place

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to do the actual act and then you have

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supporters right so there's like John

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Sarat Mary Sarat Harold who we talk

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about a couple times Harold is with

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Booth when he's killed yeah and then one

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of the things that I found interesting

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was kind of how coordinated this group

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was like you said all on the same night

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they were going to try to they changed

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from kidnapping to assassination but

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they were going to try to assassinate

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three different people yeah all at the

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same time all at the same time and all

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in very close proximity yeah so they try

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to do it around 10 pm because they don't

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want one to be done and then it sets off

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this you know

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what's going on and everyone gets high

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security around them they want

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everything to kind of happen at the same

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time right and I think

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you have unfortunately Booth is the only

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one who's successful right right so you

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we do a really great job in the video if

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you watch it Powell is I mean he's ready

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to fight he gets into seaward's house

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and see where it's in Seward's house

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Seward's house Seward's house was

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actually right by the White House right

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next to the White House so we went and

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that was another cool thing of what we

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get to do with our videos is we were

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there standing in front of the White

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House as close as you can get right now

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yeah it's it's pretty well fenced off so

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we were standing next to some uh kind of

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protester oh yeah spot or something like

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that but I didn't realize how close you

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know he was the Secretary of State yeah

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um how close it was to the White House

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yeah he was right there and then it was

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two or three blocks away it was the

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hotel

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and that's where um Johnson was staying

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but Powell like he gets in that house

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he's and he stabs him he he he injures

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eight people he injures eight people he

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kills no one he injures four of Seward's

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children

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and then like the nurse and the security

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guard and Seward he stabs him in the

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cheek and he stabs him in the neck and

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so much so that this blood everywhere so

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you would think that he did kill him but

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it was with such force that he grabs him

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and he's an older gentleman plus he just

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was in a carriage accident so he's kind

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of convalescing in his bed

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and he grabs him with such Force

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probably has a lot of adrenaline that he

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stabs him twice in the face kind of

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slips off and then he actually ends up

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like pushing him off the bed and that's

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what saves his life because he gets

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behind the bed and then by that time his

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kids his two his sons who grab him and

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pull him out and they basically like

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basically fight him out the house

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and then people aren't really sure where

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pal goes from there because he'll show

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up at Mary sarad's house a couple days

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later he shows up exactly as the

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investigators are there to question mark

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if he walks in too and it's like okay I

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didn't remember that so they arrest both

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of them well

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this is one of my favorite videos to

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edit because I just kind of stumbled

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across I would try to clip in funny

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movie scenes to to kind of lighten the

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mood of some of these things or

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something that's kind of in reference to

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whatever we're talking about and asarot

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he basically goes and he's supposed to

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try to attack the vice president Vice

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President Johnson who's at the Kirkwood

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house which is it's like a first class

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boarding house right and he ends up

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sitting in the hotel bar in the hotel

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and gets just smashed and he gets he

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gets smashed and if you've ever seen if

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anybody listening has ever seen old

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school yeah so the Will Ferrell movie

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that made him famous is Frank the tank

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so I clip in a scene of Will Ferrell

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saying no no I can't drink at some

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college party yeah right because he's

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part of the fraternity and then all of a

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sudden like then he starts drinking more

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and more and then he's streaking down

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the street and so so and by himself and

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so I kind of cut that in in with what

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asteroid did because essentially that's

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what happened with Astro that's what

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happened with that that's right he just

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kept asking questions where's the vice

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president and is he in his room is he is

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he going to be there all night and so

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people were wondering why is he keep

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asking these questions about the vice

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president so he notices that he's

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raising suspicion and so he wanders out

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of the hotel and he's by that time he's

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very intoxicated and he wanders around

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he drops a big knife in a gutter a lady

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sees him do it she and that she tells

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the police what she saw and so then he

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is arrested again he never even attacks

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the vice president but he will be

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executed because he is part of the

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conspiracy and Kirkwood house which is

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not there anymore but we stand at the

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address that is where Johnson will be

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inaugurated so I make the mistake on the

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video saying that he's inaugurated at

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the Peterson house that's where Lincoln

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passes away it's the boarding house

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across the street from Sports theater

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Johnson will go there after Lincoln is

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shot and he will visit him but there but

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he's told to leave and he says that he

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basically Paces his suite at the

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Kirkwood house the rest of the night and

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it's that next morning that he's told

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because Lincoln will pass away at 7 22

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a.m that he's told that Lincoln has

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passed and so he gets he thinks it's

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poor taste to be inaugurated anywhere

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else then his location so the Justice um

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the the Supreme Court Justice comes to

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the Kirkwood house and swears him in on

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April 15 1865 at the Kirkwood house yeah

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and it was it was actually really cool

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because we did this we were out there

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visiting in DC we were hanging out with

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family for a few days

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um and we had done a bunch of right is

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we were doing history stuff there's

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history everywhere there we had done the

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mall we had been to Arlington partly

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already and we had done a couple of them

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Mount Vernon and so we got lucky right

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your mom was watching the kids and we

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just it took us all of like three-ish

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hours to film this we would you have to

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plan it out we planned it out and we

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were we were moving fast we were moving

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fast but you could walk it relatively

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easily in an afternoon or a morning you

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could and this was a really great video

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for for our walk with history just what

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we wanted to do with like a map right

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like have access to a map that coincided

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with our episode so you could walk

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the places that we're walking because we

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we go to all the locations um we'll go

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to baptist alley which is really cool

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that's the alleyway behind yeah and yeah

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and it looks the same so that's what's

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really cool about it it's you can

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imagine John Wilkes Booth coming out

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that stage door getting on the horse and

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I'll just kind of toot my own horn here

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I think I do a good job in the video of

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just kind of setting the scene and

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getting some sound effects and kind of

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we're standing right there literally in

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the alley looking at the doors where

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John Wilkes Booth ran out jumped on a

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horse and hauled butt out of town yeah

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and and so I I do a decent job of kind

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of showing that you know and getting

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those sound effects and you really feel

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like oh man this is must have been what

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it was like yeah yeah so it's it that

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was real that was to me one of the

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neatest things because not a lot of

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people are gonna go find Baptist alley

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but everybody's gonna go over to Ford's

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Theater and do stuff like that you'll

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see the Peterson outside yes you'll do

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both of those but to walk around the

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back that was really neat and to see the

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Escape Route of Booth was that was

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really neat and we go to we went to Mary

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sarat's house

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[Music]

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but I think what was really cool what we

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did in this video is we actually go to

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Fort McNair right with where the

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conspirators were the conspirators were

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hung and not a lot of people you have to

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have base access to go there you're not

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allowed to just go there and see it I

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mean we have to show our IDs to even get

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on there and we had been to Fort McNair

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before for a wedding yep and you could

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pump you could see that location from

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the Officers Club where the wedding was

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but where we stood where the

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conspirators were hung yeah and

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you know they they hung for 30 minutes

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and they made a and this is Mary Sarat

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right she's the first woman executed

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by the American U.S government

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officially and I was surprised when I

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was making the video that I mean there's

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there's pictures there's pictures of

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that hanging hey you can see if you

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Google it you can look up pictures of of

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those Lincoln assassination conspirators

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being hung yeah and um they really hung

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her to try to get John her son because

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he had fled

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he he claims that he was he did not know

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about the assassination which it could

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be possible because right we said booth

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made this a quick judgment right we're

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not going to do the kidnapping we're

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gonna make this so he claimed that he

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was just a part of the kidnapping plot

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change the assassination plot he did not

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know that he heard about it in New York

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he flees to Canada he's able to make it

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across the ocean to Liverpool he's able

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to make it to Italy and then as he's

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trying to go from Italy to Egypt he gets

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caught oh I didn't know that and then

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he's brought back to America and he's

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not brought back to America until I

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think it's 1867. so we actually had

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people like hunting him down over there

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in Egypt yeah I mean Lincoln was a

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well-loved president yeah you know and

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so then he goes months after his mom's

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been killed and it's a two-month trial

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and then it's just declared a mistrial

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and then statute limitations found out

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he lives out his life yeah he's the only

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conspirator to really I mean you have

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mud and you have other conspirators who

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are sent to prison oh that's right I

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forgot about Dr Mudd so Dr mud is sent

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to prison and Dr Mudd as much as people

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say he tries to claim that he has no

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part of this he's actually the one who

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introduces booth and Sarat he actually

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did that in December of

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1863. I didn't realize that and or 1864.

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we'll talk about that in the movie

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National Treasure so he sets Booth's leg

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after it's broken and then again he

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tries to claim he doesn't know who he is

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he did it under duress but it comes out

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that he actually introduced booth and

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Sarat for the first time he actually

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keeps Booth's boot I think after he sets

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his leg because I think he thinks it's

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going to be worth some money or

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something so he's sent to prison and

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it's actually President Johnson who will

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release him from prison two years later

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[Music]

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story about

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and all of this so like I said after

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everyone's hung for 30 minutes they cut

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them down

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they put them in wooden boxes they put a

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little glass vial with each of them with

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their names and paper and they buried

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them against the East wall of the prison

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so right there at Fort mcmear yeah and

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then two years later

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he's Johnson has allowed them to dig up

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the bodies and give him back to their

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families to do with what they want and

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he mud is released from prison and other

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conspirators are released from prison

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and this is I think another reason why

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John serrat doesn't

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go to jail as the mistrial because

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Johnson wants to

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heal the nation right so

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laughs

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in 1991

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Powell's skull is found at the

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Smithsonian

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Museum of America of Native Americans

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with a group of skulls

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and for some reason they get a pal skull

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with this group of skulls in 1991 and

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they don't even know how they have his

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skull why do they have his skull all

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they can go back to is in 19 in in 1867

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they allowed the bodies to be dug up and

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go back to their families

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so what they found is that Powell's

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family didn't claim his body

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in 1867 so he was buried in some

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Cemetery in DC like a poppers cemetery

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and that this is this is an interesting

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story because sometimes when you look up

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pal it'll say pal Payne yeah you

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remember that like the last names are

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kind of interchangeable so in 1885 this

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Army Medical Museum gets this skull with

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a pea stenciled on it and it says pain

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and it says a criminal executed by

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hanging

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and they're able to put in place and put

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it back into place that this is actually

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Powell this is Powell's skull we have

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his skull and so they keep it for a

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while and then they give it to the

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Smithsonian in 1898

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and for some reason it gets put in with

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the Native American collection

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and so then in 1991 when it gets brought

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over to the Smithsonian in their

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collection they're like okay so what do

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we do with this skull it's definitely

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not Native American and we're not going

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to keep it so they find the 70 year old

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niece of Lewis Powell and they they take

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two years to verify that she's actually

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his niece and they ask her what you want

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to do with the skull it's your family's

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skull and she decides to have it buried

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with his mother so I think it's

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somewhere in the south in Georgia that

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his skull history is such like the

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weirdest thing like you know what that

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reminds me of is

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um what was the movie with Matthew

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McConaughey Savannah yeah right and so

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in part of that movie he's hunting down

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these gold medallions yes like Sahara

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Sahara Sahara and his buddy starts

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saying he's like well you know my dad

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collects coins he's like okay well

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what's your point he's like well my dad

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collects coins from all over the world

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and coins they just end up in someone's

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pocket and they travel here and they

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travel there and all of a sudden they

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end up somewhere else

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right it's the same thing when you have

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something of such historical impact and

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characters like that yeah here's this

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guy's skull traveling from place to

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place for decades and even the

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Smithsonian can't so you'll you'll I

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read a little like they they try to

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think where his body is

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why isn't the skull with the body they

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have some theories but they don't know

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for sure exactly what the body is they

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think it was somebody in the popper

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gravesite area who knew who he was and

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got kind of excited and dug up his goal

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that's what they think it was

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[Music]

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now if I remember right one of the

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things you pointed out in this video was

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that after this assassination that's

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kind of when the Secret Service really

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became more of a thing was that after

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this one so it's it's a little bit after

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this one but it really

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I think it gets really more amped up

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after Garfield's assassination okay so

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Lincoln is the first assassination and

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then Garfield will be the second okay

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and also the government's like okay yeah

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we got to start protecting our president

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so that's it's really after Garfield I

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mean and what's really funny about all

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this is poor Robert Todd Lincoln that's

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right right so we talk about this like

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Robert Todd Lincoln was at the surrender

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Abraham's son Abraham's son his oldest

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son his only surviving son he is only

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one son that will survive to adulthood

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and live out his life it's his oldest

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son and he is at the surrender at the

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Appomattox Courthouse he is with Grant

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when Lee surrenders so he makes it back

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to DC he's tired his parents ask him if

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he wants to go with them to

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The Voice theater he says no I'm tired

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his younger brother takes the tickets to

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the other show to Aladdin Tad he goes to

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Aladdin Robert stays home and rests

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then Lincoln's assassinated he makes

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sure Tad gets home he makes sure Ted is

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taking care of guarded and he goes to

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the Peterson house and he sits with his

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father until he passes

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then when Garfield is president he's

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made Secretary of War Garfield has a

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great respect for Lincoln Garfield was a

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union general in the Civil War he makes

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Roberto Lincoln as Secretary of War and

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he is with him in the train station when

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he is shot by Charles God Robert Lincoln

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is there and what's what's neat about it

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though is this is when the government

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has paid for Arlington and they get the

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deed and it's actually because he's

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Secretary of War it's Robert Lincoln who

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will actually accept the deed of

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Arlington

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and then when

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McKinley is assassinated in 1901

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Robert Todd Lincoln is is also there

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he's standing outside the front door and

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so that's when the Secret Service really

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gets ramped up after that assassination

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that's a third assassination and he also

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bows out a public life after that

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because he gets very as you can imagine

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he's been with the three presidents that

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have been assassinated yeah he's Famous

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by by position and vices so he feels he

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needs he feels some white and I wouldn't

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say responsible but he just feels like

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he's in the wrong he's not a good luck

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charm so he he's like I'm tired of being

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around here

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so he'll he'll respectfully respectfully

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decline any invitation

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um but he is there when the Lincoln

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Memorial is dedicated he'll be there

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with Taft oh cool Taft will be the

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president to dedicate the Lincoln

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Memorial and he'll be there for that so

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he probably like was like

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swallowing real hard that day yeah

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looking around and watching Everybody

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yeah I mean it really was that I think

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more than some of our other videos

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really you really feel like I am walking

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where they walked I was you really for

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as kitschy as it is we felt like we were

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walking with history it was really cool

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and and so that we we film our opening

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from the Lincoln Memorial right and so

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it's it makes it it glows at night right

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because they keep all the lights on the

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Lincoln Memorial really bright and then

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they darken everything else around it so

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you can really see it from everywhere on

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the mall it's really like a statement

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and we we filmed our opening there

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because it's not as crowded at night too

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and I could kind of Stand By The Statue

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and not have a lot of people but when we

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were sitting out on the steps there is a

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it is kind of engraved in the granite

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where Martin Luther King had stood for

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his I have I have a dream speech and

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during the day you can see it just fine

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and tons of people will take pictures

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metal plaque that's on the ground no

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it's just engraved into the marble oh

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that's right it's nothing there if you

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some people can't see it at night and

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people would be looking and looking so I

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would turn on the light on my phone and

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just shine it for people remember it was

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I know exactly what it is I would like

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it's right there and so people would be

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like oh cool and they would take

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pictures but if you didn't know

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it just Blends in because it's just

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again it's just engraved and it's pretty

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dark it's very dark and so we had

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something happen while we were there so

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DC is like any big city where you can

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rent the Scooters or the bikes yeah with

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the app and yeah and we had walked down

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from the Lincoln Memorial over to the

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Water by the mall and we were standing

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there and it was very it was a great

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night it was just really nice and calm

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and a couple guys had rode by us on

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their bikes but like I said it's very

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dark and if you're by that area there's

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different levels there's a bunch of

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stairs and steps and different levels

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and you don't notice them and one of

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these guys just took a header into

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probably a piece of marble that was

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probably waist high yeah he did not see

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it and you just heard that bite because

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it's like plastic it was so loud I

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actually thought and I think a lot of

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people around thought like some some

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sort of explosive had gone off it

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crunched that bike you'd hear the

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plastic like crunching and it's friends

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were like whoa dude are you okay and

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he's like oh man like he and he was like

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yeah eight or nine o'clock at night we

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almost were like an aggression when he

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was okay he got up yeah and he walked

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around so he seemed okay but it's kind

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of dangerous you have to really be aware

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you definitely have to be careful you

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definitely have to be careful

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um but it it really was

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probably one of my favorite videos to

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make yeah just because everything was so

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accessible yes and it's DC right so

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you're just kind of in that DC cloud of

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like oh my gosh look at all this history

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and these monuments and all these things

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and we have other videos and we'll do

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another podcast talking about the

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Washington Mall yes

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but this one was just you've everybody's

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learned about the Lincoln assassination

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and here you and I are walking through

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down the streets next to the buildings

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of where it actually happened yeah it's

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it is like like you said we're walking

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in time we're walking in history and

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you can compare photos of then and today

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which is so neat like finding the

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locations is you can compare

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this look like this and this look like

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that and you know basis the the basic

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layout of DC has not changed at all so

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you can find all of those locations

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which is really great and even when you

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look at pictures like when the Lincoln

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was assassinated the Washington Monument

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was being made it had stalled for about

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20 years during the war so it's like

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halfway built but Lincoln saw the

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Washington Memorial being made like he

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knew that that was going to be there I'm

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sure he had no idea that Lincoln

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Memorial would be there but he knew the

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Lincoln the Washington Memorial was

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going to be there so you can imagine

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these people you're you're in the places

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where these people were

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which is really cool again this is

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probably one of my favorite videos to

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make not only just filming but also

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editing I got to do some fun stuff we

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talked about Maps kind of a little

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foreshadowing to something that we hope

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to do in the future uh maybe you know

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with a patreon page about you know our

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walk with history maps

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we'll see

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but Abraham Lincoln had an impact on

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history that it cannot be understated

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right he was a star that burned just a

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bit brighter in A Sky Full of historical

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brilliance

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and while there'll always be bad actors

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throughout history like John Wilkes

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Booth that try to extinguish the flame

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of those who burned so bright

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these Giants of History they generate so

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much interest

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that we will not soon forget that light

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that they shine

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for it echoes throughout history and we

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walk in their footsteps every day

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so thank you for listening to the talk

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with History Podcast and please reach

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out to us at our website talk with

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history.com that's talk with history.com

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but more importantly if you know someone

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else that might enjoy this podcast

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please share this with them especially

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if you think that today's topic would

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interest a friend shoot them a text and

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tell them to look up the talk with

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History Podcast or better yet just text

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them a direct link to today's episode we

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rely on you our community to grow and we

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appreciate you all every day

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we'll talk to you next time thank you

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[Music]

About the Podcast

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Talk With History
A Historian and Navy Veteran talk about history inspired travels, their YouTube channel journey, and examine history through conversations with the curious, the explorers, and the history lovers out there

About your host

Profile picture for Scott Bennie

Scott Bennie

Host of the Talk With History podcast, Producer over at Walk with History on YouTube, Editor of the Hashtag Historic newsletter.