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The Story of Virginia
#OnThisDay, 12/15, 1791 Virginia approves the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Ri… t.co/4Uw9PfqOHP

2015 Hazel and Fulton Chauncey Lecture - "Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth," by Terry Alford

Terry Alford

On June 11, Terry Alford delivered the 2015 Hazel and Fulton Chauncey Lecture, entitled “Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth.”

With a single shot from a pistol small enough to conceal in his hand, John Wilkes Booth catapulted into history on the night of April 14, 1865. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln stunned a nation that was just emerging from the chaos and calamity of the Civil War, and the president's untimely death altered the trajectory of postwar history. But to those who knew Booth, the event was even more shocking — for no one could have imagined that this fantastically gifted actor and well-liked man could commit such an atrocity. In Fortunes Fool, Terry Alford provides the first comprehensive look at the life of an enigmatic figure whose life has been overshadowed by his final, infamous act.

Terry Alford has wored as a professor of history at Northern Virginia Community College. He is the author of Prince Among Slaves, which was made into a PBS documentary in 2007, and Fortunes Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth.