Lead: On a spring evening in 1865, Major Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris received an invitation for the theater.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Henry Rathbone was an U.S. Army officer with a promising career. On the evening of April 14, 1865 he and his friend Clara Harris, daughter of United States Senator Ira Harris were invited to join President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln for the performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater in Washington. Several couples had been invited including House Speaker Schyler Colfax, but had declined and the two young people were visibly excited and honored to spend this time with the Lincoln's. As this was a social event Major Rathbone was not in uniform, neither was he armed. The euphoria surrounding the South's defeat had apparently muted concern for the President's safety and that night in the president's box were only the Lincoln's, Clara Harris and Henry Rathbone.

 

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