DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!


Apr 14 2010

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

by Nancy M

145 years ago today, Abraham Lincoln was shot while attending a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. The four year Civil War was coming to an end with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Confederate Army, dashing dreams of glory for one particularly dangerous Confederate, John Wilkes Booth. It was that fateful night that Booth, an admired and well-known actor, freely walked into the theater box and shot Lincoln in the back of the head.

While many of us know this story of the sixteenth president’s assassination well, we are less familiar with the following twelve-day manhunt for Lincoln’s assassin. James Swanson’s Chasing Lincoln’s Killer is an exceptionally researched day-by-day account of the chase and capture of John Wilkes Booth. It vividly tells how Booth evades capture and details the actions of his accomplices, complete with historic pictures, newspaper articles, letters and more. This book, written for young readers, is actually based on Swanson’s adult book, Manhunt: The 12- Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, an Edgar Award winner for the best true crime book of the year. Both are nail-biting reads, even if you do know the outcome, and worth checking out, whether or not you know much about this time in history.


Feb 5 2009

Books Fit for a President

by Jimmy L

There’s no doubt that President Obama has a huge job ahead of him, so it comes as no surprise that he may need some advice on many different topics, including what books to read.  The editors of Washington Monthly recently asked many respected writers and thinkers for what they think the president should read and why.  The library has many, but not all, of these books, including:

And some of the recommendations are available on the web

What book would you recommend for President Obama?  Feel free to leave a comment.

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Jan 20 2009

Presidential Inauguration

by Heather S

Today marks a historic day for our nation.  And, it seems that everywhere I turn it’s what everyone is talking about.  As I channel surfed across the news stations on the television this weekend, one commentator mentioned a bit of interesting trivia. President-elect Obama has opted to include the phrase “so help me God” at the end of the oath of office, which every president has done since George Washington in 1789.  This made me wonder about other facts and tidbits about the inauguration. So, here’s a quiz on inaugural firsts:

  • Whose inaugural ceremony was the first to be broadcast on the radio?  Television?  Internet?
  • Who was the first president to take the oath of office in Washington, DC?
  • Who delivered the longest address?  The shortest address?
  • Who was the only unelected Vice President to become President?
  • Who was the first president inaugurated on January 20th?

To find the answers, look here.

And, if you aren’t able to make the trek to Washington, D.C. or want more information on the inauguration, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies’ website posts maps for the festivities, a program with the schedule of all the performers involved in the ceremonies, luncheon information that includes recipes from the menu, and pictures of the table settings, including the china and the flower arrangements.   If you can’t be there in person, this looks like the best site to make it seem like you really are there.  And, if you want to watch the inauguration with others in the DeKalb area, you can stop at the Chamblee, Clarkston, Redan-Trotti and Wesley Chapel – William C. Brown Libraries where the Inaugural Ceremonies will be shown on the big screen.