Today in Legal History: Lincoln Viewing, Oklahoma City Bombing
On this day in 1865, U.S. Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, diplomats and military leaders paid their respects to President Abraham Lincoln as his body lay in state at the White House. The president had been shot by assassin John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre five days earlier. A public viewing and a funeral followed. For more about Lincoln’s life, see this White House Web page. Links to many other Lincoln-related sites can be found at this Lincoln Museum Web page.
On this day in 1995, a massive explosion destroyed most of the Oklahoma City federal building, killing 168 and injuring hundreds more. Initially suspected by many to be the work of foreign terrorists, the bombing, which killed young children in a day care center as well as adults in the courthouse there, was eventually traced to home-grown terrorists who had served in the U.S. Army. Timothy McVeigh was convicted of committing the mass murders and executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, in the first federal death sentence carried out since 1963. His former military comrade, Terry Nichols, considered to be an accessory in the killings, was sentenced to life in prison. For more details, see this CNN Web page and this Court TV Web page.