History Happy Hour is a weekly virtual program hosted by the White House Historical Association. Join us as experts weigh in on a variety of historical topics, share their insights, answer audience questions, and enjoy presidential-inspired libations.
As the day for Lincoln’s second inauguration drew near, Americans wondered what their sixteenth president would say about the Civil War. Would Lincoln guide the nation toward “Reconstruction”? What about formerly enslaved people? They had been emancipated, but what about the matter of suffrage? When Lincoln finally stood before his fellow countrymen on March 4, 1865, and had only 703 words to share, the American public was stunned. The President had not offered the North a victory speech, nor did he excoriate the South for the sin of slavery. Instead, he called the whole country guilty of the sin and pleaded for reconciliation and unity.
In this week's episode, join noted historian and returning History Happy Hour guest, Ronald C. White Jr. as he discusses Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.