So, I think we can all pretty much agree: April 14th is one of the crappiest dates in history, ever. Sure, lots of great things happened today. In 1894, the first kinetoscope parlor opened, giving birth to the idea of a movie theatre. John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath on this day in 1939, and, last but not least, it’s the day the world gave us Julie Christie. But in this writer’s opinion, today is defined by two major tragedies: The RMS Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14th, 1912 at 11:40 P.M., and its sinking would kill 2,224 people. (And by the way? Jack could have totally fit on that piece of wood.) And, of course, April 14th is also the day that Abraham Lincoln was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth in 1865, just after 10:00PM at Ford’s Theater in Washington. The president would struggle for his life for the whole of the night until finally expiring at 7:22 a.m.
I’m a massive American history nerd, as anyone even casually acquainted with my knows, with a special fondness for all things Mr. Lincoln. (And General Grant. OK, and Sherman too. Because: fire.) It comes, then, as no surprise that April 14th is especially poignant for me (last year marked the 150th anniversary of his assassination and I was … off the grid that day, shall we say). But this year, instead of dwelling on the horror of what happened, and the endless ramifications of that we are still feeling right down to this very moment, I have decided to … Smile.
Mr. Lincoln had a tremendous sense of humor, and so instead of waxing poetic on films biopics like Lincoln, or Young Mr. Lincoln, (both excellent, of course) instead I decided to commemorate April 14th with a slice of light frivolity by joining Mr. Lincoln and his fabled administration with another passion of mine: Harry Potter.
Yes, you read that right.
What you’re about to see, is a list of some of the most prominent players during Mr. Lincoln’s presidency, pitted against their alter egos from Hogwarts. If American Civil War figures went to Hogwarts … this is probably how it would have gone down:
Abraham Lincoln and Dumbledore
Really, how is Lincoln NOT Dumbledore? An omniscient, frustrating, complicated, lovable, unconventional, brilliant, ballsy leader martyred in a good vs. evil cause.
Thaddeus Stevens and Severus Snape
Thaddeus Stevens and Severus Snape. Sooooo good at seeming like a bad guy. In reality, the best breed of humankind.
Frederick Douglass and Hermione Granger
Frederick Douglass was the smartest man in any room. Like Hermione, he possessed superhuman powers of logic, reason, and patience… Eventually, they knew, people would finally catch up.
George McClellan and Draco Malfoy
This doesn’t even need an explanation. Pretentious, preening, self-centered General George McClellan *IS* Draco Malfoy.
Stonewall Jackson and Cedric Diggory
The Confederacy’s valiant, handsome Stonewall Jackson. Possessing the popularity and focused ambition of a Cedric Diggory. Both would die before the fight was finished.
Nathan Bedford Forrest and Bellatrix Lestrange
Crazy ass Bellatrix Lestrange and the Confederacy’s every-bit-as-frightening General Bedford Forrest. Also, both were instrumental in forming organizations based entirely on fear and hatred. Stay FAR away from them.
William Seward and Sirius Black
Coz Sirius Black is the I-Wanna-Party-With-THAT-Guy shameless scene stealing badass, and so is Abraham Lincoln’s right-hand man, Secretary William Seward.
Mary Todd and Professor McGonagall
The no nonsense Mary Todd is second only to the equally severe Professor McGonagall. They are not amused.
William Tecumpseh Sherman and Mad-Eye-Moody
There are fighters and then there are…FIGHTERS. General Sherman didn’t give a shit about anything but conquering the enemy, and neither did Mad Eye Moody. Were they crazy? Kinda. Do we love them anyway? Absolutely. (Also: both have kick-ass names.)
Secretaries Stanton & Welles and Fred & George Weasley
OK, so Mr. Lincoln’s Secretary of War Edward Stanton and his Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles have NOTHING in common with Fred and George Weasley. But the fact they hated each other so much made it impossible for me not to put them together just to rub it in.
Ward Hill Lamon and Ron Weasley
Ward Hill Lamon would have put his own life on the line for Lincoln’s. For Harry, Ron Weasley often did.
Ulysees S. Grant and Harry Potter
A surprising choice, I know, but hear me out. Both Ulysses S. Grant and Harry Potter were reluctant heroes. They were both chosen (or in Harry’s case, destined) for their positions by powers beyond their control. Both carried on a cause in the wake of assassination, and, finally, both won a war.
John Wilkes Booth and
Tom Riddle Voldemort
And … duh. John Wilkes Booth IS Tom Riddle. Actually, no: he’s Voldemort. Vain, narcissistic, power-hungry, and in desperate pursuit of immortality. Neither specimen deserve the energy it takes to write these words so I’m leaving it at that.