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Word for the Wise June 27, 2007 Broadcast Topic: Terms of 1844

It was on this date in 1844 that the first ever assassination of a U.S. presidential candidate occurred. 163 years ago today, Joseph Smith was shot and killed while he sat in an Illinois jail cell awaiting trial for treason. Although the religious leader's assassination had less to do with his political candidacy than it did with the rising power of his new movement, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Smith's death at the hands of a mob is nonetheless marked a political assassination. (来源:EnglishCN英语问答中心[e问e答])

Eyewitness accounts mark the first appearance of the word six-shooter in print. According to John Taylor, who was sharing a cell with the Prophet Smith and his older brother Hyrum (and who was wounded in the attack that killed both Smith brothers), earlier in the day, an elder in the Mormon community had visited the jail and left behind a six-shooter for protection.

Although six-shooter is the only term whose print debut traces to the assassination itself, the year 1844 also welcomed into the lexicon a few other terms related to religion and politics. Consider these two: higher law, the term for the principle of divine or moral law considered to be superior to constitutions and enacted legislation; and eschatology, the branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or humankind.

 
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