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Read a couple of years ago in a science-fiction class, which covered many well-known authors. This is a short story from the perspective of a young girl (native to the time) who worked in an inn on the date of Lincoln's assassination. She is excited because her favorite actor, John Wilkes Booth, is coming into town for a performance. Many unusual people are in town and in the inn - people dressed strangely or eating particularly, people who can't count the value of the local currency. A woman tells her something along the lines of "There was nothing you could do about it" before the assassination actually occurred. It suggests the idea of time-travel tourism, where these people had come to view the famous event in person. I would be thrilled if anyone could identify this story, because I'd like to use it for a class. Thank you!

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Standing Room Only by Karen Joy Fowler. I read it in The Secret History of Science Fiction.

The girl is Anna:

The guests in Mary Surratt’s boarding house began the day with a breakfast of steak, eggs and ham, oysters, grits and whiskey. Mary’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Anna, was in love with John Wilkes Booth. She had a picture of him hidden in the sitting room, behind a lithograph entitled “Morning, Noon, and Night.”

Anna notices the guests are a bit strange. For example:

The new men had hardly touched their food, cutting away the fatty parts of the meat and leaving them in a glistening greasy wasteful pile.

The consoling comment at the end is:

Mrs. Streichman twisted into the space next to her. “That was just a rehearsal. The reviews are incredible. And you wouldn’t believe the waiting list. Years. Centuries! I’ll never have tickets again.” She took a deep, calming breath. “At least you’re here, dear. That’s something I couldn’t have expected. That makes it very real. And,” she pressed Anna’s arm, “if it helps in any way, you must tell yourself later there’s nothing you could have done to make it come out differently. Everything that will happen has already happened. It won’t be changed.”

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