Abraham Lincoln Memorial
On this day April 14 in 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shot the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln while he was attending a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.
Lincoln occupied a booth above the stage with his wife; Henry Rathbone, a young army officer; and his fiancée, Clara Harris, daughter of New York Senator Ira Harris. The Lincolns arrived late for the comedy, but the president was in a fine mood and laughed heartily during the production. At 10:15, Booth slipped into the box and fired his .44-caliber single-shot derringer into the back of Lincoln’s head. Rathbone rushed Booth, who stabbed the soldier in the shoulder. Booth then leapt from the president’s box to the stage below, breaking his leg as he landed. He shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis!” (“Thus ever to tyrants!”–the Virginia state motto) and ran from the stage. There was a pause, as the crowd initially thought the unfolding drama was part of the production, but a scream from Mrs. Lincoln told them otherwise. The stricken president was carried from the box to a house across the street, where he died the following morning.
Read the full entry here at History.com.
Learn more about President Abraham Lincoln here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/abrahamlincoln