On this day in the Civil War, in Washington City, President Lincoln begins the day by conferring with his cabinet and General Grant. That evening Lincoln, accompanied by his wife, attends a play called Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater. Around 10 pm an actor named John Wilkes Booth enters the President’s box through a rear door and shoots him through the back of the head. Booth then hurls himself over the balcony onto the stage, breaking his leg and yelling, “Sic semper tyrannus!’ (“thus always to tyrants!”)

The President is carried to a house across the street and is examined by a doctor who pronounces the wound mortal.

Ford's Theater

President’s box at Ford’s Theater

Washington D.C. 


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