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On This Day… The Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln

Written by: George Chittenden : 15 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 14th April, back in 1865 when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The President was in a good mood and enjoying the show when John Wilkes Booth entered the Presidential Box at 10:15pm and fired his .44-caliber single-shot pistol into the back of Lincoln’s head. Booth, an actor by profession fled the scene after stabbing one of Lincoln’s friends, starting one of the largest manhunts in history, with 10,000 federal troops, detectives and police tracking down the assassin.

The attack on the President happened just five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War. When Lincoln was shot, some of the theatre’s audience believed it was part of the show but a scream from the first lady told them otherwise.

Lincoln was carried to a boarding-house across the street, but it was too late, he was paralysed and was struggling to breathe. President Lincoln was pronounced dead at 7:22 a.m. the following day. John Wilkes Booth fled on horseback and was eventually tracked to a farm in northern Virginia where he was shot and killed on April 26th, 1865.

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