Today’s Memorable U. S. Event
The assassination of United States President Abraham Lincoln took place on April 14, 1865, as the American Civil War was drawing to a close, just five days after the surrender of the commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee, and his battered Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln was the first American president to be assassinated, though an unsuccessful attempt had been made on Andrew Jackson in 1835.
The assassination was planned and carried out by well-known actor John Wilkes Booth as part of a larger conspiracy intended to rally the remaining Confederate troops to continue fighting. Booth plotted with Lewis Powell and George Atzerodt to kill Secretary of State William H. Seward and Vice President Andrew Johnson as well.
Lincoln was shot while watching the play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. He died the next morning. The rest of the plot failed. Powell only managed to wound Seward, while Atzerodt, Johnson’s would-be assassin, lost his nerve and fled.
Civil War Cycle – Civil War Era – Fourth Turning, Crisis (1860-1865)