Assassination of Abraham Lincoln


April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was watching “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. It was during the play when John Wilkes Booth, a stage actor shot Lincoln in the head. The sixteenth president of the United States of America shot in the head by a stage actor. The attack came within a week of the culmination of the American Civil War. Five days ago, General Robert Lee had surrendered along with his army.

Booth was sympathetic with the Confederates, though he never took up arms effectively; he remained loyal to the Confederates against the Union forces. As the Confederates came close to a defeat, Booth came up with a plan to assassinate then-president, Lincoln.

Immediately after the shooting Booth shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis!” expressing his dissatisfaction with the tyranny. As soon as the event took place, Booth was on the run followed by the biggest manhunt in American history. Around ten thousand personnel participated in the manhunt and soon the union forces had surrounded Booth and his coconspirators in Virginia. The arrest could not take place as Booth set himself on fire.

Lincoln lead the United States through the greatest civil war in American history, he not only survived a political crisis, in fact, a moral and constitutional one as well.

There have been repeated assassination attempt on US presidents including President Kennedy, Garfield, and McKinley. As of today, thirty assassination attempts have taken place on former or incumbent presidents.