April 14, 1865
John Wilkes Booth shoots President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater
Booth, a 26-year-old anti-abolitionist and actor, quickly formed his assassination plot when he discovered the President would be attending a play at Ford’s Theater. He also assigned two other men to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward, in hopes the panic and confusion would cripple the Union government. However, only Booth succeeded in the plot; Seward’s would-be assassin was able to stab the bed-ridden and previously injured Secretary of State but Seward survived, and Johnson’s assigned killer lost his nerve and spent the night drinking instead.
Lincoln died of his wounds the next day. Booth was killed on April 26.