President Abraham Lincoln was fired in the head at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., by John Wilkes Booth. He was an actor and was known as the “most handsome man in America.” He was famous for his physicality on stage, individually his leaps and sword handling.
Reason for Assassination
Wilkes disliked and resented the idea of Lincoln to promote the rights of black people to vote. It was long planning that also failed a few times.
Initially, he thought of kidnapping him and took him to Richmond, the Confederate capital. The day of the kidnapping was planned to be March 20, 1865, but it failed as the President did not come to the spot where they planned to capture him.
Then two weeks later, on April 11, he attended Lincoln’s speech which backed the voting rights of black people, and it was entirely against the principles of the Confederates. Then again, he made a dire plan to protect the Confederacy. The goal was to kill Lincoln.
Planning of Assassination
Other than being a renowned actor Booth also worked as a spy for the Confederates. Initially, they thought of just kidnapping him and, in exchange ask for the release of captured Confederates. But then they heard the President’s plan of granting black their voting rights. This was the time when Booth thought of killing him instead of kidnapping him.
Searching for the right time
Booth was all set to kill The President but was waiting for the right time. He got the chance really soon as he heard that he had a plan of watching them play, Our American Cousin. It was at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C on April 14, 1865. He also planned to kill Secretary of State William H. Seward and Vice-President Andrew Johnson.
The President was enjoying the show, and Booth was waiting for when his bodyguards were not around. As soon as he got the chance, he made his way to the special box where the President was seated. His timing was perfect; he shot a single shot straight at the back of the President’s head. (See How Did the Americans Win the Revolutionary War?)
About the pistol
He used a .44 caliber derringer pistol which is a small concealed handgun. He just fired one shot at point-blank range before leaping to the stage. Before leaving the scene, he clamoured the words ‘sic semper tyrannis’, which means ‘thus always to tyrants’.
He escaped at that point, but the police started his hunt, and he was found after 12 days. The agents of Federal too started a search; they found him in a Barn in Maryland. Just as he was spotted, a Union soldier fired him in the neck, and he died two hours later. (See Why Did the Articles of Confederation Fail?)
Facts About Lincoln’s Assassination
- He was the first U.S President to be successfully assassinated in history.
- John Wilkes was the son of a renowned British actor, Junius Brutus Booth.
- It is being said that Lincoln had a nightmare of being assassinated a couple of days before his death.
- Also, it is a fact that John Wilkes Booth saved Lincoln’s son’s life when he fell between the platform and the train tracks.
- There are variously strange, bizarre coincidences between the Lincoln and Kennedy assassination. Such as, both of them were shot with one bullet on the back of their heads. Both of them were killed on a Friday. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946, precisely 100 years after Lincoln (1846). Also, both their successors were named Johnson (Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Johnson).
Why Did John Wilkes Booth kill Abraham Lincoln?
Why Did John Wilkes Booth Shot Abraham Lincoln? The assassination of Abraham Lincoln.