DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Abraham Lincoln (aged 56)
16th president of the United States
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman, politician, and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United Statesfrom 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.
DEATH: Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre, five days after Lee’s surrender. Booth was a well-known actor and a Confederate spy from Maryland; though he never joined the Confederate army, he had contacts with the Confederate secret service.:586–587 After attending an April 11, 1865, speech in which Lincoln promoted voting rights for blacks, Booth decided to assassinate the President.:3–4 Learning of Lincoln’s intent to attend the play with Grant, Booth and his co-conspirators planned to assassinate Lincoln and Grant at the theater and to kill Vice President Johnson and Secretary of State Seward at their respective homes. Lincoln left to attend the play Our American Cousin on April 14. At the last minute, Grant decided to go to New Jersey to visit his children instead of attending the play.