American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
A Young Nation Divided
   The Civil War (1861-1865)

Fords Theater National Historic Site
We ended a war--and lost a President.

Fords Theater National Historical Site
Washington, D.C.

      On April 14, 1865, President and Mrs. Lincoln were attending a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater. The celebration turned to tragedy when actor John Wilkes Booth entered the President's box and shot him in the head at point-blank range. President Lincoln was carried across the street to the Petersen House where he died a few hours later. Booth fled, but was found hiding in a tobacco shed in Port Royal, Virginia and was shot by federal soldiers on April 26th. Other conspirators were captured, imprisoned at Fort McNair, and hanged.

  Abraham Lincoln was the first United States President to be assassinated. A period of national mourning was declared. The loss of a President was marked by a sign on the door of Ford's Theater that said, "Closed by Order of the Secretary of War."

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