14 marks the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's
slain 141 years ago at Ford's Theatre in
a link to a friend
-- One hundred and forty-one years ago on Good
Friday, April 14, 1865, President Abraham
Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth
at Ford's Theatre as Lincoln watched the
comedy "Our American Cousin."
Lincoln and his wife, Mary, were seated with
Maj. Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris in the
presidential box when, at approximately 10:15
p.m., John Wilkes Booth gained entry to where
Lincoln was seated, placed a derringer pistol
behind the president's left ear and shot him
at point-blank range. Lincoln died the next
day, at 7:22 a.m. on April 15, 1865.
funeral tour was the most prolonged, most
elaborate and most repeated ceremony in
American history. The first of many funeral
services for the fallen president was
conducted at the White House on April 19,
1865. A procession then accompanied the
horse-drawn hearse as Lincoln's body was
carried to the Capitol, where he lay in state
in the rotunda the following day. On April 21
the president's remains were placed on a
special train for the nearly 1,700-mile trip
to Springfield. The train also carried the
remains of the Lincolns' son, William
"Willie," who had died in
Washington, D.C., in 1862. The train route
stopped in 12 major cities, spanning a 15-day
trip, and arrived in Springfield on May 3 at
what is now the Old State Capitol. Lincoln was
buried the following day, May 4, 1865, in
Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery.
"Only six other times since 1865 has
the anniversary of this tragic event
corresponded with the Lenten season in which
it occurred," said Dr. Thomas F.
Schwartz, interim executive director of the
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and
Museum. "Booth's cowardly act horrified
the nation. Lincoln's death was mourned by
many Northern churches on what became known as
Black Easter. His funeral became the template
for John F. Kennedy's televised funeral as
well as all presidents since Kennedy."
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It is estimated that nearly 1 million
people witnessed Lincoln's funeral tour.
Seventy-five thousand paid their last respects
at the Old State Capitol. To date, almost
600,000 have viewed the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Museum's "Journey Two"
exhibit, where visitors can view a re-creation
of the presidential box at Ford's Theatre,
following with the scene of Lincoln lying
in state. "Lying in State"
is a nearly full-scale recreation of the
Representatives Hall in Springfield's Old
State Capitol, recreating the exact time in
May 1865, complete with all the lavish
trappings of Victorian-era mourning.
Another anniversary that is approaching is
the museum's one-year anniversary, on April
19. Scheduled events include a press
conference, live entertainment, complimentary
birthday cake and an evening panel discussion.
For more information, visit www.alplm.org.
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum