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Notorious Assassinations

Abraham Lincoln, Five Days Before His Death

Abraham Lincoln, Five Days Before His Death

President Lincoln (1809 - 1865) is photographed here on April 9, 1865. On April 14, he attended a performance of the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The guard at Lincoln's post left during intermission to go drinking, and in the second act, an instant after the line "sockdologizing old man-trap" was delivered, actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in the back of the head with a Philadelphia Derringer pistol. Booth jumped down to the stage, fractured his leg, and declared, "Sic semper tyrannus!" ("Thus always to tyrants!") At 7:22 the following morning, the 16th president was dead at age 56.

In this photo: Abraham Lincoln

Photo: Alexander Gardner/Getty Images

Jan 01, 1860
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