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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ford's Theatre, Wash DC

My last bit of American history. I visited Ford's Theater in Washington D.C. It was here Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. I had often wondered how Booth could have gotten in to see the President when there were rumors circulating Washington that an assassination attempt was going to happen.
 John Wilkes Booth was a very famous actor at the time. Akin to George Clooney as a present comparison. To give you an idea how famous he was, Booth made around $30,000.00 dollars the year before he shot Lincoln. Quite an income for the times.
 Lincoln had at one time sought out to meet Booth,  who had no desire to meet with Lincoln.
 Booth was given permission to enter unannounced, by Lincolns valet who was seated outside the box. Booth quietly walked in and waited for the funniest line in the play to be said and only one person was on the stage at that time. He then made his move to shoot the President at this time of the play. Mrs Lincoln screamed. Booth scuffled with the Presidents guest, an army General. The General was seriously wounded with a cut vein on his arm by Booths knife.
Booth jumped from the box to the stage(a twelve and a half foot jump) and broke his leg. He then hobbled out to his horse, injuring three other people with his knife on the way.
Booth was found and killed a few days later. His co conspirators were later tried and hung.
In this picture you can see the chairs, President Lincoln was on the chair on the right, his wife next to him. The General and his fiancee were on the left.
This time of American history when our country was divided, at war with itself, and still held a Presidential election is an amazing time and a testament to our desire for democracy.