National Treasure: Book of Secrets - FORD'S THEATRE

Four days before attending the play, the President spent time with his young son, Tad. General Lee had just surrendered at the Wilmer McLean home (in the Virginia village of Appomattox Court House), so the war was essentially over

The city of Washington was in a celebratory mood,  and Lincoln looked relaxed.  He’d even managed a smile for the photographer.

Although the performance was already underway when the presidential party arrived, the band played “Hail to the Chief” as Lincoln entered Ford’s Theatre.  Settling into a red rocking chair -  now owned by the Henry Ford Museum - he must have appreciated the warm welcome he’d just received.

Around 10:15 p.m., John Wilkes Booth entered the President’s box,  his single-shot, muzzle-loading Deringer pistol at the ready.  As an actor who had performed on Ford’s stage,  Booth knew the place well. This time, however, he came to play a different role.

Lincoln was unprotected. Accounts differ on the location of his bodyguard. 

Had one been with him, it may not have mattered since Charles Forbes,  the president’s valet (apparently seated just outside the door) had admitted at least two people into the presidential box. One of those people was Booth. (See Manhunt,  by James L. Swanson, pages 38-39.)

Undeterred, and with his weapon undetected, Booth had easy access to Abraham Lincoln. The assassin aimed his pistol and fired one point-blank shot at Lincoln’s head.

Entering through his left ear, the .44-caliber lead ball lodged behind the president’s right eye.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5186stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: Feb 07, 2017

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"FORD'S THEATRE" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2007. Jun 25, 2019.
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