Peace and Freedom

An actor, a president and the crime of the 19th century


Washington (CNN) On April 14, 1865, an actor and Confederate sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington. The following morning, less than a week after the end of the Civil War, Lincoln would become the first American president killed in office.

It was the crime of the 19th century.

Booth fled the building and, along with co-conspirator David Herold, evaded the authorities for nearly two weeks. Booth was shot and killed during capture in Virginia on April 26.

Four others were hanged for their involvement in the plot, including Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by the federal government. Three were sentenced to life in prison. Among them was Dr. Samuel Mudd, the Maryland doctor who treated a leg injury Booth sustained at…

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