April 14 - 1865 - The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
John Wilkes Booth killed President Abraham Lincoln because he was an ardent Confederate sympathizer and he believed he would help revitalize the flailing Southern cause. Although Booth, the most handsome stage actor in America, was successful in fatally shooting the President, on every other level his plan was a dismal failure. The Confederate capitol of Richmond had fallen, the Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered, and every other Confederate Army was on the ropes, but Booth's actions did nothing to help them. Additionally, he had a much larger conspiracy involving the assassination of Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State WIlliam H. Seward. Seward's would be assassin Lewis Powell attacked Seward, but did not kill him, and Johnson's attacker, George Atzerodt, got drunk and backed out. Yet John Wilkes Booth was able to sneak into the President's box at Ford's Theater, shoot Lincoln in the back of the head, and run away.. Eventually, he would be captured and killed, while his conspirators would be convicted and executed just months later.