The assassination of Abraham Lincoln

On 9 April 1865 the American Civil War ended. Two days later President Abraham Lincoln made a speech to a crowd of people who had come to the White House to listen to him. During this speech the President said that some African Americans should be allowed to vote at elections.

Statue of Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C (Getty Images)Statue of Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C (Getty Images)

One of Lincoln's listeners was an actor named John Wilkes Booth, who was  a racist. Booth hated Lincoln and was bitter because the South had lost the war, and decided to take revenge. He and a group of other Southern racists had already planned to kidnap the President the year before, but had not succeeded.


On 14 April Booth heard that Lincoln was going to a performance at Ford’s Theatre in Washington that same evening, and decided to kill him. Booth arrived at the theatre just after 10 p.m. and walked slowly to the box where President and Mrs Lincoln were watching the play with two other people. There was no security at all: the President’s bodyguard had disappeared and the door to the box was not locked.

Booth shot the President in the head, jumped down onto the stage, left the theatre by the back door and rode away. Two days later he was caught and shot in Virginia.

Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, USA. (Lefft to right) Sculptures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln represent the first 150 years of the history of the United States (Getty Images)Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, USA. (Lefft to right) Sculptures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln represent the first 150 years of the history of the United States (Getty Images)

 

Activities

(a) Who did what?

  1. He strongly disliked the President.

  2. He did not do his duty properly.

  3. She went to the theatre with her husband.

  4. He wanted to give the vote to black Americans.

  5. He escaped from the theatre.

 

(b) Find words in the text which mean the same as these definitions:

  1. A war fought between groups of people of the same nationality.

  2. Procedures for choosing Presidents, Senators, Representatives, etc.

  3. People who discriminate against members of other ethnic groups than their own.

  4. Measures taken to protect a person or persons.

  5. A man or woman who protects a person.

 

Activities for the link below

On the website below you will find information on presidential assassinations and assassination attempts.

Find the right President:

1. His murderer suffered from psychiatric illness.           

- Lincoln
- Garfield
- McKinley
- Kennedy

2. He was in a car when he was murdered.
- Lincoln         
- Garfield
- McKinley
- Kennedy

3. He died eight days after he was shot.
- Lincoln         
- Garfield
- McKinley
- Kennedy

4. He died the day after he was shot.
- Lincoln         
- Garfield
- McKinley
- Kennedy

5. Two women tried to kill this President.                        
- Jackson
- Truman
- Ford
- Reagan

6. The men who tried to kill him were separatists.
- Jackson
- Truman
- Ford
- Reagan

7. The person who tried to kill him was fascinated by a movie star.
- Jackson
- Truman
- Ford
- Reagan

8. The person who tried to kill him had defective weapons.
- Jackson
- Truman
- Ford
- Reagan 

Links

Presidential Assassinations and Assassination Attempts

http://americanhistory.about.com/od/uspresidents/a/assassinations.htm