April 14, 1865. US President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching ‘Our American Cousin’ in Ford’s Theatre, Washington D.C. His assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth, was a supporter of the Confederate southern states who were losing the American Civil War against the Union states, led by Lincoln. Booth hoped that by killing the president and other prominent Union leaders, the Confederacy would be able to win the war. After entering the theatre’s presidential box, he shot Lincoln once in the head, jumped to the stage and fled. He was tracked down and shot dead twelve days later. Lincoln abolished slavery in the United States in 1863 and is considered by Americans one of, if not the, greatest of all 44 US presidents. The Lincoln Memorial was built in his honour on the National Mall in Washington D.C.
Also on April 14: the first Volvo car was unveiled in Gothenburg (1927); the publication of John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ (1939)
Born on April 14: Sir John Gielgud (1904), Thomas Schelling (1921), Robert Carlyle (1961), Emre Altuğ (1970)