Monday, April 14, 2014



Palm Beach, Florida (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy spent his last Easter Sunday here in Palm Beach with his family 51 years ago today, April 14, 1963.

The President was accompanied by his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, and children Caroline and John F. Kennedy, Jr., along with friends, Paul and Anita Fay and their children.

After attending a private mass conducted at the home of the President's father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., the group went for a cruise on Lake Worth aboard the Honey Fitz.

     First Family Following Easter Service


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) At 10:15 p.m. this evening 149 years ago, April 14, 1865,  a single pistol shot was fired at President Abraham Lincoln as he was sitting in a rocking chair in a box above the stage at Ford's Theater here in the Nation's Capital.

Some witnesses said they saw a man leap to the stage below the box shortly after the shot was fired and scramble out the rear of the theater.

One of the doctors attending Mr. Lincoln,  Dr. Charles A. Leale, was heard to say "the wound is mortal".  

The bullet entered the back of the President's head.

Major Henry Rathbone, a guest in the President's box, was badly wounded in the arm as he grappled with the assassin.  

                       Ford's Theater
            Photo by John White (2007)

Not wanting to worsen Lincoln's condition any more than necessary, doctors ordered he be moved to the nearest bed. 

Mr. William Petersen, who owned a boardinghouse opposite Ford's on 10th Street, offered use of one of his rooms on the 1st floor.

Mrs. Mary Lincoln, in a frantic state, followed her husband into the boarding house.

The President was laid diagonally across the single bed in the room because it was too short for his 6'4" frame.  

Dr. Leale was assisted by Dr. Charles Sabin Taft and Dr. Albert F. King who both were in the theater at the time of the shooting.

A hostile crowd gathered outside on 10th Street between the rooming house and Ford's.  Some called for the theater to be torched.

             "House Where Lincoln Died"
               Photo by John White (2007)

Some witnesses reported the man who jumped to the stage was the actor John Wilkes Booth.

The Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, directed the pursuit of the assassin and his accomplices.

Another incident occurred at almost the same time of Lincoln's shooting, the Secretary of State, William Seward, was attacked in his bed by a man with a knife. 

President Lincoln died the next morning on April 15, 1865.  He was succeeded by Vice President Andrew Johnson.