The North celebrated Lee's surrender and the end of the war. On April 14, Good Friday, John Wilkes Booth learned that President Lincoln, General Grant and others were to attend a play at the Ford theater. The Grants decided not to attend and left Washington for Philadelphia. Booth shot the President in the back of the head, and Lincoln died the next day at 7:22 a.m. The news flashed across the country via the telegraph and celebration turned to sorrow. Scattered fighting continued into May but on May 23, a victory parade was held in Washington. By July, eight of Booth's co-conspirators were found guilty and four of were hanged. Those who survived the war returned home and resumed their lives. Sherman was frequently sought as a political candidate bur flatly refused to serve in any capacity. Sheridan remained in the army and was active in the Indian wars that followed. In the South, Jefferson Davis was vilified as the true villain of the war and spent two years in custody, but was ... Written by
Did You Know?
Last show of the series. See more
In the original broadcast, the narration states that President Abraham Lincoln
was 54 years old when he died. The home video version has been re-dubbed so that the number is corrected to 56. See more
Barbara Fields - Historian
It is *the* event in American history in that it is the moment that made the United States as a nation. And I mean that in different ways. The United States was obviously a nation when it adopted the Constitution, but it adopted a Constitution that required a war to be sorted out, and therefore required a war to make a real nation out of what was a theoretical nation as it was designed at the Constitutional Convention.