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On the morning of April 14, 1865, Booth learned of President Lincoln’s intention to visit Ford’s Theatre that evening. He and his co-conspirators planned to attack not only Lincoln, but also Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward. Familiar with the theatre’s layout, Booth entered the Presidential Box at 10:00 p.m. and fired one shot into the back of Lincoln’s head. He also stabbed the Lincolns’ guest, Major Henry Rathbone, before escaping into the night.

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