Without his main bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln left to attend the play Our American Cousin on April 14, 1865. As a lone bodyguard wan-dered, and Lincoln sat in his state box (Box 7) in the balcony, Booth crept up behind the President and waited for what he thought would be the funni-est line of the play, hoping the laughter would muffle the noise of the gun-shot.
When the laughter began, Booth jumped into the box and aimed a sin-gle-shot, round-slug .44 caliber Der-ringer at his head, firing at point-blank range. Booth then leapt to the stage and shouted “Sic simper tyran-nis!” (Latin: Thus always to tyrants) and escaped, despite a broken leg suffered in the leap.
A twelve-day manhunt ensued, in which Booth was chased by Federal agents. He was eventually cornered in a Virginia barn house and shot, dying of his wounds soon after.
The President was taken across the street from the theater to the Peter-sen House, where he lay in a coma for nine hours before dying. Several phy-sicians attended Lincoln. Using a probe, they located some fragments of Lincoln’s skull and the ball lodged six inches inside his brain. Lincoln never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at 7:22:10 am, April 15th, 1865. He was the first US President to be assassinated, or to lie in state.