Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination on April 14, 1865.
It was 150 years ago today that President Abraham Lincoln was shot to death by John Wilkes Booth, and to mark the anniversary, the Associated Press dusted off its original report of the assassination.
To say the least, it was not in keeping with the news-writing conventions of today. The first mention of the shooting itself came in the second paragraph — after a description of what a crowd-pleaser the play was at Ford’s Theatre.
The conclusion that “all hope was lost” didn’t appear until the ninth paragraph.
The New York Times — then The New-York Times — got to the point a little faster … but even then only after an attendance report:
This evening at about 9:30 P.M., at Ford’s Theatre, the President, while sitting in his private box with Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Harris, and Major Rathburn, was shot by an assassin, who suddenly entered the box and approached behind the President.
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