The Lincolns arrived late for the comedy, but the president was reportedly in a fine mood and laughed heartily during the production.
News of the president's death traveled quickly and by the end of the day flags across the country flew at half-mast, businesses were closed and people who had recently rejoiced at the end of the Civil War now reeled from Lincoln's shocking assassination. The president’s corpse was taken to the White House, and on April 18 it was carried to the Capitol rotunda to lay in state on a catafalque. On April 21, Lincoln's body was boarded onto a train that conveyed it to Springfield, Illinois, where he had lived before becoming president. Tens of thousands of Americans lined the railroad route and paid their respects to their fallen leader during the train's solemn progression through the North. Lincoln and his son, Willie, who died in the White House of typhoid fever in 1862, were interred on May 4, 1865, at Oak Ridge Cemetery, near Springfield.
As the nation mourned, Union soldiers were hot on the trail of John Wilkes Booth, who many in the audience had immediately recognized. After fleeing the capital, he and an accomplice, David Herold, made their way across the Anacostia River and headed toward southern Maryland. The pair stopped at the home of Samuel Mudd, a doctor who treated Booth's leg. (Mudd’s actions earned him a life sentence that was later commuted). They then sought refuge from Thomas A. Jones, a Confederate agent, before securing a boat to row across the Potomac to Virginia.
On this day in 1969, the 41st annual Academy Awards are broadcast live to a television audience in 37 nations.