A collage of photographs, newspapers and memorabilia related the death of Abraham Lincoln.
Collage created by Gary Erskine.

Impact on a Nation

With the relatively new technology of the telegraph, news of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination spread quickly across the United States and beyond. Many grieved, but others celebrated the death of a man they considered a tyrant.

Reactions to Lincoln’s assassination varied and did so in ways that might surprise us. Use this page to investigate how people around the United States and world reacted. What do their feelings about Lincoln’s assassination tell us about how they saw the larger questions facing the United States as its Civil War drew to a close?


The International Response





Continue Exploring

Colored drawing of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. Booth stands next to Abraham Lincoln in a theatre box and shoots a derringer at his head. In his other hand he holds a dagger. A man in a union army uniform stands to try to stop him.

Lincoln’s Assassination

On the morning of April 14, 1865 (Good Friday), actor John Wilkes Booth learned President Abraham Lincoln would attend a performance of the comedy Our American Cousin that night at Ford’s Theatre—a theatre Booth frequently performed at. He realized his moment had arrived.

A mourning ribbon for President Lincoln with his portrait, birth and death dates in the center. Surrounding the portrait are small American flags. Hanging from the bottom are blue and hello ribbons and two decorative tassels.

Teaching Lincoln’s Assassination and Legacy

We offer ready-to-use history lesson plans focused on how to teach President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the Civil War.

Postcards showing Abraham Lincoln ascending to heaven to meet George Washington.

Remembering Lincoln

Explore our digital collection of letters, newspapers, artifacts and more primary sources to illuminate how people around the country and the world responded to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  

Reactions to Lincoln’s Assassination

How did people around the United States and around the world respond to the assassination? What do their responses tell us about how people were feeling—about how the country would and should come back together in April 1865?

Protect Our History

Give to Ford's Theatre and help us share the stories that shaped a nation.

Black and white photograph of Abraham Lincoln. Written on top of him is "When one man died because he believed in"