Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Trivia Tuesday: History Trivia - Answer!

What type of gun did John Wilkes Booth use to assassinate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln?

A: Derringer Pistol

On April 14, 1865, during an evening performance of Our American Cousin, John Wilkes Booth entered the State Box where Abraham Lincoln and his wife were watching the play with Clara Harris and Henry Rathbone. Lincoln's bodyguard, a Metropolitan Police Officer named John Parker, had left his post. Booth placed a Derringer pistol in the back of Lincoln's head and fired at point-blank range. Dropping the gun, a single-shot weapon, Booth struggled with Rathbone who he stabbed in the arm with a hunting knife. He then jumped over the railing and landed eleven feet below on the stage, snapping the fibula in his left leg. He flashed his knife at the startled audience and raced out the back of the theatre. A doctor was immediately summoned. He examined the President and found that the bullet had entered through Lincoln's left ear and lodged behind his right eye. Although paralyzed, he was breathing faintly. Nine hours later, however, in spite of the doctor's best efforts, Lincoln died. On April 26, federal authorities caught up with Booth and one of his accomplices at a farm near Port Royal, Virginia. They hid in a barn which was set on fire. Still, Booth refused to come out. He was eventually shot dead by Sergeant Boston Corbett.