John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth (May 10, 1838–April 26, 1865) was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well known actor. He was also a Confederate sympathizer vehement in his denunciation of the Lincoln Administration and outraged by the South's defeat in the American Civil War. He strongly opposed the abolition of slavery in the United States and Lincoln's proposal to extend voting rights to recently emancipated slaves.

Booth and a group of co-conspirators planned to kill Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward in a bid to help the Confederacy's cause. Although Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered four days earlier, Booth believed the war was not yet over because Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's army was still fighting the Union Army. Of the conspirators, only Booth was completely successful in carrying out his part of the plot. Seward was wounded but recovered; Lincoln died the next morning from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head – altering the course of American history in the aftermath of the Civil War. Booth's escape was almost thwarted by Major Henry Rathbone, who was present in the Presidential box with Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln. Booth stabbed Rathbone when the startled officer lunged at him. Rathbone's fiancée, Clara Harris, who was also present in the box, was unhurt.

When Abraham Lincoln invents peanut butter (or more correctly, Mary Todd Lincoln invents it to ward off spirits) and plans to use it to win over the South by reporting a black man invented it in "Black Mystery Month", his assassination at the hands of John Wilkes Booth delays this until President Grover Cleveland leaves a jar of the peanut butter on George Washington Carver's doorstep.

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