On This Day 150 Years Ago: A Portrait of President Abraham Lincoln

On February 5, 1865, 150 years ago Thursday, President Abraham Lincoln, age 55, sat in the Washington, D.C. studio of photographer Alexander Gardner, posing for a portrait photo. The photograph was to be used by painter Matthew Wilson as the basis for an official portrait, rather than have the busy President sit in person for many sessions. At this point in Lincoln's presidency, the worst of the Civil War was in the past, the end of the conflict in sight. However, two months after this photograph was taken, Lincoln was assassinated, shot by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865.
Read more
Hints: View this page full screen.

Most Recent

  • Danish Ismail / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Sweet Spill, Bovine Rescue, Miss Universe

    Big waves in Portugal, holiday lights in Europe, images from the asteroid Bennu, a flight with Virgin Galactic, a giant middle finger in Vermont, and much more

  • USGS / Reuters

    2018: The Year in Volcanic Activity

    Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava.

  • Jassen Todorov

    Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

    National Geographic magazine has announced the winning entries in its annual photo competition.

  • Emma McIntyre / Getty for KROQ / Entercom

    Photos of the Week: State Funeral, Mass Marriage, Krampus Parade

    A prison beauty contest in Brazil, a 3-D-printed e-motorcycle in Germany, the state funeral of former President George H. W. Bush, SantaCon in New York City, “yellow vest” protests in Paris, and much more