On this day, April 17, in 1865, Mary Surratt was arrested as a conspirator in President Lincoln's assassination.

Surratt operated a safehouse for Confederate spies in Prince George's County and a boarding house in the District, where John Wilkes Booth conspired against Lincoln.

Three days after Booth shot the president, D.C. police officers visited the Surratt boarding house and found evidence linking Mary Surratt to the conspiracy.

She was convicted of conspiracy and hanged on July 7, the first woman executed by the federal government. Her guilt or innocence is still hotly debated.

The Surratt House in Clinton is a now a museum. The boarding house, at 604 H St. NW., is now the Wok and Roll restaurant.

-- Scott McCabe