Ford’s Theatre, along with Petersen House across the street, is a National Historic Site. John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, shot President Abraham Lincoln while he attended a play at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. The President was carried across the street to the Petersen boarding house, where he died the next morning.
As a theatre, Ford’s mounts mainstream plays that appeal to both adults and children. Each year from Thanksgiving through December, Ford’s hosts a lively production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The 2018 season includes Jefferson’s Garden and the Wiz.
When the theater is open for tours, you can view the President’s box. In spring and summer tours often include either an interpretive program or a mini-play, both of which bring the events of April 15, 1865 to life.
The theater’s museum tells the story of Lincoln’s life in Washington during his presidency. Timed tickets are required to tour the theater and the museum. Petersen House will be closed December 25, 2017 to June 2018 for preservation work.
The Aftermath Exhibits showcase the effect of Lincoln’s death by recreating a District Street the morning after Lincoln’s death. Other exhibits reveal that reaction from world leaders as well as the hunt for the assassin.
Tips: From March through July, it’s best to reserve timed tickets to tour the theater and the museum in advance.
Metro: Metro Center on the Red, Silver, Orange and Blue Lines. 11th and G St. exit.