Ford's Theatre has been used for various stage performances beginning in the 1860s. It is also the site of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. After being shot, the fatally wounded president was carried across the street to the Petersen House, where he died the next morning.

The theatre was later used as a warehouse and office building, and in 1893 part of it collapsed, causing 22 deaths. It was renovated and re-opened as a theatre in 1968.

The National Historic Site consisting of two contributing buildings, the theatre and the Petersen House, was designated in 1932.

The Ford's Theatre Museum beneath the theatre contains portions of the Olroyd Collection of Lincolniana. The collection includes multiple items related to the assassination, including the Derringer pistol used to carry out the shooting, Booth's diary and the original door to Lincoln's theatre box. In addition, a number of Lincoln's family items, his coat, some statues of Lincoln and several large portraits of the President are on display in the museum. The blood-stained pillow from the President's deathbed is in the Ford's Theatre Museum. In addition to covering the assassination conspiracy, the renovated museum focuses on Lincoln's arrival in Washington, his presidential cabinet, family life in the White House and his role as orator and emancipator. The museum also features exhibits about Civil War milestones and generals and about the building's history as a theatrical venue.



Your name

Website (optional)


Founded: 1860s


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

James Miller (19 months ago)
An important part of America's history is on display. The immense weight of the events that occurred there in 1865 will be forever ingrained in our national consciousness. My son was completely awed by the tour and learned so much that history books can never approach. An absolute must see for every visitor to our great Capitol city.
Cat Barber (20 months ago)
This is a great place to go check out while in DC. It's not right there near the main monuments but only a few blocks away from the White House on 10th ST NW. Here are some key notes to take away from it: - It's free to get into since it's part of the National Parks. - You will need to enter on the side in-between J. Crew and Hard Rock Cafe to get your free tickets. You need to get the tickets in order to enter. - There is a gift shop on your left when you first your walk in. - The ticket stand is right behind the gift shop, the tickets are good for the theater and the Petersen House across the street. - The stamp for the National Park passport book is at the same place you get your tickets from, each window should have a stamp. There is also a stamp for the Petersen House across the street. - The theater is a self pace walk through but you can get an audio guide to listen while walking around. - Not the best place to take strollers due to the stairs you have to climb throughout the theater. - May not be the best for younger kids due to all the reading, not much entertainment for them. - They do have a few quick History channel clips shown throughout the first section of the tour. - There is so much to see and read while you're there so take your time. - A gift shop is located at the end of the Petersen House. - National Park Rangers are located throughout the theater and house for any questions you may have. - The theater is still an active performing theater.
Kirsten Neus (20 months ago)
Ford’s Theater is awesome! There is so much to see! It’s $3 to make ticket reservations ahead of time online and it’s definitely worth it because tickets frequently run out. They do timed entry to the museum and ranger programs every hour when the theater is open. I recommend checking out the aftermath exhibit across the street as well. Allow a few hours if you want to see and read everything.
Patricia Perry (21 months ago)
It was a thrill to see "A Christmas Carol" at the theater. The actors were exceptional. The sound was very clear. My one wish was to have had a better seat. In the side balcony, I missed a good deal of the stage activity.
Jonathan Isett (21 months ago)
Very cool historic site in Washington, D.C. Be sure to visit the museum in the basement before the show to learn all about Lincoln. It is informative, and not overly done. The staff were friendly and the theatre was a site to behold. Lincoln's booth is draped off. We saw 'A Christmas Carol' and the play company did a great job. The stage is small and intimate and there are good views all around. Plenty of parking garages, and one right next to the theatre. The kids loved it too!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.