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.



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Founded: 1860s


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User Reviews

James Miller (2 years 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 (2 years 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 (2 years 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 (2 years 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 (2 years 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!
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