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

Betty Entzminger (6 months ago)
I am the Co-Director of a Senior Program called ARTS (Active Retired Talented Seniors) in Prince George's County and wee were at the matinee show today!!! Nolan Williams, I/We/Metropolitan Baptist Church are SO proud of ALL of your Incredible Accomplishments the Amazement part is the Best Is Yet To Come! We will See you on Broadway because the play is definitely headed there and abroad!! Thank you Ford's Theater for having GRACE be in your Awesome Theater where the Usher really do take care of you!!! You MUST See Grace Theater Goer!!! We ALL need a little Grace in our life and this is the project to be reminded that we do!!! Thank you.
Andy Stobie (6 months ago)
Amazing feeling being there and seeing the theater. The tour was not organized well I thought, no group leader. More you just wander and read the captions. Some captions are not lighted well enough to read. We got the audio system, which provided good information. The host in the theater was very knowledgeable, but he seemed to answer only from a script he'd memorized, he was not a good listener to our questions. He spoke very fast without inflection.
Henry Whelchel (8 months ago)
The inside of Ford's Theater has been modernized, but the facade remains pretty much as it was back in the day. We found it a great place to brush up on the history of the war and the presidential life of Abraham Lincoln. There is much more than a theater here, and any school child would be served well to pay a visit and contemplate the history of the times. The museum exhibits are very well kept, and the staff is knowledgeable and pleasant. I'd say it's worth your time and the cost of admission.
Sharon Youngdahl (10 months ago)
The theatre is beautiful, intimate. A Christmas Carol was perfect for my 11 year old granddaughter. Seats in dress circle were perfect, center stage. She was disappointed that no children were in the show-no small Tiny Tim. But it was wonderful. The Museum visit was very special. This and dinner were her Christmas gift from me.
Raymond Reynolds (2 years ago)
Been there twice every time I go to Washington I’ll probably visit
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