Ford’s Theatre Washington DC Where Abraham Lincoln’s legacy lives on

This building changed history. On April 14 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and his wife were watching a performance of ‘Our American Cousin’. The actor John Wilkes Booth entered their theatre box brandishing a pistol. With one shot he fatally wounded one of America’s greatest ever presidents.

Ford’s Theatre has been renovated to a working theater once again, and you might be lucky enough to catch a show while you’re here on your Washington DC Bus Tour. It’s also home to a fascinating museum, with plenty of items related to the assassination, including the very Derringer pistol that killed Lincoln.

The Lincoln Experience

What was life like in the Lincoln White House? Well you can find out in the museum below the theatre. There are interactive exhibits, videos and 3D figures to transport you back in time. Follow Lincoln from his arrival in Washington in 1861 through to his assassination 4 years later.

You’ve read the book…

Like a good read? You’ll be spoilt for choice here. The Lincoln Book Tower is a 34-foot (10-meter) tower of books about Abraham Lincoln. It stands to symbolize that the last word about this great man will never be written. The tower features real titles, most of which are currently still in print.

Other interesting facts about Ford’s Theatre:

  • In 1861 theatre manager John T. Ford leased out the abandoned First Baptist Church on Tenth Street to create Ford’s Theatre.
  • Following extensive renovations it reopened on February 12 2009 to commemorate Lincoln’s 200th birthday
  • When Lincoln was assassinated, it was his 12th visit here
  • After the assassination Ford’s Theatre remained closed for over 100 years
  • The book tower represents just a fraction of the 15,000 titles written about Lincoln