Abraham Lincoln died at the Petersen House at 7:22 AM on April 15, 1865, across the street from Ford's Theatre where he had been shot in the head the night before. The house contains the bed where Lincoln died, complete with the pillow he used, and the furniture in the house at the time. Another room is the room where Mary Lincoln waited with friends and family.
Hours are 9 AM - 5 PM daily except December 25. Admission is free. Tours are self-guided.
During my two previous visits to DC, I was unsuccessful in my attempts to visit Ford's Theatre as it was under renovation both times. Third time was the charm however, and I booked my advance tour reservation online. (NOTE: Timed admission to this National Park is FREE; however, if you choose to reserve your time in advance - as opposed to day-of at the box office, which may book up - there is a small convenience fee from Ticketmaster).
You enter to the basement level, where there is a great museum depicting the life, family, presidency, death, and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Artifacts include the coat Lincoln was wearing the night he was shot, the derringer which killed him, various family photos, exhibits from the trial of the conspirators, and the boot which Dr. Mudd cut off of John Wilkes Booth in order to set his leg.
After approx 30 minutes in the museum, you are lead back upstairs to the theatre itself - and to the festooned Presidential Box. I got goosebumps just looking at it and knowing the horror that happened there one night almost 150 years ago. The Ranger gave a wonderful program describing the event - including quoting from the play which was being performed that night.
Such a historic place - I am glad I finally got to see it. Your free admission ticket also includes admission to the Petersen House, directly across the street.
NPS Passport stamping station in the bookstore in the museum downstairs and in the small bookstore behind the box office.
The townhouse directly across the street from Ford’s Theatre, where, after being shot by John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln was carried and tended to in a back bedroom until his death hours later.
The U.S. National Park Service has maintained the house as an historic house museum, recreating the scene at the time of Lincoln's death. There are costumed docents or Park Rangers present to answer any questions. Each of the three rooms has a sign describing the events which occurred in that room during that fateful night.
Open daily (except Christmas Day) from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is free, but you still need a ticket to get in. The ticket you get at Ford's Theatre is the same one you use to visit the Peterson House. It is NOT handicapped accessible - there are several steps to enter/exit the house.
Most Americans at least know from elementary school that Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theater but it is impressive to see it in person. It is free and only takes a few minutes to walk in. It's open during regular business hours unless the stage is being prepared for a function or a rehearsal is going on (it is still used as a working theater). You must get timed tickets to enter the theater. They are free but must be obtained beforehand. The office opens at 8:30 each day. Also, downstairs there are a number of exhibits on the life of Abraham Lincoln- even the suit he wore that last evening is on display.
Ford's Theater is the place where Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth in 1869. After some renovations, it reopened in winter 2009.
After Lincoln's assassination, the theater stopped functioning as such until 1968, in which the place is reopened as theater and historical site. In that regard, there is also a museum in the theater, with interesting pieces like the gun used to shoot Lincoln, Booth's diary, knife and boot, etc.
If going to Ford's Theater, don't miss the Petersen House, right in front of it. This is the house where Lincoln was transported after being shot and in which he finally expired. Entrance is free, you only need patience to make the line to enter.
Ford's Theatre 511 Tenth St, NW, Washington, DC 20004 (202) 347-4833
One of America's most famous historic theaters ... Ford's Theater was the monumental site of the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Lincoln, which makes Ford’s Theatre a unique place in United States history. The theatre has enthralled millions of visitors since its reopening in 1968, and it is one of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital. It's Theatre’s mission is to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and to explore the American experience through theatre and education. The Ford’s Theatre Society works to present the Theatre’s nearly one million visitors each year with a high quality historic and cultural experience. Their work is what makes this vibrant historic site an important tool for promoting the ideals of leadership, humanity and wisdom espoused by Abraham Lincoln. This year, 2009, as Ford’s Theatre approaches the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the institution has renewed its commitment to presenting world-class theatre. Within the near future, Ford’s Theatre will be recognized as a major center for learning, where people of all ages can examine the events of that fateful evening in 1865 and experience the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. It's a large building complex, with a modern state of the art rebuilt theater right next to the historic building. The Historic building is managed and operated by the National Park Service. While I didn't have a chance to go in and see the site, it's definitely a hotspot of activity and tourism in D.C. Recommended to visit by many.
Ford's Theatre Theatre is a historic theatre in Washington, D.C., 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 and house are preserved together as Ford's Theatre National Historic Site.
Pictured is the balcony where Lincoln's assassin, actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth, had also ordered a fellow conspirator, Lewis Powell, to kill William H. Seward (then Secretary of State). Booth hoped to create chaos and overthrow the Federal government by assassinating Lincoln, Seward, and Vice President Andrew Johnson. Although Booth succeeded in killing Lincoln, the larger plot failed. Seward was attacked, but recovered from his wounds, and Johnson's would-be assassin, George Atzerodt, fled Washington, D.C. upon losing his nerve.
This is where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in April 1865. The box remains draped in a period flag to this day. You can tour the restored theatre on your own or as part of a group. There is a museum to Lincoln in the basement.
Across the street is Petersen House where Lincoln was carried to & later died. The rooms here are open to the public.
Standing in Ford's theatre looking at Lincoln's seat is overwhelming! To think that a president of such stature was killed at that very spot. A history altering event, and a mind numbing experience. Go and be absorbed by one of the most important sites in American History!
Ford's Theater is is best known as the location of Lincoln's assassination at the hands of John Wilkes Booth. The theater is also still used for performances and has been beautifully restored.
Virtually all the pertinent spots involving the Lincoln assassination can be seen including the private box where Booth slipped past a guard and shot the president. In the basement is the Lincoln museum where you can see various artifacts from the assassination such as the derringer Booth had used and clothing that Lincoln had worn on that day.
Across the street is "The House Where Lincoln Died" and that pretty well says it all too. Not much more here that the bed where his last moments were spent and his family and friends mourned.
These sites are open from 9am to 5pm daily and are free to visit.
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