Ford's Theatre

511 10th Street Washington, D.C. 20004

Ford's Theatre

History: President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at the infamous Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865 after 10 p.m. Lincoln and his wife Mary were attending a performance of Our American Cousin at the Theatre.

The popular actor, Booth, stepped into the box where the presidential party was sitting and shot Lincoln in the back of the head. Booth then jumped 12 feet down to the stage, breaking his leg and cried out "Sic semper tyrannis".  He then escaped through the back of the theatre, running out of the backstage door into an alley where he had a horse waiting for him.

Lincoln was carried across the street to the Petersen Boarding House, where he died the next morning.

More to Explore: After exploring the Ford’s Theatre Museum and getting a Ranger-led tour, be sure to visit the Petersen’s Boarding House across the street from the theatre, where Lincoln passed away. Also see the Center for Education and Leadership to get the complete story of Lincoln’s legacy, his assassination and Booth’s attempted escape. Washington, D.C. offers so much to explore. The International Spy Museum is in the area. At The National Mall, a visit to The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Lincoln Memorial, and the African American Civil War Memorial make a perfect match to a visit to Ford’s Theatre. Guided tours of the city by bus, on foot, Segway, or bicycle add fun to the adventure.

Photo Credits:
   1. “Ford’s Theatre scene of the assassination” Courtesy of Library of Congress.

2. “The assassination of President Lincoln” Courtesy of Library of Congress.


free, but ticket required for entrance