Ford’s Theatre celebrates the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln and explores the American experience through theatre and education.
During the Civil War, Ford’s Theatre was one of Washington’s top entertainment venues, giving Washingtonians a much-needed break from the realities of war. President Lincoln, who loved theatre, opera and Shakespeare, visited Ford’s Theatre on at least 10 formal occasions.
On April 14, 1865, Lincoln and his wife decided to visit the theatre to see the comedy Our American Cousin. John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, snuck into the President’s Box and shot Lincoln with a single-shot Deringer pistol. Booth fled into the night, and Lincoln died the next morning in the Petersen House, a boarding house located just across the street from the theatre.