Ford's Theatre was the location of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on the night of April 14, 1865, while the President and Mrs. Lincoln were attending a performance of the play, "Our American Cousin." Actor John Wilkes Booth, in this first assassination of an American president, removed Lincoln from leadership at the end of the American Civil War. The old Ford's Theatre building was first constructed as the First Baptist Church in 1833. In 1859 the structure was abandoned as a place of worship, and in 1861 John T. Ford, a theatre entrepreneur from Baltimore, renovated the building. In December the theatre burned to the ground and in 1863 a more elaborate edifice was constructed.
Ford's Theatre is a three-story brick building with five arched doorways at street level. The exterior walls are the only portions remaining of the 19th century theatre. The National Park Service acquired the theatre in 1933, and the entire interior was reconstructed in the 1960s to recreate its historic appearance on the night of the assassination.
Ford’s Theatre is Washington’s home for musicals and plays reflecting the unique and diverse character of American life. Explore Ford's Theatre and discover Abraham Lincoln's life in Washington DC, the struggle for a united country, and the motivation behind Lincoln's tragic Assassination.