Ford’s Theater – D.C.

I visited Ford’s Theater as a kid and remember scouring the stairs looking for blood stains from when they carried President Lincoln across the street. I swear I found a few. 

A few years ago they renovated this historic theater where the 16th President of the United States of America was shot. As a result I knew this time not to look for those same stains. 

The renovations provide a complete timeline of President Lincoln’s presidency, the display beginning in the basement under the theater and continuing across the street in the house he died in. The timeline continues through the reconstruction and modern day issues.

A park ranger provides an oral commentary of the events that took place on the day President Lincoln was shot, with the box he sat in the focal point. I spoke with a ranger who said that they do open up the box during slow times but unfortunately it wasn’t slow enough while I was there. It used to be part of the exhibit but with the renovations it changed. 

John Wilkes Booth, an actor and from a famous acting family, was the man who shot and killed President Lincoln. The manhunt for him lasted 12 days until he finally took his own life when he realized there was no escape. 

I have lots of family in Illinois so I’ve always been fascinated by Abraham Lincoln and have visited various historical sites in Illinois, including his home in Springfield. 

I will conclude with some questions and food for thought proposed by the park ranger – How would our world have been different had the small gun that Mr. Booth used misfired, as it was know to do? Would there still be the Lincoln Memorial? Would he still be seen as one of the greatest presidents? What would reconstruction have looked like? And finally – are you willing to do everything you can for the greater good despite personal and political consequences? 

   
    
    
 
I reached into my wallet to make a donation and pulled out a $5 bill. I didn’t even think of the significance until I was about to put it in the bin. 

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