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The Place Where Lincoln Died
Washington DC
July 1999
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Lincoln photo

Ford's Theater is just one of two dozen stops on the Washington DC trolley ride. We paid $25 for a 2 1/2 hour ride, but got off for two full hours to see this historic and macabre location.



Lincoln photo

The blank brick Ford's Theater looks very much as it did when it became the center of attention on April 14, 1865. The Civil War suddenly ended, John Wilkes Booth stood here and decided not to kidnap the President as planned, but to murder him. Booth's plan included the assassination of the vice president and secretary of state as well.



Lincoln photo

An actor familiar with this theater, Booth rigged the door of the Presidential box. The President and his wife Mary Todd arrived late, and Booth visited the bar next door, now the box office, to drink up his nerve to act.



Lincoln photo

Today the Theater and the Peterson House across the street are part of the National Park Service. It's dark inside, but was air conditioned on this sweltering July day. Park rangers offer a short narration and the Lincoln Museum is in the basement. And it's all free.



Lincoln photo

The first thing everyone does, once their eyes accept the darkness, is to snap a picture of the presidential box. The reconstruction from early photos is eerily accurate. The box had been draped that day for Lincoln's possible visit. The picture of George Washington is accurate (the theater owner could not find one of Lincoln. No matter how many pictures or movies you've seen and despite a roomful of tourists, the effect is still powerful. There it is, you think, the spot where it happened.

CONTINUE the Lincoln Assassination Tour
Read "The Day Lincoln Died Again"
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Photos and text by J. Dennis Robinson
© 1999 SeacoastNH.com

To see pix by real professionals
go to our Photo Gallery Archives

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