Ford's Theatre National Historic Site is operated through a public-private partnership between Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service.
Ford’s Theatre celebrates the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln and explores the American experience through theatre and education. A working theatre, National Historic Site, world-class museum and learning center, Ford’s Theatre is the premier destination in Washington, D.C., to explore and celebrate Lincoln’s ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression.
In 1861 theatre manager John T. Ford leased out the abandoned First Baptist Church on Tenth Street to create Ford’s Theatre. Over the next few years, the venue became a popular stage for theatrical and musical productions. On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln visited Ford’s for his twelfth time for a performance of Our American Cousin. At this performance, Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth; he died the next morning in the Petersen House, a boarding house located across the street. Ford’s Theatre remained closed for more than 100 years.
Ford’s Theatre officially reopened in 1968 as a National Historic Site and working theatre.
Through its inspiring theatrical productions, live historic interpretation and engaging education programs, Ford’s Theatre offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in America’s past while revealing meaningful connections to today.
The Ford’s Theatre experience will inspire audiences from around the world to become compassionate leaders in their own communities, empowering them to live out Lincoln’s principles in their own lives.