Homage to a Fallen President
No theater in America has had a more tragic history than Ford's. During an April 14, 1865, performance, 26-year-old stage actor John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln as he sat in the flag-draped presidential box. Shuttered for nearly a century, the venue reopened in 1968 as a memorial to Lincoln and as a working theater showing plays of political and social significance, plus Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol—now a beloved annual tradition. Underneath the theater is a museum of the Civil War and of Lincoln's presidency, even as that empty balcony makes its presence felt.