Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ford's Theatre

An interactive view of Ford's Theatre.
You can get a 360 degrees view by dragging with the mouse. Zooming is also possible. 

Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865 at the Ford's Theatre in Washington.

After the assassination and the execution of the conspirators John T. Ford was given permission to reopen his theatre. He announced the play “The Octoroon”, but after a large uproar he was forced to close his theatre and to sell the building to the government. It was in use by the Office of Records and Pensions (run by the War Department) when on June 9th, 1893 the three upper floors collapsed  causing the death of 24 men.

The building after the collapse in 1893 (NPS photo).

John T. Ford, theater proprietor .

(This is a repost from 2 years ago) 

next episode: mary p.


  1. This interactive view of Ford's Theatre is fabulous. It's the next best thing to being there. I didn't remember the 1893 collapse of the theatre. They did a wonderful job restoring the building to its original condition. Think it's great Ford's Theatre is still open for performances and events. Rob, I've enjoyed your series of posts about Lincoln.

  2. Interestingly, I just read a book which told me that the origin of the saying "Your name is mud", common in english to describe a person who had done something that made him wildly unpopular, had its origin in that very theatre.

    Having shot Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth jumped out of the presidential box to the stage below, but landed badly, breaking his leg. He managed to hobble out, but, that evening, aided by a companion, made his way to the home of one Doctor Samuel Mudd, who set his leg, had a carpenter fashion crutches, and sent Booth on his way. Mudd was tried as a co-conspirator, and jailed. He was fervently anti- Lincoln, but any evidence that he knew of the assassination plot before the event is very flimsy.
    So my book said, it was Mudd's actions that gave rise to the popular phrase.
    However, it was actually recorded in print much earlier, as far back as 1823. 'His name is Mud' predates Lincoln's death, and Samuel Mudd's involvement.

    1. That's interesting. You still hear it used in England "Your name is mud". A really extensive run down of the term can be found on the link below.

  3. This was just amazing, and so interesting to view. I was excited when I first learned that they were going to remodel and reopen this theater. What an excellent post, thank you.

  4. Good stuff, I hadn't seen the Booth diary pages that I recall. There was a tv show here which had a segment concerning Junius Brutus Booth, J.W.'s father, who apparently had some issues of his own -- he sent President Andrew Jackson a letter threatening to kill him, many years before his son killed Lincoln.

  5. Good to see this post again, on this important anniversary (I'm reading it late). I too had forgotten about the collapse in Ford's Theater. Another significant anniversary coming up, with the end of WWII in Europe 70 years ago.


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