Although we took a walking tour from Ford's Theatre a few days earlier, we didn't get to go inside the building that time. First thing Monday, we walked the block and a half from our hotel to see the museum and the theater's stage.
Inside the museum, we learned about Lincoln's family,
his previous encounter with John Wilkes Booth,
and his love of theater in general and Shakespeare in particular.
In the Gettysburg Address area, we saw a video of past presidents reciting Lincoln's famous speech.
Then we moved into the more somber section of the museum.
The derringer Booth used to shoot the president is on display,
as is Booth's boot, ripped when Dr. Mudd worked to repair Booth's broken leg.
After spending about half an hour in the museum, it was time to see the theater itself.
Of course, all eyes are drawn to the presidential box where Booth shot Lincoln.
It was so strange to imagine being in the audience on that fateful night. The theater has been restored, so people are able to see live theater in this place again. Today, though, the only performance was from the park ranger, who gave us an interesting account of the assassination.
From the theater we walked across the street to the Petersen boarding house where Lincoln died. We saw the parlor where Mary Todd Lincoln anxiously kept vigil,
and we saw the sitting room that was the temporary seat of government in the hours right after the shooting.
Then we saw the room where the 16th president breathed his last.