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Ford's Theatre April Virtual Programs Commemorate Lincoln Assassination

One Destiny on demand available with free registration through June 13, 2021.

Ford's Theatre commemorates the 156th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination and death on April 14 and 15, and throughout the month of April with digital programming.

On April 8 at 4:00 p.m. EDT, Ford's Theatre hosts a Cabinet Conversation with Dr. Edna Greene Medford and Jonathan W. White addressing Lincoln's legacy as The Great Emancipator and the other voices that made emancipation a reality. On April 15 at 4:00 p.m., Playwright Richard Hellesen (One Destiny, Necessary Sacrifices) leads a discussion with Catherine McCarthy, co-creator of the storytelling nonprofit The Moth, about employing art and storytelling to process traumatic events. Both events will be livestreamed on, Ford's Theatre Facebook Live, YouTube and Twitter. A catalogue of past programs and planned upcoming events is available online at

A member of our visitor experience team will lead patrons through a live Virtual Tour of Ford's Theatre, Presidential Box and backstage on April 12 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Explore spaces not usually accessible to the public and learn about the dramatic events of April 14, 1865, and the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination for both the nation and the individuals who witnessed it. Zoom event is limited to 30 patrons. Registration required at

Ford's Theatre Education hosts three free, interactive history programs for students on April 14 and 15 led by a costumed guide, Detective James McDevitt. In each 60-minute program, McDevitt leads classrooms through an investigation into the clues from the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Lincoln. Examine the primary source images and witness statements from the trial of the assassination conspirators. Ideal for 5th- through 12th-grade classrooms. Details and registration available at

On April 15 at 8:00 p.m. EDT, Ford's Theatre partners with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum for a Facebook Live conversation about the Lincoln assassination and the unique history of the theatre, featuring historian Christian McWhirter and Ford's Theatre Education staff Sarah Jencks and David McKenzie. Watch live at

On April 26, the anniversary of assassin John Wilkes Booth's capture, Ford's Theatre Education's David McKenzie leads a live webinar for the general public about national reactions to the Lincoln assassination, using first-person accounts and historical images. The event will be simulcast on Ford's Theatre Facebook Live, YouTube and Twitter.

The Society also continues its previously announced on-demand video streaming of the one-act play One Destiny about the events and people at Ford's Theatre on the days ahead of President Lincoln's assassination. The 40-min production is ideal for students ages eight and older and adult history fans. Register to receive free access through June 13 at

The Society's Necessary Sacrifices Radio Play, available to the public April 12-May 30 (to Members April 6) dramatically explores the two White House meetings of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln during a period of national crisis. Full details available online at

WPFW 89.3-FM, Pacifica radio in the nation's capital, will broadcast the play on April 15 at 8:00 p.m. EDT and April 21 at 3:00 p.m. with related on-air discussions. The April 15 discussion centers on the Movement for Black Lives within the context of the work of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. The discussion on April 21 examines women of the abolitionist movement-Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman-in relationship to the work of Douglass and Lincoln. Full speaker lineup to be announced by WPFW.

The previously announced Abraham Lincoln Institute Online Lincoln Symposium continues on, Facebook Live, YouTube and Twitter with speakers Lucas E. Morel and Mark E. Steiner on April 19 at 4:00 p.m. EDT, and with Tamika Nunley and C.R. Gibbs on May 3 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Learn more and watch archived performances at

Our Words, Our Power workshops explore how ordinary citizens and public figures use their words to inspire change and shape our world. These hour-long events are open to the public and livestreamed via Zoom at 7:00 p.m. EDT on select Mondays. On April 19, commemorate National Poetry Month by studying an original poem by poet, musician and Ford's Teaching Artist W. Ellington Felton. On May 17, examine Malala Yousafzai's speech to the United Nations Youth Assembly, and explore LGBT Pride Month on June 21. Full program details available at

The Ford's Theatre education team continues their student-focused Guided Virtual Tours of the historic site and structured webinars and interactive events on Zoom that explore Abraham Lincoln in Civil War Washington, Lincoln's assassination and the investigation into the assassination conspiracy. Ford's Theatre also offers online resources that delve into the impact of the Lincoln assassination on the nation; the vigil on Tenth Street on the night of the assassination; and the journey of Lincoln's funeral train - all through primary sources and first-hand accounts.

Ford's Theatre online resources are available at any time for history fans and learners of all ages. A full list is available at

Online Resources

Lincoln's Assassination
Online resource:
A popular 26-year-old actor, Confederate sympathizer and white supremacist named John Wilkes Booth had plotted for months to abduct President Abraham Lincoln and give the Confederacy another chance. Three days before the assassination, hearing the president talk of his plans to bring the nation together-in particular, Lincoln's plans to grant some African American men the right to vote-Booth's plans turned murderous.

Lincoln's Death
Online resource:
After John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, soldiers carried Lincoln across Tenth Street, so that he could pass his last moments peacefully, surrounded by those who knew him best. He died in the Petersen family's boarding house at 7:22 a.m. on April 15, 1865.

Investigating the Assassination
Online resource:
Why did John Wilkes Booth assassinate President Abraham Lincoln? How did investigators learn what happened and why? Join Detective McDevitt as he conducts his investigation.

The Vigil on Tenth Street
View online:
After soldiers carried President Abraham Lincoln into the Petersens' boarding house, a crowd gathered outside on 10th Street to await word. What would happen to their beloved leader? What would happen to the country? Explore the only first-person representation of the scene, and see what eyewitnesses had to say.

Impact on a Nation
View online:
News of Abraham Lincoln's assassination spread quickly across the United States and beyond in 1865. Many grieved, but others celebrated the death of a man they considered a tyrant. Reactions to Lincoln's assassination varied and did so in ways that might surprise us. Use this page to investigate how people around the United States and world reacted. What do their feelings about Lincoln's assassination tell us about how they saw the larger questions facing the United States as its Civil War drew to a close?

Lincoln's Funeral Train
View online:
An estimated seven million people turned out in 11 cities to mourn the slain Lincoln as his funeral train carried his body back to Springfield, IL. See where his funeral train traveled.

Ford's Theatre History
View online:
What should happen to a site where a violent event like Lincoln's assassination takes place? Since 1865, people have answered that question many different ways. Explore how Ford's Theatre and the Petersen House have changed since the 1830s.

Remembering Lincoln: A Digital Collection of Responses to the Lincoln Assassination
In 1865, as people around the nation and around the world learned of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, they recorded their reactions in many forms-from written materials like diaries and letters to decorative items like ribbons and flags. Discover personal items and remembrances from the Americans whose lives were touched by the president's death and its national and international aftermath. Website includes more than 850 primary sources drawn from more than 40 libraries, archives, museums and private collections. The website also includes educational resources to make the collection useful to teachers and students. The collection is viewable online at Primary source transcription opportunities are available. Learn more about transcription on the Ford's Theatre Blog:

Civil War Washington Through the Eyes of Mary Henry (NEW)
Explore the city of Washington, D.C. during the Civil War through the eyes of Mary Henry, a young woman who lived in the Smithsonian castle. Recommended for 8th-12th grade students studying the Civil War and Washington D.C. History, this video includes primary source texts and images. Accompanying student activity available. Video:

Explore the History of Ford's Theatre on Google Arts and Culture:

For more information on Ford's Theatre and the Ford's Theatre Society, please visit

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