Pinch Me Places: Ford's Theater, Washington, DC

It was a surreal experience to me, on the occasions (two or three times) when I visited Ford's Theater, in Washington, DC, where President Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth.

The lovely Robin and I visited here in 1978, I know, in the company of my brother and sister-in-law, Don and Arvilla, and my father. We also visited when our children were young (fourth or fifth grade, maybe). Ford's Theater, used for storage and office space in the years since the 1865 assassination of Lincoln, was finally renovated in the 1960s and reopened as a museum and functioning theater in 1968. The lower level of the theater holds a Lincoln Museum, which includes artifacts such as Lincoln's clothes worn on the night of the murder and Booth's derringer.

In addition to the theater (and the box in which the president and Mrs. Lincoln sat, above), we also viewed the Peterson house across the street, where Lincoln was taken after the shooting...and where he died the following morning.

Those places--and especially the box where the shooting took place, which can be viewed from the theater and from the hall outside the door, where a guard was supposed to have been on duty that night--are "pinch me" places for me.

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