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Ford's Theatre: It's smaller than I thought
posted by John : July 11-20, 2017

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The President's Box

Now that we've covered museums, monuments, seats of power, and of course, the natural high point it's time to remember some of the smaller sites in Washington, D.C. And by small, I mean small.

President Lincoln was 6'4". Sure, that's not that tall now, but he was kind of like... uh... a real tall guy. (Fun fact: When I looked for examples of tall people today I found the internet has ranked Lincoln between Snoop Dogg and John Wayne on a list of "Famous Tall Men Over 6'2.") Now, imagine he went to a mid 1800s theatre. It was a little short.

But the visit shouldn't be planned to be short. There are three main parts.

Start with a Ranger Program. It did a great job explaining the history and setting up the rest of the visit. If you're lucky, you'll get the same ranger we had. He was totally into it and it was great.

Downstairs is a museum stuffed with historical artifacts. The kids were challenged by the Junior Ranger Books, which is a bit of a surprise as they're getting older. Even more fun was watching the ranger (yes, same ranger as the one that gave us the presentation earlier) grilled them. For a few moments I thought he was actually going to deny them.

Across the street is the Petersen House. It's where Lincoln was taken after being shot. There are a few rooms that are made up like they were in 1865. It's also the entrance to the Center for Education and Leadership. While the museum focused on the historical events that occurred at Ford's Theatre the Center looks at the legacy of Lincoln.

Like many of our visits to our country's great people I left feeling proud and inspired. The kids left with Junior Ranger badges. If we hadn't paid any attention at all, we'd have had a great bit of time in a lovely air conditioned theatre. (Did I mention it was hot?)

You do have to have tickets to get in, but they're free. Get them online before you go and you'll have much less wait time to get in. And around the corner? Maybe take in a museum or two...

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