Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ford's Theatre

Hello! Sallie here.

I just came back from a busy few days at the National Education Computing Conference in Washington D.C.

While there, me, my friend Sarah, and her family went t0 Ford's Theatre and we listened to Liz Hogan a volunteer who talked about the theater and President Lincoln.
Here is what I learned during Ms. Hogan's speech.

I learned that a lot of the buildings in Washington D.C. were used as hospitals during the war. There were times when Washington D.C. looked like it was on fire because of all the candles in the windows. John Wilkes Booth, who was from Maryland, attended President Lincoln's 2nd Inauguration speech and decided that he was going to capture President Lincoln and exchange him for Confederate prisoners of war.

On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln's son Tad did not go to the play with his parents because he was at a different play called "Aladdin" or "His Wonderful Lamp" at Grover's Theatre. On that night, President Lincoln arrived at Ford's Theatre around 8:30 and the play had already started. When President Lincoln arrived, the play stopped and band played Hail to the Chief and the people in the theater gave him a standing ovation.

President and Mrs. Lincoln were accompanied that night by Major Rathbone and Miss Clara Harris. Booth arrived at Ford's Theatre around 9pm but then left to get a few drinks of whiskey. Booth then returned to the theater and walked toward the Presidential Box. Booth did not need a ticket to get in because he was a actor at the theater and according to Ms. Hogan he was the most handsome man on the stag. Booth snuck into the box where the President sat and waited till the funniest line in the play to shoot him. He chose that line because the laughing, hooting, and hollering would cover up a gun shot.

It was 10:15pm when Booth shot the President. After shooting the president, Booth jumped 12 feet to the stage and raised bloody knife (from stabbing Major Rathbone) and shouted Sic Semper Tyrannis (which means Thus Ever to Tyrants). When Booth jumped from the box to the stage, Major Rathbone shouted "Stop that man".

Mrs. Lincoln was screaming that her husband was dead. Miss. Laura Keene rushed up to the box with a pitcher of water and she held the the President Lincoln's head and her sleeve became stained with the blood from the Presidents wounded head. Soldiers that were in the theatre carried Lincoln across the street to the Petersen House. President Lincoln arrived at the Peterson House around 10:30 and he lived 9 hours in that house.

Booth had rented a horse and kept it outside the back stage door. This was not his personal "one eyed horse" from Dr. Mudd but another one. From there he rode out of town and was finally captured and shot at Garrett farm in Virginia and was paralized from the neck down. He lived for two hours his last words were "Useless" referring to his hands.

As part of my visit, I got go up in the booth that Lincoln sat in and get my picture taken. My friend, Sarah came up with me and got to look in the booth too.

Here I am with Miss Allison walking toward the famous box.

What a great view of the stage. I have chills from being in this historic spot.

This is Miss Allison who was kind enough to give me the tour talking about the contents of the famous box.

Be sure to follow Ford's Theater on Twitter they are @fordstheatre

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