National Geographic : 1970 Mar
FORD'S THEATRE. Those two words will forever haunt the American con sciousness, evoking a sense of loss and bittersweet thoughts of the gentle, sorrow ing man who led this Nation through four years of fratricidal war. The building where Abraham Lincoln was shot stands at 511 Tenth Street Northwest, in the busy heart of Washington, D. C. Today, after more than a century of blackout, Ford's stage lights are up again. Once more audi ences applaud actors as in the days when President Lincoln found respite there from the problems and heartbreak of the Civil War. Stage and house, inside and out, have been restored by the Federal Government to look as they did on April 14, 1865, when John Wilkes Booth fired the fatal bullet in Box 7. The return of John Ford's old playhouse to its original role gives the Nation's Capital a unique and fitting monument to Abe Lincoln, who loved drama and the theater. It also offers modern playgoers a new and needed stage for the performing arts. And for good measure, it contains a handsome muse um displaying intimate and graphic memen tos of the man "of laughter and tears," as poet-biographer Carl Sandburg called him.