Ford's Theatre

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Ford's Theatre in the
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Ford's Theatre in the 19th century

Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. was the site of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. The building was originally a church building, constructed in 1833 as the First Baptist Church of Washington. When the congregation vacated the building, John T. Ford took it over and renovated it as a theater. The theater was eventually taken over by the U.S. military and served as the home of the records of the War Department records on first floor, the National Library of Medicine on second floor, and the Army Medical Museum, during the period 18661887. In 1887 the medical uses were eliminated and it became a War Department clerk's office. The building collapsed in 1893 and killed 22 of those clerks, injuring another 68. The building was repaired and used as a warehouse until 1931 and in 1932 transferred into the control of the National Park Service. It languished for another 30 years until Congress approved funds for its restoration, which was completed in December 1967. Since 1970 Ford's Theatre has been both an active theater and a historic site remembering the assassination of the 16th U.S. President.

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