Statement from Our Director

We stand in solidarity with the Black Community. We support your calls of justice for George Floyd and all victims of racial violence and terror.

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Chief A.C. Richards: Bearing Witness to the Lincoln Assassination

4 min. Read

Since 2005, visitors to Ford’s Theatre have been able to step back in time with National Park Service volunteer Mike Robinson, who portrays Washington Police Chief A.C. Richards. As “The Chief,” Robinson offers the perspective of a man who both witnessed the Lincoln assassination and then investigated it. Learn about how he originated the role, how he prepared and how visitors react.

Using Digital Public History in the Classroom

10 min. Read

How can a college professor or K-12 teacher work with a public history institution like Ford’s Theatre to teach students about historical research? Learn from a collaboration between Ford’s and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, that inspired college students and brought underrepresented voices into a digital history exhibition--and see how teachers at all levels can do such projects.

Taking It to the Streets: Prototyping Sprint 1, Round 1

13 min. Read

On a semi-cold Tuesday, Ford’s Theatre staff and evaluator Kate Haley Goldman spent the day on the street between the Petersen House and Ford’s Theatre, asking visitors for their opinions of two on-site prototypes that might enhance the visitor’s understanding of the Lincoln assassination and its aftermath. Read on to see what we learned from that testing.

Bringing Mary Lincoln to Life at Ford’s Theatre

4 Min Read

Since 2000, many visitors to Ford’s Theatre have stepped back in time with National Park Service volunteer Liz Hogan, who portrays First Lady Mary Lincoln and, sometimes, Mary Lincoln’s confidante Elizabeth Dixon. Hogan seeks to counter some of the many pervasive myths about Lincoln’s First Lady. Learn about how Hogan  prepared for this historical role and how visitors react.

Adding Historical Voices to the Ford's Theatre Site: Prototyping Sprint 1, Round 2

12 min Read

On December 19, 2017, visitors to the Ford’s campus heard from people who were witnesses to the Lincoln assassination events of 1865. Visitors found four iPads on music stands around the campus featuring audio of our staff members reading first-person accounts from five people from the time. Read about our second round of ideas testing for our latest prototyping project.

Interview with Historian Kate Masur about the book "They Knew Lincoln"

7 Min Read

"They Knew Lincoln" by John E. Washington’s recounts the complex relationship between Lincoln and Washington’s African-American community. Kate Masur, a professor of history at Northwestern University, facilitated the reissue of the book for the first time since the original run in 1942. This edition includes a new introduction by Masur on John E. Washington and the Washington, D.C., he knew. Here, she offers a preview.

Prototyping Historical Figure Cards at Ford's Theatre: Sprint 2, Round 2

9 min. Read

In our latest prototyping sprint on the Ford’s campus we tested out a concept Ford’s has long-considered: character cards representing historical figures whose stories patrons follow through the exhibit. While the cards were highly successful in terms of engagement, the D.R.A.F.T. team continues to debate what counts as success and whether these cards achieved it.