Chester County Night School

Visit Ford's Theater, Museum, Mrs. Petersen's Boading House, and the Aftermath Exhibits

Ford's Theatre is a theater in Washington, D.C., used for various stage performances beginning August, 1863. Architectural style is Victorian and has a capacity of 661. It was the site of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. After Lincoln was shot, it was determined that it would take too long and be too difficult to return him to the White House because of the dirt roads and the need to use a buckboard, so the wounded president was carried across the street to Mrs. Petersen’s Boarding House where he died the next morning. The theater was later used as a warehouse and office building; in 1893 part of it collapsed, causing 22 deaths. It was renovated and re-opened as a theater in 1968. During the 2000s, it was renovated again, opening on February 12, 2009, in commemoration of the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. In the Center for Education and Leadership Museum, which opened February 12, 2012, you can view exhibits that follow Abraham Lincoln from the beginning of his presidency to the moments leading up to his assassination. Learn about his life in the White House, the struggles he faced during the Civil War, and his meetings with abolitionist Frederick Douglass. You will also learn about actor John Wilkes Booth, the roots of his hatred toward Lincoln, and the group of people who joined his conspiracy to dismantle the United States government. After visiting the museum we will enter Ford’s Theater where we will have the pleasure of viewing Death of A Salesman, a play by American playwright, Arthur Miller. The 1949 play was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. After viewing the play, we will go across the street and tour Mrs. Petersen’s Boarding House where Lincoln was carried after being shot. The celebratory night quickly turned into an overnight vigil as people gathered outside the house. The doctor at Lincoln's bedside updated the crowd each hour on the president's condition. His final update came at 7:22 a.m. on April 15, 1865: the president had died. During the president’s final hours, he was surrounded by his wife, Mary, and various U.S. government officials. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton turned one of the rooms into an interrogation area, interviewing witnesses about what happened inside the theatre. A number of memorabilia are housed here. The Petersen House and the theater are preserved together as Ford's Theatre National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service; programming within the theater and the Center for Education is overseen separately by the Ford's Theatre Society. The Aftermath Exhibits take you to a Washington street the morning after Lincoln's assassination. Follow Lincoln’s funeral train back to his hometown in Springfield, Illinois. In an interactive exhibit, learn about the crowds that gathered to mourn the president each time the train stopped. As Lincoln’s body traveled back to Illinois, authorities hunted for John Wilkes Booth. In the exhibits, follow the 12-day manhunt for Booth and learn about his capture in Virginia. Learn about the trial and fate of Booth’s co-conspirators. The exhibits also explore the impact of Lincoln's life and death on America and across the world. See how he has inspired leaders and view artifacts that show his evolution into a pop culture icon. Because of the tight schedule at the Theater, you may wish to bring some lunch items and/or snacks to eat on the bus. No outside food may be taken into the Theater, but there is a snack stand that is open during intermission. We will go to the Union Station Food Court for dinner. We will also stop at the Chesapeake reststop on the way to Washington and again on our way home. The cost of the trip includes bus transportation, driver gratuity, and admission to the Museum, Ford’s Theater, Mrs. Petersen’s House, and the Aftermath Exhibits. Snacks and food are your costs.

Dates:October 19, 2017   
Number of Sessions:1
Meets:Th : 6:00 AM - 8:15 PM
Location:OJR HS and West Goshen Park 'n Ride
Instructor:Thom Clapper

Notes:*** IMPORTANT! *** PLEASE BE 15 MINUTES EARLY -- the driver will not wait for latecomers! *** Motorcoach departs from the Owen J. Roberts High School parking lot at 6:00 am and returns approx. 8:15 pm. Motorcoach departs from the West Goshen Park 'n Ride at 6:30 am and returns approx. 7:45 pm. Trip Cancellation Policy: No refunds or credits will be issued for any reason after the cancellation deadline of March 2, 2018. Refunds will only be issued if this trip is cancelled and not rescheduled due to weather conditions or lack of participation.

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