Days 6 & 7, July 14, 15 Washington DC
Did you know that Ford's Theater is part of the National Park Service? Yup. The people who work there are park rangers. Seems like the least out-doorsy job for a park ranger...
When you visit Ford's Theater, you are first directed downstairs to the museum which houses great information and artifacts connected to the Civil War and Lincoln assassination.
After you have spent time there, you may go through the back hallway (where Booth went on his deadly deed), and up to the audience section of the theater.
From there, you can see the President's box and the stage where Booth landed after he shouted, "Sic semper tyrannis" and jumped out of the box.
At designated times, a park ranger will come out on stage and give a description of the night of the assassination. These rangers are very well versed in the events of that fateful night, and their talks always leave me with a chill down my spine. I've heard the talk about a dozen times, from about a dozen rangers- and each one is a master storyteller. (That's the kind of park ranger I would want to be- an indoor one.)
After you see and hear what Ford's Theater has to offer, you can go across the street to the Petersen House.
This is where the men carried President Lincoln after he was shot. They laid him on a bed in the back bedroom, and somewhere, in some museum display, is the pillowcase with his blood on it. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the Petersen House this time in DC because it was being renovated. The part of the street that is between Ford's Theater and the Petersen House is usually paved with red brick- a symbol of the Lincoln's red blood that dripped across the street. Since they are working on the Petersen House, it looks like they might be doing something with the red brick as well.
Ford's Theater is a must-see if you ever get to visit our nation's capitol.