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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Ford's Theater 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 On December 30th the original exterior is destroyed by a fire caused by a defective gas meter. No one was physically hurt in the fire. Ford estimates his damages to total around $20,000. John T Ford builds a new theater calling it "Ford's New Theater". The grand opening took place on August 27th with a sold out performance of the Naiad Queen. Ford remains the manager and proprietor of the building and continues to restore throughout the summer. He hires a new crew and reputable actors full time. Ford leases out the abandoned first baptist church for five years with the option to buy it at the end of the five years. He spends more than $10,000 on renovations and reopens the theater on March 19th. He names the theater "Ford's Athenaeum" The new theater becomes a popular spot for local residents, tourists, and even Abraham Lincoln. In November, Lincoln attends a performance at Ford's of The Marble Heart starring John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln will attend Ford's theater a total of eight times within the next two years. Booth escapes until he is caught by authorities 12 days after. On February 28th, Ford closes the theater for renovations to remodel the stage for theatrical and musical productions. April 14th Lincoln, his wife Mary, and a few guests share a box stage left at Ford's Theater. During intermission, Lincoln's body guard goes to the lobby bar for a drink but does not return for Act 3. John Wilkes Booth enters Ford's through a backstage door with the help of a stage hand and goes to Lincoln's box. At around 10:15pm during the beginning of Act 3 scene 2, Booth aims his gun andshoots Lincoln in the back of his head by his left ear. Cited Sources: y
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