A street view of the lobby and the historic Ford’s Theatre. The lobby, on the left, is a modern building with large glass windows and a large sign reading “Ford’s Theatre.” The historic theatre, to the right, is a three-story brick building with a series of arched entrances.
Photo Ⓒ Maxwell MacKenzie.

Virtual Field Trips

Bring the story of President Lincoln’s assassination and the world of Civil War Washington into your classrooms with your choice of six virtual programs.

Using live videoconferencing, students and history lovers of all ages engage with primary source images and Ford’s Theatre Education staff in our interactive Virtual Field Trips.

Option 1: Book a Virtual Field Trip as a private session for your class or group.

Option 2: Register for a regularly scheduled, free public live event.

All programs are appropriate for students and life-long learners. Specific grade-level recommendations are included with each program.

Book a Virtual Field Trip

Virtual Investigation Detective McDevitt

Grades: 5+ | Length: 60 Minutes | $50 – $100

Assist Detective James McDevitt as he investigates the assassination of President Lincoln. Revisit sites and reexamine clues from April 14, 1865. In this interactive, theatrical program, participants will interact with historical characters portrayed by an actor, examine primary source images and hear witness statements. This session is 60-minutes long including time for Q&A. Designed with 5th-12th graders and adult audiences in mind. Appropriate for anyone who wants a theatrical experience, exploring specifically the assassination of President Lincoln and manhunt for John Wilkes Booth. *Regular Price: $100 per session. Public School Teacher Price: $50 per session.*

Ford’s Theatre and the Lincoln Assassination

Grades: 5+ | Length: 60 Minutes | Free

What was Washington, D.C., like for President Lincoln and some of the people he met and knew here? Explore his assassination at Ford’s Theatre and consider President Lincoln’s legacy. In this interactive program, participants will look closely at historical and contemporary images including maps, photographs and illustrations. This session is 60 minutes including time for Q&A. Designed with 5th-12th graders in mind; appropriate for anyone who wants to learn about the story of Ford’s, the world of Civil War Washington and the assassination of President Lincoln.

Exploring Lincoln in Washington

Grades: 3+ | Length: 60 Minutes | Free

Ford’s Theatre and The National Mall and Memorial Parks explore what Washington, D.C., was like for President Lincoln and how the city has grown and changed over time. Examine places that mattered to Lincoln during his lifetime and places where he matters to us today, including the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Ford’s Theatre. In this interactive program, participants will look closely at historic and contemporary images of Washington D.C. including maps, photographs and illustrations. This session is 60 minutes including Q&A. Designed with 3rd-8th graders in mind; appropriate for anyone who wants to learn about Washington’s major landmarks and how the city has changed over the last 150+ years.

Impact on a Nation: Reactions to Lincoln’s Assassination

Grades: 8+ | Length: 60 Minutes | Free

How did people around the United States feel after the death of President Abraham Lincoln? What did they say? Ford’s Education examines primary sources to reveal how individuals reacted to a time of uncertainty following Lincoln’s assassination. In this interactive program, participants will look closely at historic documents and engage multiple perspectives. This session is 60 minutes including time for Q&A. Designed for 8th-12th graders. Recommended for AP U.S. History classes looking to prepare students for the Document-Based Question. Appropriate for anyone who wants to take a tour of the U.S. in 1865 to understand different perspectives on Lincoln’s assassination by examining 13 primary sources.

Ford’s as a Place of Memory: 1865-Today

Grades: 9+ | Length: 45 Minutes | Free

After President Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, an angry public threatened to burn the building to the ground. But Ford’s Theatre still stands over 150 years later. Ford’s Education explores what happened to the building after the assassination, who occupied it, and how it came to be a working theatre once more. In this interactive program, participants will look at historic images of Ford’s Theatre and the Petersen House from the 1860s through today. This session is 45 minutes long plus time for Q&A. Designed with high school and adult learners in mind – appropriate for history enthusiasts who are already familiar with the story of President Lincoln’s assassination, and who want to learn more about historic preservation and place-based memory.

Stories from the Petersen House

Grades: 5+ | Length: 45 Minutes | Free

The Petersen House is known as the place where President Lincoln died. But have you ever wondered about the people who lived there? Ford’s Education introduces you to the people who lived at the boarding house and their neighbors. Learn how the house became a national historic site and museum. Explore primary sources and first-person perspectives. This session is 45 minutes and includes time for Q&A. Designed with 5th-12th graders in mind. Appropriate for anyone who is already familiar with the story of the assassination of President Lincoln, and who wants to learn more about wartime Washington and the people who lived in the Petersen House.

Free, Live Events

Virtual Investigation Detective McDevitt

Assist Detective James McDevitt as he investigates the assassination of President Lincoln. Revisit sites and reexamine clues from April 14, 1865. In this interactive, theatrical program, participants will interact with historical characters portrayed by an actor, examine primary source images and hear witness statements. This session is 60-minutes long including time for Q&A. Designed with 5th-12th graders and adult audiences in mind. Appropriate for anyone who wants a theatrical experience, exploring specifically the assassination of President Lincoln and manhunt for John Wilkes Booth. We are pleased to partner with Streamable Learning, Inc. to present two sessions on April 4, 2023.

Ford’s as a Place of Memory: 1865-Today

After President Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, an angry public threatened to burn the building to the ground. But Ford’s Theatre still stands over 150 years later. Ford’s Education explores what happened to the building after the assassination, who occupied it, and how it came to be a working theatre once more. In this interactive program, participants will look at historic images of Ford’s Theatre and the Petersen House from the 1860s through today. This session is 45 minutes long plus time for Q&A. Designed with high school and adult learners in mind – appropriate for history enthusiasts who are already familiar with the story of President Lincoln’s assassination, and who want to learn more about historic preservation and place-based memory.

Ford’s Theatre and the Lincoln Assassination 

What was Washington, D.C., like for President Lincoln and some of the people he met and knew here? Explore his assassination at Ford’s Theatre and consider President Lincoln’s legacy. In this interactive program, participants will look closely at historical and contemporary images including maps, photographs and illustrations. We are pleased to partner with Streamable Learning, Inc. to offer these sessions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What platform do you use?

A: We are flexible. We are happy to host your virtual field trip on Zoom, or you can invite us into your virtual classroom in whatever platform you use (Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, etc.). Our open registration events are hosted on Zoom.

Q: Is a virtual field trip interactive?

A: Yes! We use a combination of historical and contemporary images and live, human interaction. We encourage participants to ask questions and respond to what they see.

Q: How long is the virtual field trip?

A: Our virtual field trips tend to last 45 to 60 minutes and always include time for questions. The Ford’s Theatre Q&A / Custom Connection and private sessions can be shorter or longer, depending on the request.

Q: For what ages is the virtual field trip appropriate?

A: We include a grade-level recommendation with each program description. Our regular, live events with open registration are recommended for grades 3 and up. Private sessions can be easily adapted and customized to suit different age groups. We are pleased to serve students in second grade all the way up through life-long learners in retirement communities.

Q: Do you do virtual field trips for groups that are not students or teachers or other non-education groups?

A: Yes! We are happy to serve history-lovers and private groups. Individuals are welcome to register for any of our open-registration events. Groups may request a private session. We do encourage private groups to make a $100 donation to Ford’s Theatre Society to support these distance learning and education programs.

Q: Is there a maximum number of participants in a virtual field trip?

A: Our maximum capacity is 100 active participants.

Q: What does a Virtual Field Trip Cost?

A: Investigating the Lincoln Assassination is $100 per session. Our other virtual field trips are FREE for students, teachers, and seniors. Other groups that book a private session are encouraged to make a donation to Ford’s Theatre Society to support these distance learning and education programs.

Q: Is there a minimum number of participants for a virtual field trip?

A: Individuals and learning pods of fewer than eight people are encouraged to join us for one of our open-registration sessions. You can always email us with specific questions at [email protected]

Q: Is a virtual field trip accessible?

A: Automatic closed captions are enabled for all virtual field trips hosted by Ford’s. Private sessions can be customized to accommodate a variety of needs. For specific requests, additional accommodations or questions, please contact us at [email protected] or [email protected]. We are committed to ensuring learners of all abilities can experience the programs Ford’s Education has to offer.

Distance Learning Partners