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Perhaps the most famous theater in the country, Ford's Theatre is the infamous site of President Lincoln's assassination. The theater and museum are open for public tours.
Perhaps the most famous theater in the country, Ford's Theatre is the infamous site of President Lincoln's assassination. The theater and museum are open for public tours.
 

Civil War to Civil Rights: Music

Washington, DC has some of its deepest roots in music. Explore these top 10 music makers.

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Music played a large role in both the Civil War and the civil rights era. Hear how music made an impact at these ten melodious attractions.

1. HR-57: Named for the House Resolution that made jazz an American treasure, this U Street club hosts concerts, jam sessions and activist programs.

2. Blues Alley : Georgetown lays claim to the nation’s oldest continuously operating jazz supper club.

3. KC Jazz Club: The Kennedy Center pays tribute to DC’s proud jazz traditions with this ongoing series of performances by leading artists.

4. Concerts at Library of Congress: The stunning venue steeped in Civil War history also hosts regular concerts.

5. Willard Hotel: It’s here that Julia Ward Howe wrote the "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

6. National Museum of American History: Jazz greats and classic American tunes have a place in this museum, known as “America’s Attic.”

7. National Museum of Civil War Medicine: While the collection may not seem particularly musical, the museum’s director makes Civil War-era banjoes using 19th-century materials and implements.

8. National Theatre: Now a popular spot to catch a touring musical, John Wilkes Booth (better know as President Lincoln's assasin) performed here regularly in his heyday.

9. Ford’s Theatre: The most infamous theater in the nation, this museum also remains a working theater. Musical theater fans can always count on a family-friendly musical or two each season at Ford’s.

10. Fort Reno: One of the circle forts erected to defend DC now plays host to one of the summer’s most popular free concert series.

Perhaps the most famous theater in the country, Ford's Theatre is the infamous site of President Lincoln's assassination. The theater and museum are open for public tours.
Perhaps the most famous theater in the country, Ford's Theatre is the infamous site of President Lincoln's assassination. The theater and museum are open for public tours. - Photo by Maxwell MacKenzie
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