FORT MCNAIR, Washington, D.C. -- Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall announces a special observance of the 150-year anniversary of the start of the military tribunal of those thought responsible for the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

This sesquicentennial event will be held Saturday, May 9, 2015, at Grant Hall, located on the Fort McNair side of the Joint Base in southwest Washington D.C.

To better accommodate planning of this special event, the regularly scheduled, quarterly public open house of Grant Hall, previously announced for Feb. 7, has been cancelled. Additionally, the public open house scheduled for May 2 has been moved to May 9 for this observance, since the military tribunal began on May 9 of 1865.

Special programming is being planned for the sesquicentennial event, which will be open to the public and free to attend. Members of the public will be invited to sign up for one of four presentations to be held on that day, May 9, in Grant Hall's third-floor courtroom.

Be advised, the third-floor courtroom is only accessible by walking up two flights of stairs. Due to the historical nature of the structure, the building has no elevator. Also, the fire marshal has limited the number of people allowed in the courtroom at any one time, so reservations for the presentations will be limited and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Announcements will be forthcoming as to when reservations will be accepted.


Grant Hall's third-floor courtroom is the site of the military tribunal, held from May through June 1865, of those thought responsible for the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.

During a recent renovation of Grant Hall, which was originally part of Washington's Federal Penitentiary from 1826 to 1881, the third floor of the building was restored to depict the courtroom as it appeared during the 1865 trial.

Courtroom features were recreated based on artistic renderings and written descriptions of court proceedings. Some furnishings and artifacts on display are on loan from the production company of a 2010 historical film about the trial, and other artifacts and documentation are from the National Defense University Library.


After the sesquicentennial observance, the regularly scheduled, quarterly Grant Hall Public Open Houses will resume -- to be held quarterly on the first Saturday of the second month of each quarter. During a calendar year, those months are February, May, August and November. For the remainder of 2015, Grant Hall Public Open Houses will be held Aug. 1 and Nov. 7.
Open House hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


For additional information, please call Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Public Affairs at 703-696-3283.