The Grant Hall courtroom is the site of the military tribunal, held from May through June 1865, of persons thought responsible for the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
On Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, Grant Hall opened its doors to members of the community to view a piece of our nation's history located on Fort McNair. With historians, reenactors, and hand-drawn images from the trial, the courtroom is brought to life.
During a 2009-2012 renovation of Grant Hall, which was originally part of Washington's Federal Penitentiary from 1829 to 1868, 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 2011 historical film about the trial, and other artifacts and documentation are from the National Defense University Library.
The viewings, only offered four time a year, are free to attend so be sure to mark your calendars for the next opportunity on May 2, 2020.