Friday, December 28, 2007
After my recent political comments about Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, and Barack Obama and how they are commenting on or comparing themselves to Lincoln, I want to step back and talk about just Abe himself.
My post from November 3, 2007 talks about the current renovation of Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. The theater is undergoing restoration plus expansion which will permit a larger permanent exhibit about Lincoln's assassination and life.
Part of the preparations for the renovation included moving the clothing and boots he wore on that fateful night to the theater into a National Park Service storage unit. This article from the September 7, 2007 edition of The Washington Post details how the items were moved from Ford's Theater to the storage facility under armed police protection. A curator showed the article writer Lincoln's size boots, which are equivalent to modern-day size 14. They are of excellent quality, but were worn at the heels.
Lincoln's overcoat he wore that night was actually made and worn for his second inauguration, held just 6 weeks before the assassination. The lining contains embroidery which reads: "One Country, One Destiny." Prophetic words indeed.
The curator also pointed out bloodstains on the knees of the pants and of course on the frock coat (suit coat) Lincoln wore that night. Museum officials didn't realize that there were bloodstains on the knees, but it would make sense considering that Lincoln probably pitched forward after being shot.
Finally, the article quotes a couple of the movers, who were quite awestruck at the items they were responsible for transporting.
Once the renovations to Ford's Theater are complete in 18 months or so, the clothing and boots will be moved back to the new larger museum.
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 2:45 PM