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Abraham Lincoln's top hat

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Audio

"Abe Lincoln"
From Ballads of the Civil War 1831-1865
© Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Abraham Lincoln's Top Hat
1865

The hat worn to Ford's Theater
Abraham Lincoln wore this top hat to Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865. That morning, Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth had learned that the president planned to attend the theater's evening performance of "Our American Cousin." During the third act of the play, Booth made his way to the presidential box and shot Lincoln through the back of the head. Leaping down onto the stage, he shouted "Sic semper tyrannis!" (the motto of the state of Virginia, meaning "Thus always to tyrants!") and "The South is avenged!" Lincoln--16th president of the United States--died shortly after seven o'clock the next morning.

Notes
Abraham Lincoln, born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, KY; died April 15, 1865, Washington, DC
John Wilkes Booth, born May 10, 1838, near Bel Air, MD; died April 26, 1865, near Port Royal, VA

Learn more!
· Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President, 1861-1865
· Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-77)
· Abolition
· Secession
· "Abe Lincoln"

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