Many of the historical artifacts that people collect are filled with sorrow and regret. We often use them as reminders of dangers in life, troubles faced by others, and things that changed the world for better or for worse. This, the top hat that President Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865.
It was Good Friday, but the Friday wasn’t a good one for America. The only good news from the night is that this was part of a plot to take out the top three American politicians. Lewis Powell and David Herold were able to wound but not kill Secretary of State William Seward while George Atzerodt chickened out of killing Vice President Andrew Johnson.
The hat is currently on display at the Smithsonian.