Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Tue April 07 2015

Abraham Lincoln’s Chair on Display for 150th Anniversary of Assassination

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | April 07, 2015

Abraham Lincoln’s Chair on Display for 150th Anniversary of Assassination

Photo via Flickr

United States President Abraham Lincoln died from an assassination's bullet on April 15, 1865, and 150 years later, museums around the country — including the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan — are paying homage to the American hero.

According to the Associated Press, the Henry Ford Museum houses the actual chair President Lincoln was sitting in when John Wilkes Booth shot him in the back of the head on that fateful night in Washington, D.C.’s Ford Theatre.

While the rocking chair is typically held behind a glass-enclosed case, the curators of the museum will put the artifact in an open plaza area where spectators can get a closer look at the chair that witnessed a drastic change in our nation’s history.

The Henry Ford Museum will not charge admission on April 15 in remembrance of the fallen president. In addition to the chair being on full display at the museum, it will also be on stage during a sold-out symposium on April 13 from Lincoln expert Doris Kearns Goodwin.

As for how the museum obtained the historic chair, it was bought in an auction by a representative of the automobile mogul Henry Ford, and has been on display in the facilities since they were opened 85 years ago.

In addition to the chair, Ford also purchased “the Logan County Courthouse where Lincoln practiced law in Illinois in the 1840s.” Museum curator Donna Braden told the AP about Ford’s fascination with Lincoln and why he brought these historical items to his gallery:

“Lincoln was one of Henry Ford's heroes — when he decided he wanted to have this village, he wanted to collect Lincoln stuff as an educational tool. The courthouse is pretty much the first thing Henry Ford acquired related to Lincoln, and the chair came soon after.”

With an influx of visitors expected to celebrate the impact of President Lincoln, the Henry Ford Museum is doing what it can to pay homage to the hero while also educating visitors about the life and death of the leader.

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