Postcard from... Dearborn


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Jeff Buczkiewicz stood before the chair President Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot 150 years ago. He peered silently into the glass-enclosed case then snapped some pictures.

Taking in objects from the final hours of two important American lives is a major draw to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. In addition to the worn, red chair Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, in 1865, the Henry Ford also owns the limousine President John F Kennedy was riding in when he was fatally shot in Dallas nearly a century later. Next week, visitors will get an even closer look at the Lincoln chair – it will be removed from its enclosure and displayed in an open plaza area as part of the museum’s observance of the assassination’s sesquicentennial on 15 April  – a day of free admission.

Many visitors wonder whether dark spots on the back of the chair are Lincoln’s blood. Not so, say museum workers: The stains are oil from other people’s heads who sat in the chair before the night Lincoln was shot by a pro-Confederacy actor, John Wilkes Booth. Steve Harris, a museum guide, tells passers-by that Lincoln’s head would have been positioned much higher than the stain as he was 6ft 4in tall. AP