Hill Talk: Bloody Assassination Flag at Lincoln’s Cottage

Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:32pm

While there are no more living witnesses to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, one inanimate object helps us bear witness to that night: a bloodstained American flag that dangled in Ford’s Theatre on the night he was shot.

The flag, which was used to support the president’s head after he was wounded, will be on display at President Lincoln’s Cottage in remembrance of the 146th anniversary of his death.

Starting April 11, visitors can see the artifact on display at the adjacent visitor center. The cottage will also host a speech by Lincoln author James Swanson on April 14, the anniversary of the assassination.  

President Lincoln’s Cottage is tucked away on the Armed Forces Retirement Home grounds in Washington, at the intersection of Rock Creek Church Road and Upshur Street Northwest. The gothic-style home is said to be one of the most significant sites of Lincoln’s presidency, as he spent three summers there to escape the White House’s political pressures and stifling heat.

The weeklong flag exhibit is free to the public. Adults can also take a tour of the cottage for $12 and children for $5.

Mobbing the Mall

Videos of public song and dance outbursts have recently gone viral on the Internet: throngs of brides dancing in unison through Central Park, groups of people practicing synchronized choreography at Union Station. The seemingly random sensations have been coined “flash mobs.”

The National Mall will play backdrop to the next flash mob Saturday, giving Washingtonians the opportunity to experience how one of these exciting events takes place.

Sometime between noon and 3 p.m., participants will start trickling into the area in front of the Lincoln Memorial and begin busting out their dance moves. Gradually, the rest of the participants will join in.

The Center for American Progress and the American Association of University Women have teamed up with various grass-roots organizations to coordinate and film the event, which is intended to raise awareness about equal pay.

In case of rain, the flash mob will take place Sunday. But if you miss the Mall-goers getting groovy and rallying for women’s rights, be sure to check out the YouTube video on April 12 at twitter.com/working_nation.