One can only imagine the sights this hat has seen. Perched atop a man who towered over his peers at 6 foot 4 inches, this hat must have had quite a view.
It may have been there when a divided nation -- a devastating Civil War on the horizon -- elected a politician from Illinois as president. It could have watched as this president, so desperate to preserve the Union, carefully drafted the Emancipation Proclamation, thus changing the course of American history. And we know for sure that this hat was witness to a tragic April night when the same president was fatally shot while enjoying a play.
The iconic top hat, part of a collection of items associated with Abraham Lincoln, is now on display at the National Museum of American History. Nearly three years in the making, "Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life" is part of the Smithsonian Institution's bicentennial celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birth and a rare glimpse into the life of one of our nation's greatest presidents. Read full article »