Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lincoln's Disappearing Body

Honest Abe has been in the news a lot lately, and not just because of his 200th birthday (which happens to be today). Back in December, when Illinois governor Blagojevich got busted for corruption, the federal prosecutor said time and again that Blago's conduct "would make Lincoln roll over in his grave."

Funny thing is, Lincoln has been rolled out of his grave. Several times.

In 1876 thieves boozing in a Chicago tavern hatched a plot to steal Abe's body from its Springfield site and ransom it. Cops stopped the crooks at the cemetery. Soon thereafter custodians moved Abe's body to a concrete-fortified vault.

In 1901 they moved it again, to an even more secure location. Today when you visit Abe's Springfield tomb and circle through the burial chamber, past the crypts of his three sons and wife Mary, and arrive at the marker bearing his name, know this: Abe's body is actually 13 feet below floor level, with a six-foot concrete slab on top of the coffin.

He may roll over in there, but he won't be rolled out again anytime soon.

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