Update: The bobbleheads have been removed from the shelves at the Gettysburg Visitor Center.
“I don’t think it’s right to sell a memorial of him, he assassinated President Lincoln,” said Patrick Nee, a 17-year-old who attends the Tatnall School in Wilmington, Del.
“Maybe there’s a place for these, but not here in Gettysburg,” said their 11th-grade history teacher, Ruth Hiller.
Harold Holzer, perhaps the most prominent Lincoln scholar alive, agreed Lincoln’s death should not be trivialized, nor his killer celebrated with such a souvenir.
“I’m not a fan of censoring things, but I do think there is an awfully sick marketing person who came up with this idea,” Holzer said when contacted for this story. “It’s not a joke that someone who is a murderer and a criminal is celebrated in any way.”
“I would say it’s pretty sleazy. It’s almost like promoting the assassination,” said battlefield visitor Tracy Chronister, of York. “Why would you celebrate that with a bobblehead?”
There is a market for those people who glorify and revel in our Civil War. We went down this road a long time ago. I am no more offended by a John Wilkes Booth bobblehead than I am about 90% of the crap that is sold in Civil War gift shops. All of it trivializes.
[Hat-Tip to Steve West]
How would you like to attend a reenactment of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. On March 7 the Sovereign Majestic Theater in Pottsville, Pennsylvania will be transformed into Ford’s Theater. Booth will be played by Charles Sacavage, a retired Pottsville Area School District history teacher who now teaches history part-time at Alvernia University, Reading. He started reenacting Booth as a way to get his students interested in the subject:
We were on the Civil War. They weren’t impressed. I was inspired somehow. We were on the death of Lincoln. (Portraying Booth) I got up on top of my desk and glared at them, and all of a sudden I got their attention. Then I jumped off my desk and yelled ‘Sic semper tyrannus.’ That became almost required in my course. Every kid in Pottsville expected to see me jump off my desk.
Well, whatever works. There is something a little disturbing about reenacting the murder of a president. Given the reference to John F. Kennedy how would we feel about a reenactment of his murder? In that case they could also reenact the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby – 2 for 1. The news article noted that children under 12 get in free. In all seriousness, would you bring children under 12 to see the reenactment of a murder? Am I missing something here?