Historic Violin Haunts Lincoln Tribute

Reported by: RNS
Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 @09:20am CST

An old, long-unused violin struck a spine-tingling chord at the Ford Theatre last night in the nation's capital. The occasion was a tribute to Abraham Lincoln, born 200 years ago today.

President Obama and the First Lady sat in the front row of a renovated Ford Theatre, site of Lincoln's assassination, for a star-studded tribute to the 16th president. According to the "Washington Post," violinist Joshua Bell drew the most gasps of the night. He performed the African-American spiritual "My Lord, What a Morning," but that wasn't the stunner.

It turns out the violin had belonged to a member of the orchestra the night Lincoln was shot, and hasn't been played since. The instrument was donated in 1991 to the National Park Service, which owns the theatre.

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