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Photo courtesy of Rick Lynn with Bobblehead LLC
The John Wilkes Booth bobblehead doll as seen on the Bobblehead LLC
A John Wilkes Booth bobblehead doll has become the center of attention at the Gettysburg National Military Park visitors' center bookstore. The doll, which mimics the image of President Abraham Lincoln's assassin, is shown wearing a suit with a trench coat and is holding a pistol.
The store decided to remove the dolls after a reporter for Hanover's The Evening Sun newspaper asked about them on Saturday. They had been on the shelf for about a week.
The manufacturer, Kansas City, Mo.-based Bobblehead LLC, says the dolls have been a big hit. 250 were made and 150 have already been sold. Rick Lynn, the owner of Bobblehead LLC, says there are plans to produce a lot more.
Confederate sympathizer Booth shot and killed Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington in April 1865, as the Civil War was ending. He fled and was tracked into Virginia, where he was killed.
Gettysburg was the site of a July 1863 Civil War battle in which the Union Army repelled a Confederate invasion of the North under Gen. Robert E. Lee. The battle is often considered the turning point of the war.
Some Commentary From Scot
I don't mind that the manufacturer wants to make the dolls. We are a free market economy and we are allowed to produce tasteless items if there is a market for them.
However, my first impression is that it's a slap in the face to the memory of President Lincoln to have these sold in a museum that was built to commemorate one of the late President's most famous speeches.
I talked with Lynn about the situation and he has a different take. He says that the doll was designed as a teaching aide and is not the only Booth item sold in the store.
"What's next...are they going to remove every image and every book about Booth from the store?" Lynn asks me. "President Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth are tied together in history and you can't have one without the other."
Do you agree with me? Or do you agree with Lynn? Let me know.