In President Abraham Lincoln's left pocket, on the fateful night of April 14, 1865 at Ford's Theater, was a pristine pair of white kid-leather gloves.
When the President was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth, those gloves were tarnished with blood. His wife Mary kept them as a remembrance of her lost husband.
Now, nearly 150 years later, those gloves will be on display in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln spent much of his adult life.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, it was considered polite at the time for politicians to wear gloves when greeting citizens. Despite Lincoln's distaste for them, he kept them in his pocket at his wife's insistence. After his assassination, Mary Todd Lincoln likely sold the gloves to wealthy New Yorker Benjamin Richardson due to financial concerns. They then passed through the hands of a number of private collectors before landing in the care of Louise Taper, owner of what the Lincoln Museum calls an "unparalleled private collection of Lincolniana and assassination-related materials."
Taper's collection also includes Lincoln's iconic stovepipe hat and the first known sample of his writing, dating from 1824, the Associated Press reports.
After their display through the month of April, the gloves, now browned with age but still clearly stained by the blood of the president, will be removed from public view. The Museum will display a different featured item from the Taper collection, which it purchased in 2007, every month.