GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Bobblehead dolls of the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln have been pulled from sale at the Gettysburg National Military Park visitors’ center bookstore.
The dolls of John Wilkes Booth with a handgun were removed from shelves on Saturday, a day after a reporter for Hanover’s The Evening Sun newspaper asked about them, officials said.
“On rare occasions, there’s an item that might cause concern, and obviously the bobbleheads appeared to be doing that,” Gettysburg Foundation spokeswoman Dru Anne Neil said Tuesday.
The Booth dolls, featuring big heads attached to the bodies by springs so they bobble, were available for only about a week before the park superintendent, the foundation president and the bookstore manager decided they shouldn’t be for sale, Neil said.
She declined to state the reason for the decision, and messages left Tuesday for the park and the company that operates the bookstore weren’t immediately returned.
The Booth dolls, which are about 7 inches tall and come in boxes that look like the inside of the theater where Lincoln was killed, sell online for about $20 each. They have proved to be popular, as more than 150 of the original run of 250 have been sold, and more are being made, Kansas City, Mo.-based manufacturer BobbleHead LLC said.
“There’s a market there,” sales manager Matt Powers said. “We like to let the customer decide if it’s a good item or not.”
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.