By Katie Needham
On April 17, 1865, Acting Secretary of State Hunter announced the official time and date of President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. It was to be held on Wednesday, April 19, 1865 at noon in the White House. As part of the funeral announcement, Hunter stated, “The various religious denominations throughout the country are invited to meet in their respective places of worship at the hour, for the purpose of solemnizing the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.”
In response to Hunter’s invitation, communities across the Union planned services to honor the President. This particular funeral program details the events that took place in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. All businesses were to close from 11am to 3pm to allow for church services and a processional through the town. The processional featured, among others, a “car containing 35 Young Ladies representing the States” and “Veteran Soldiers.”
The Lincoln funeral program is part of President Lincoln’s Cottage special exhibit “My Abraham Lincoln.” It may be viewed in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center during regular visiting hours through December 31, 2009.