Alcatraz East Crime Museum Commemorates Hanging of Co-Conspirators in Lincoln Assassination with New Temporary Exhibit

Photo courtesy of Alcatraz East Crime Museum

In 1865, Abraham Lincoln became the first U.S. President to be assassinated. Not only did the case shock the nation then, but it remains a heavily studied event to this day. Alcatraz East Crime Museum is spotlighting the assassination with a new temporary exhibit called “Sic Semper Tyrannis: The Plot to Kill Lincoln.” The exhibit will open July 7, 2023, the anniversary of the execution of four co-conspirators, and will run through September 14, 2023, featuring information and artifacts for guests to explore.

“This topic has always garnered a lot of interest,” says Ally Pennington, artifacts and programs manager at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “It’s such a pivotal moment in the history of this country, and we are thrilled to share the exhibit with our guests.”

The new temporary exhibit will be included in the regular admission price. In addition to information about the assassination and conspirators, some items will be on display, including a Lincoln funeral relic, Lillie Leg Irons, and an 1864 Lincoln Re-Election Display. This exhibit will give patrons a chance to explore the conspiracy that took place leading up to the assassination of President Lincoln and the aftermath of the tragedy.

President Lincoln was killed while attending a performance of the play “Our American Cousin,” at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. While sitting in a private box with his wife and friends, John Wilkes Booth snuck into the theater and shot the President from behind. Lincoln was taken across the street to a boarding house, where he died from his injuries nine hours later. Booth managed to escape the theater but was apprehended in Virginia and later died from gunshot wounds he sustained during his capture.

Nine co-conspirators were involved in the plot to kill Lincoln alongside Booth. Their plans also included assassinating the Secretary of State and the Vice President in hopes of taking down the United States government, but these additional attacks did not go as planned. Four of the co-conspirators were hanged publicly on July 7, 1865 following a military tribunal. The additional participants in the conspiracy were sentenced to varying prison or hard labor terms.

“Most people know a lot about John Wilkes Booth but are not as familiar with the co-conspirators,” added Pennington. “This will be a fascinating exhibit for anyone interested in this time period or for those who want to learn more about the tragedy that greatly impacted our nation’s history.”

More information about the museum’s temporary exhibits can be found online:

The museum also recently unveiled a new temporary exhibit titled “The Kennedy Conspiracy: Fact & Fiction.” The exhibit focuses on the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of President John F. Kennedy 60 years ago. Items displayed include Kennedy administration campaign materials, NASA Presidential visit badge, and a dress owned by Marilyn Monroe.

Families can enjoy the Junior Detective program, which offers unique activities for the kids. The museum offers over 100 exhibits, with many famous items on display, including Ted Bundy’s famous Beetle and the white Bronco from the O.J. Simpson chase. They also hold an annual art contest that puts graffiti in the spotlight.

This top museum is open at 10 am daily. The last tickets are sold 60 minutes before closing. These interactive experiences are available for an additional fee for birthday parties, school groups, scouts, team building, or other special events. For more information about tickets, discounts, temporary exhibits, and all the museum offers, visit the site:

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has updated its board of crime experts, which includes Derwin Bradley, a retired master police officer, James R. Knight, a crime writer, Robin Maynard, a certified crime scene investigator in Florida, Derek Newport, a law enforcement veteran who was with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for 20 years, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who presided in the notorious case against Casey Anthony, among others.