When President Zachary Taylor was exhumed in the early 1990s, there was some precedent for digging up dead presidents -- and not just any president, but Abraham Lincoln. Before the Great Emancipator was finally laid to rest in 1901 under two tons of cement under the tomb edifice that stands to this day in Springfield, Ill., he had been exhumed a number of times, either during reconstruction of the previous tomb or for security reasons. Grave-robbers had been thwarted once, and unfortunately were a real possibility again.
Since Lincoln was to be interred under so much cement, those in charge of the job decided to open his casket one last time, to verify that the body did indeed belong to the president. Everyone who saw him at that time agreed that it was him. Among those present that day in 1901 for the final viewing was a boy of 13, Fleetwood Lindley, whose father was involved in the re-entombment.