Thieves have desecrated the tomb of Abraham Lincoln, according to a report by the Springfield Journal-Register over the weekend.
"Not even Lincoln’s Tomb is immune to the spree of copper thefts that have hit the Springfield area," wrote Jason Nevel. "A copper sword brandished by a statue of a Civil War artillery officer atop the tomb was stolen sometime between September and early November."
It was the first time in more than 100 years that anything had been stolen from the site, according to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. In fact, in 1910 the same sword was stolen, though that would have been a bronze item, rather than a copper one.
Back in 1870s, a impromptu gang of criminals plotted not merely to steal an item from Lincoln's grave site (the fancy monument hadn't been built yet), but to steal the body itself and hold it for ransom. They failed, but ultimately the fear of a repeat attempt inspired Robert Todd Lincoln, the president's only surviving son, to have the body reburied in a steel cage under several tons of concrete in 1901.