The Gate: Ford’s Theatre’s new center and the Newseum’s political exhibit

February 18, 2012

February has been a big month for political junkies. Ford’s Theatre Society is celebrating Lincoln’s Birthday on Feb. 12 and Presidents’ Day on Monday with open houses to introduce its new Center for Education and Leadership. On Friday, the Newseum opened its election-year exhibit, “Every Four Years: Presidential Campaigns and the Press,” investigating the evolution of campaign coverage dating back to the late 1800s. A look by the numbers:

Ford’s Theatre

51 Artifacts displayed for the first time in the new Center for Education and Leadership.

22 Items directly related to Lincoln’s funeral and the 1,600-mile funeral journey from Washington to Springfield, Ill.

1 “Instant Lincoln Disguise Kit” on display.

Newseum

14.5 Size of the bowling shoes that candidate Barack Obama wore during a photo op in Altoona, Pa., during the 2008 campaign.

2Fake candidate costumes: Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin outfit, including the eyeglasses, and Amy Poehler’s Hillary Rodham Clinton suit, both from “Saturday Night Live.”

37 Score Obama bowled in seven frames.

134 Age, in years, of the exhibit’s oldest artifact: Puck, one of the first successful humor magazines in the United States.

537 Votes that determined the presidential election in Florida in 2000.

53 Length, in inches, of a sword from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy that was presented to Stephen Colbert on “The Colbert Report” by actor Viggo Mortensen as a “sign” that Colbert should run for president in 2008.

Jessica Goldstein

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