Maybe Americans aren't the only ones who are terminally ignorant concerning history! - Jonah

Mystery box to Illinois Lincoln home was harmless

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Reuter) - The curator of Abraham Lincoln's home said Monday that a package seized last week by federal agents as a possible bomb turned out to be harmless and accompanied by a rambling letter.

Sent from Germany by a woman who apparently thought Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd, were still alive, the package contained car wax, a light bulb, cake mix, clothespins, a pen, Vitamin C and other seemingly unrelated household items.

An English translation of the letter from German was completed and showed no hostile intent by the sender.

``The translator said the letter was written with fondness from mother to mother. There was nothing threatening about it,'' said Kathy DeHart, chief of operations at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield.

Mrs. Lincoln died in 1882, 17 years after her husband's 1865 assassination in Ford's Theater in Washington.

When the package was received last week, DeHart said agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alchohol, Tobacco and Firearms were called to examine it because it looked suspicious. It had no return address and was oozing green car wax, she said.

The home is where Lincoln lived for 17 years as a private lawyer and political leader before he was elected president.