In April of 1861, President Abraham Lincoln took his pocketwatch to a Washington jeweler for cleaning and repairs. For over 150 years, a story has circulated that the jeweler put a secret message inside of the watch. Yesterday, the Smithsonian allowed the watch to be opened and the message to be revealed.
The family of watchmaker and jeweler Jonathon Dillon has known of the inscription for years, but no one knew for sure exactly what was there. Fourteen of his descendants were on hand for the opening of the watch and the revelation of the message.
The message that was in the watch, however, does not reveal a great hidden or historic truth about the Civil War. It does not reveal anything previously unknown about the President or his family. It is not a Nostradamus type prophecy of the future or a prediction on the outcome of the war. he message, in fact is rather simple and plain.
Inside of the back cover of the watch are inscribed the words: "Go Army! Beat Navy!"
When asked his thoughts about the message, newsman Geraldo Rivera said "Hey, that's almost as bad as the Chicago vaults I opened years ago! I'm glad I didn't cover that story too!"
The Army Cadets at Westpoint were thrilled at the revelation of the message. The Midshipman of the Naval Academy, however, had no comment.