When the president scheduled a public reception at the White House following his second inauguration, famed African-American orator Frederick Douglass assumed he would be welcome.

After all, Douglass was nationally known and well acquainted with the Lincolns.

douglassFrederick Douglass

As he walked into the house after standing in a line 2,000 persons long, two policeman grabbed Douglass. They were about to oust him through an East Room window when the president heard about it. While white handshakers waited, Mr. Lincoln stopped to chat with Douglass.

The guards should have been working the room. After the crowd left, almost a square yard of red brocade had been cut from the East Room window hangings and a large piece was missing from the Green Room drapes.

Source: Reveille in Washington by Margaret Leech