Friday, August 05, 2011

A Witness To HISTORY: This Is REALLY Cool!

 Just imagine, a 96 year-old man appears on a CBS TV show in 1956, the year of his death, as the last living witness to the Lincoln assassination. He was five at the time. Samuel J. Seymour's life spanned two centuries, in which he lived through some of the most consequential events in American history: the Civil War, two world wars, the beginnings of the civil rights struggle, the invention of the car, the airplane, the atom bomb, film and television. He was one generation — his parents' — removed from when the Founding Fathers walked this earth. That's mindblowing ...

In February 1956, two months before his death, 96-year-old Samuel J. Seymour appeared on the CBS television show "I've Got A Secret." His secret: he witnessed Abraham Lincoln's assassination when he was five years old.

Sure enough, Seymour has been widely recognized as the last surviving person in America who had been present at Ford's Theatre the night of Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865.

According to the Washington Times, Seymour attended the Ford's Theatre performance as a young boy with family friends. He was told upon arriving in Washington, “Sammy, you and I and Sarah are going to a play - a real play. And President Abraham Lincoln will be there."

Seymour's recollection of the event includes a shot ringing out, someone in the President's box screaming and Lincoln slumping forward in his seat. He also caught a glimpse of John Wilkes Booth jumping from the box to the stage.

A Maryland native who later lived in Arlington, Seymour died on April 12, 1956, two days before the anniversary of Lincoln's death.

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