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Tue Apr 14, 2015, 10:22 AM

"I saw John Wilkes Booth shoot Abraham Lincoln"

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Reply "I saw John Wilkes Booth shoot Abraham Lincoln" (Original post)
GreatCaesarsGhost Apr 2015 OP
tularetom Apr 2015 #1
leftofcool Apr 2015 #2
Cooley Hurd Apr 2015 #3
closeupready Apr 2015 #4

Response to GreatCaesarsGhost (Original post)

Tue Apr 14, 2015, 10:25 AM

1. Well, he wasn't the only one

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Response to tularetom (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 14, 2015, 10:31 AM

2. Yep, O'Liely has seen it all.

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Response to GreatCaesarsGhost (Original post)

Tue Apr 14, 2015, 10:35 AM

3. An amazing clip, when you think about it...

 

Here's a bit more about Samuel J Seymour:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_J._Seymour

Samuel James Seymour (March 28, 1860 – April 12, 1956) was the last surviving person who had been present in Ford's Theatre the night of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. He was from Maryland and lived in Arlington, Virginia in his later years.

When Seymour was five, his godmother, Mrs. George S. Goldsboro, took him to see Our American Cousin. He claimed the two sat in the balcony on the side opposite Lincoln's box. Seymour reported that "I complained tearfully that I couldn't get out of the coach because my shirt was torn—anything to delay the dread moment—but Sarah (nurse Sarah Cook) dug into her bag and found a big safety pin. I shook so hard from fright, it caused Sarah to accidentally stab me with the pin. I hollered 'I've been shot! I've been shot!'"

Once in the theater, Seymour settled down. He saw the President across the balcony as he was waving and smiling at people. Seymour said "I began to get over the scared feeling I'd had ever since we arrived in Washington, but that was something I never should have done. All of a sudden a shot rang out—a shot that always will be remembered—and someone in the President's box screamed. I saw Lincoln slumped forward in his seat."

Seymour did not actually see the assassination but did witness Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth jump off the balcony. In fact, he revealed that because he did not know Lincoln was shot or that Booth had shot him, his real concern was for Booth.

Just two months before his death, at age 95, he appeared on the February 9, 1956 episode of the CBS TV quiz show I've Got a Secret as a mystery subject, in an episode in which Lucille Ball made an unusual appearance as a guest panelist. Seymour incorrectly gave his age on the show as 96, although his 96th birthday was actually not until March 28, several weeks later. He had been in failing health since February when he fell in a New York City hotel while preparing to appear on "I've Got A Secret". He came on the show with his left eye swollen. Garry Moore had suggested he not appear, but Seymour insisted. In the episode, he was initially questioned by Bill Cullen but it was Jayne Meadows who guessed Seymour's claim to fame. Moore generously awarded Seymour the $80.00 he would have won had he stumped the panel, and a can of Prince Albert pipe tobacco rather than the usual prize of a carton of Winston cigarettes (Winston was the show's sponsor, but Seymour did not smoke cigarettes).

Seymour, who made his home in Baltimore, Maryland for many decades and worked as a carpenter and contractor, died on April 12, 1956 at the home of his daughter Irene (Horn) Hendley in Arlington, Virginia, 15 days after his 96th birthday, two days shy of the 91st anniversary of the Lincoln assassination, and 63 days after his appearance on I've Got a Secret. He was survived by five children, 13 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren. He was interred at Loudon Park National Cemetery in Baltimore.

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Response to GreatCaesarsGhost (Original post)

Tue Apr 14, 2015, 03:02 PM

4. Interesting factoid: the panelist, Jayne Meadows, is today the same age

 

as Mr. Seymour, the guest here who witnessed Lincoln's assassination, at the time this clip was filmed - 95.

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