Man Who Saw Lincoln Assassination Lived to Tell About It On TV
It's fascinating what you can learn when you fall into a YouTube clickhole.
Wading through the weird parts of YouTube can drain your faith in humanity, but it can also lead you to some interesting stories that make you think about how strange our lives on this planet are and how quickly they can change.
For example, I came across video of Samuel J. Seymour appearing on a 1956 episode of then-popular game show 'I've Got a Secret'. The show featured a celebrity panel trying to guess a contestant's secret by asking them questions.
Samuel had a secret that didn't take long to undercover, but is mind-blowing even today. Jayne Meadows was able to determine that Samuel was a witness to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
It turned out Samuel was born on March 28, 1860, and was 5 years old when his godmother and nanny took him to Ford's Theater to see 'Our American Cousin' on the fateful night of April 14, 1865.
In 1954, Samuel told the Milwaukee Sentinel his party was seated in the balcony section across from Lincoln's, and that he recalled hearing a shot before seeing Lincoln slump over and John Wilkes Booth jump from the box.
As anyone who didn't sleep through history class will recall, Booth was a popular actor at the time, and Samuel remembers not knowing exactly what had happened and being worried about Booth after realizing the performer had broken his leg.
It's probably impossible to ever know if Samuel's account was true, but I'm of the persuasion that it was. Whether it was or not, the story got me to thinking about how incredible it must have been to be born on a farm in 1860 and live long enough to appear on television in front of millions of people.
It's a shame Samuel didn't live long enough to see the 1969 moon landing, but there must have been a few 100-year-olds who did. Imagine being in the room with them as they watched it happen.
Sorry if I'm sharing a video you've already seen, but I thought it was really cool. Who knows what people my age will see if we manage to live long enough.