The Last Surviving Witness of the Lincoln Assassination Appears on a Game Show (1956)

Let’s rewind the video­tape to 1956, to Samuel James Sey­mour’s appear­ance on the CBS tele­vi­sion show, “I’ve Got a Secret.” At 96 years of age, Sey­mour was the last sur­viv­ing per­son present at Ford’s The­ater the night Abra­ham Lin­coln was assas­si­nat­ed by John Wilkes Booth (April 14, 1865).

Only five years old at the time, Mr. Sey­mour trav­eled with his father to Wash­ing­ton D.C. on a busi­ness trip, where they attend­ed a per­for­mance of Our Amer­i­can Cousin. The young­ster caught a quick glimpse of the pres­i­dent, the play began, and the rest … as they say … is his­to­ry.

A quick foot­note: Samuel Sey­mour died two months after his TV appear­ance. His longevi­ty had some­thing to do, I’d think, with declin­ing those Win­stons over the years.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.