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Monday, November 05, 2012

1956 TV appearance by Samuel Seymour

Good friend "lowbridge" informed me about this a few years ago, so I've got to credit him with the find. It's a story that's gained renewed interest because of a certain upcoming movie.

So who was Samuel Seymour? He was the last surviving witness of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

And Mr. Seymour lived long enough to talk about it on national television (sharing a stage with Lucille Ball, among others).

From February 9 1956, here is Samuel Seymour's appearance on I've Got a Secret:

Pause for a moment, and consider: Samuel Seymour was five years old when he heard the gunshot in Ford's Theater and saw John Wilkes Booth jump down to the stage after shooting Lincoln in the back of the head. Seymour was 96 when he passed away two months after being on I've Got a Secret.

No doubt there are many still living today who watched Samuel Seymour tell his story on television.

A century and a half seems such a long time... until we consider how few lifetimes fit within it.

There are photographs existing today of veterans of the Revolutionary War, posing in their uniforms. Photography was invented in 1826: the same year that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams passed away. It was within the realm of possibility (though it never happened) that we could have had real pictures of either or both men before they died.

A relative of mine passed away ten years ago this month. He witnessed the Hindenburg explode. I got to hear him tell me about it from his own lips.

On the scale of history a hundred years is nothing. A thousand years is nothing. Between now and the time of Christ, there have been a mere twenty lifetimes.

Think about that. I certainly do.