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1950s Game Show Guest Had a Secret: He Saw Lincoln’s Assassination

A 5-year old Samuel J. Seymour saw Lincoln's assassination, lived to talk about it on a 1956 game show


In a 1956 episode of CBS’ I’ve Got a Secret, a 95-year-old Samuel J. Seymour presented the game show’s panelists with quite the doozy:

“I saw John Wilkes Booth shoot Abraham Lincoln (April 14, 1865).”

In the clip above, recently dug up by The Atlantic’s Rebecca Rosen, panelists Bill Cullen and Jayne Meadows queried Seymour on his experience. After having sussed out that the secret had something to do with President Abraham Lincoln, Meadows asked, “Was this a pleasant thing?” To which Seymour replied, “Not very pleasant I don’t think. I was scared to death.”

Closing out the segment, host Garry Moore held up a newspaper article recounting Seymour’s story of seeing the president’s assassination, a clip from the February 7, 1954, edition of The Milwaukee Sentinel. Jason Gilbert dug it up, and you can read it here.

More from Smithsonian.com:
How Lincoln’s Assassination Launched the Funeral Industry
Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ Nails the President’s Weird, High Voice

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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