By Michael Williams
Judging by the bizarre events in history it would appear that the Lincoln family has the unfortunate distinction of being forever linked to assassination. In the history of the United States, four U.S. presidents have died at the hands of an assassin. In each incident, a member of the Lincoln family was present.
On April 14, 1865, the night President Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot at Ford’s Theater, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln was sitting at his side. Moments after John Wilkes Booth shot the president at point blank range, the stricken commander-in-chief was carried across the street to a boarding house where he died the next morning. When the president heaved his final breath, his son Robert Todd Lincoln was at his side.
Incredibly, it was the first of three assassinations Robert Lincoln would be associated with and the first of four assassinations the Lincoln family would be tied to.
Sixteen years later, on July 2, 1881, Robert Lincoln accompanied President James Garfield to the Baltimore and Potomac Train Station. Moments later, a disgruntled attorney named Charles Guiteau stepped up behind Garfield and fired two shots. The first shot grazed the president’s arm. The second struck him in the back. Robert Lincoln was at Garfield’s side within seconds. Garfield later died from his wounds.
Twenty years later, on September 6, 1901, the same Robert Lincoln was appearing with President William McKinley at the World’s Fair in Buffalo, New York. The president was shaking hands with visitors when an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz stepped up and shot the president twice at close range. Lincoln was at his side within moments. The president died eight days later.
Following the McKinley assassination, Robert Lincoln began to believe he was jinxed. He stopped making public appearances where the president would be present.
Sixty-two years later, President John F. Kennedy was riding through Dallas in a presidential motorcade. Immediately behind his car was a vehicle loaded with secret service agents. Behind that car was a bus loaded with Kennedy’s entourage. Inside the bus was Kennedy’s personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln. She was the wife of Harold “Abe” Lincoln. Moments after entering Dealey Plaza, shots rang out. From the bus, Evelyn Lincoln watched in horror as President Kennedy was felled by an assassin’s bullet.
On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot by an assailant named John Hinckley. There were no Lincoln family members present and Reagan survived the shooting. The Lincoln name was present, however. Reagan was shot as he was about to get into a Lincoln Towncar.
It is a curse or coincidence? Either way it proves that sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction.
Michael Williams has written a book entitled “Stranger than Fiction: The Lincoln Curse.” The book is a collection of 50 strange and unusual but true stories. The stories will leave the reader convinced that perhaps Mark Twain was right when he said “truth is stranger than fiction.”
The book is 187 pages in a softbound edition with numerous photos. The book can be purchased from amazon.com for $19.95 plus shipping and handling or you can save shipping cost and save $2 on the purchase price by ordering a signed copy directly from the author. Send $17.95 to P.O. Box 6421 Sevierville, TN. 37864.
The book is available in a Kindle edition at Amazon.com. For more information visit the web site www.strangerthanfictionnews.com.