Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Little known facts about Abraham Lincoln's assassination

Wednesday is the 150th anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln, and while most Americans know the history of his assassination, many aren't aware of some of the odd facts related to his death. 

The 56-year-old president was shot in the back of the head by well-known thespian John Wilkes Booth in Washington DC's Ford's Theater, but according to the New York Time's first report of the assassination, Lincoln wasn't even going to attend the play. Originally Lincoln was to attend with General Ulysses S. Grant. Neither wanted to go, but after Grant cancelled, Lincoln felt obliged. He tried to get House Speaker Schuyler Colfax to go, but he refused the invitation.

"[President Lincoln] went with apparent reluctance and urged Mr. Colfax to go with him," the Times reported. "But that gentleman had made other engagements."

Another person who wasn't in the the presidential box was Lincoln's bodyguard, Officer John Parker. According to a special report published in Smithsonian Magazine in 2010, Parker left his position to go to the saloon next door for intermission. Ironically, the same saloon where Booth was drinking just before shooting the president.

It's unclear exactly where Parker was at the time of the assassination, but he obviously wasn't where he was needed.

"Had he done his duty, I believe President Lincoln would not have been murdered by Booth," a fellow presidential bodyguard William H. Crook wrote in his memoir. "Parker knew that he had failed in duty. He looked like a convicted criminal the next day."

Somehow, Parker stayed on the White House security detail though, according to Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker, the widow blamed him for her husband's murder. He was fired three years after Lincoln's death when he was found sleeping on the job.

Speaking of little known facts about the president's security, the night before he left for Ford's Theater, Lincoln signed a bill creating the Secret Service. The same federal law enforcement agency that today ensures the safety of the president. However, in the agency's early years its sole duty was to suppress counterfeiting. The secret service didn't provide presidential protection until 1901 after president William McKinley was assassinated.

Another little known fact: Tom Hanks, who narrated the 2013 TV movie "Killing Lincoln," is actually related to the former president. The Academy Award winner is a third cousin, four times removed linked through Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks.

Also related to Lincoln through the Hanks family is actor George Clooney. According to, the "O Brother Where Art Thou" actor is linked to the former president's maternal grandmother, Lucy Hanks. Apparently Clooney is Honest Abe's half-first cousin five times removed.

Didn't  expect  to see  me  yet so soon , did  you not ?
Sitting  in for  'Witchy'  , the lady has  more  irons in the  fire  that  cowboys  on branding  round-ups . 
Finish  here  now  to  post  for  grand-poppa  , not  to worry  he's  not  sick ,  somewhere  in Reno /or Vegas  painting  the  town  red . If  you see the 'Reno Rascals'  give  them  bus  fare  and send  them  home  (smiling).
Mr. Humble  at  your  service .


  1. Thank you my darling , You are the greatest .
    Love you Big Boy

    1. You are most welcome my love .
      I got the down payment , please bring your account up to date tonight .
      Smiling Big Boy

  2. "Reno Rascals" ? Hahahaha!
    Leaving a trail of broken hearts, headaches and candy wrappers behind them.
    You are a good hubby. You shall be rewarded I am sure.
    It was a very interesting article. Most enjoyable. I had heard about Tom's and George's relationship to Lincoln. People love to read that kind of stuff.

  3. Jeannie ,
    Those guys are having the time of their lives and I do so pity poor Paul .

    Mac informed me they went to a strip club , uncle Sal got a lap dance , I hope Paul know CPR (smiling) .

    Expecting them home tomorrow evening .

    Happy Birthday !