On a 1956 game show, a man appeared who had been present at Ford’s Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865. The America of Lincoln and the Civil War can feel like distant history, but every now and then, through the appearance of what Jason Kottke has called a “human wormhole,” we are confronted with the brevity of a century and a half.
The above video captures this phenomenon succinctly. Here is a man, elderly but still kicking, who witnessed the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Yet his setting — the 1950s/1960s game show “I’ve Got a Secret” — is completely recognizable as a modern media production. Sure, it’s not in color, the hairstyles are a bit outdated, and a cigarette advertisement is prominently displayed, but those are subtle changes when compared with those this man saw in his lifetime.
Story via REBECCA J. ROSE – Rebecca J. Rosen is an associate editor at The Atlantic. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly, where she spearheaded the magazine’s In Essence section.