Robert Todd Lincoln - Presence At Assassinations

Presence At Assassinations

Robert Lincoln was coincidentally either present or nearby when three presidential assassinations occurred.

  • Lincoln was not present at his father's assassination. But he was nearby and arrived at Ford's Theater shortly after his father was shot.
  • At President James A. Garfield's invitation, Lincoln was at the Sixth Street Train Station in Washington, D.C., where the President was shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881, and was an eyewitness to the event. Lincoln was serving as Garfield's Secretary of War at the time.
  • At President William McKinley's invitation, Lincoln was at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, where the President was shot by Leon Czolgosz on September 6, 1901, though he was not an eyewitness to the event.

Lincoln himself recognized the frequency of these coincidences. He is said to have refused a later presidential invitation with the comment "No, I'm not going, and they'd better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present." He did attend the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial, in 1922, in the presence of both President Warren G. Harding and former President William Howard Taft, however. Warren G. Harding later died in office.

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Famous quotes containing the word presence:

    There are twenty ways of going to a point, and one is the shortest; but set out at once on one. A man who has that presence of mind which can bring to him on the instant all he knows, is worth for action a dozen men who know as much, but can only bring it to light slowly.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)