Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The 5 Most mind-blowing coincidences

Edwin Booth, perhaps unfairly known today as the brother of assassin John Wilkes Booth, was once upon a time known as the greatest actor in American history. In fact, certain theater historians and steampunk enthusiasts would probably argue that he still is today. His reputation as an actor was described as "mythic," and a statue of him stands in Manhattan's Gramercy Park to this very day.
That's what having a brother who killed the freaking president gets you -- in his day, Edwin was as famous as George Clooney, as classy as Clive Owen, as lusted after as Johnny Depp and as awesome as Josh Brolin. Hell, he even looked suspiciously like Robert De Niro ...
... and we bet that most of you have never heard his name before today.
But there's something else ...
Where it Gets Weird:
Booth performed a heroic act, one that would have gotten him into the history books. It took place during the last months of the Civil War at a crowded train station in Jersey City.

That's right. Even back then Jersey was known as a death-trap.
According to the young man that John Wilkes (sorry) Edwin Booth saved:
The incident occurred while a group of passengers were late at night purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood on the station platform. ... There was some crowding, and I happened to be pressed by it against the car body while waiting my turn. In this situation the train began to move, and by the motion I was twisted off my feet, and had dropped somewhat, with feet downward, into the open space, and was personally helpless, when my coat collar was vigorously seized and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer I saw it was Edwin Booth, whose face was of course well known to me, and I expressed my gratitude to him, and in doing so, called him by name.
Imagine if you, as a kid, fell off a ledge and were caught by Chuck Norris. Not the wacky Internet meme Chuck Norris, but the actor you've seen on TV a million times. That's what it was like for the kid.

Mike Huckabee knows that feeling well.
Where it Gets Even Weirder:
Since Edwin Booth was the kind of guy who did good deeds even when there were no cameras present, he genuinely had no idea who he'd just saved. He simply accepted the lad's gratitude, probably signed him an autograph, and spent the rest of his afternoon on a train reading a terrible fan-script the kid "happened to have on him" about William Shakespeare fighting zombies.
A few days later, Booth received a letter of commendation from Adam Badeau, an officer to the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant. It turned out that this young man Edwin had saved was actually Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of President Abraham Lincoln.

And father of Sean Connery's beard.
Keep in mind, it's not like the Booth family and the Lincoln family were neighbors, always running into each other. They weren't. They didn't travel in the same political circles -- the Booths were famous theater actors; they toured the country. This incident happened on a random train platform in New Jersey. It could have been any stranger and any random kid.
That act of heroism would have gone down as the only, unlikely interaction between the Booth family and the Lincoln family, if Edwin's brother John hadn't gone off the deep end and assassinated the kid's father only a few months later, nearly killing the country.


Read more
 
stay tuned for more (4,3,2 and 1)

68 comments:

  1. looking forward for the rest of these 9)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow deNiro too, thats nuts. I can't wait for the other parts

    ReplyDelete
  3. thats crazy! cant wait to see the other 4!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That was a pretty good read, Didn't know booth was that close to Lincoln.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ha these are great
    can't wait for the rest

    ReplyDelete
  6. all i needed to do was see chuck norris and i know this is a good post haha

    ReplyDelete
  7. Man, that's one hell of a coincidence. Makes you wonder, hey.

    ReplyDelete
  8. never even knew JW had a brother, let alone a famous one

    ReplyDelete
  9. ^ agreed! one hell of a coincidence.

    ReplyDelete
  10. wow lots of work with that nice & ty

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh wow. I didn't know about Edwin Booth. What a strange coincidence. One life saved and another taken. That's a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. These kinds of posts are incredible since you don't get these taught to ya' in school.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Scary thing, and such a pity for Edwin

    ReplyDelete
  13. Whoa crazy. But not as crazy as synchronicities. I've got quite some experience in that. Also, Jung wrote a book about them...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, those are some strange coincidences -- great post..

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cosmic balance, man. This took me a while to read because when I imagined Chuck Norris catching me, well...

    ReplyDelete
  16. is that for real? that's freaky man.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow that's a crazy coincidence keep 'em coming yo.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Really good read! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Looking forward to more. Great stuff. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. my mind is blown

    btw, check out my new post on GTL Everyday :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. that just made this history geek's day.

    ReplyDelete
  22. with a mustache like that I would lust for him... jk.. OR AM I?

    ReplyDelete
  23. i didnt know any of that. thanks

    ReplyDelete
  24. whoa that's pretty freaky...can't wait to see the next ones

    ReplyDelete
  25. my mind is definitely blown

    btw, check out my new post on Enhanced by MS Paint :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. That's crazy. Maybe John killed Lincoln because he felt like they didn't get compensated properly.

    ReplyDelete
  27. wow interesting never even heard of him before

    ReplyDelete
  28. I was not aware that Edwin Booth had done that much with the Lincoln family before the assassination. Very insightful!

    ReplyDelete
  29. poor eddy booth,
    feels bad i bet...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Impressive stuff...cool blog keep it coming

    ReplyDelete
  31. very interesting. looking forward for more.

    ReplyDelete
  32. LOL yeah the Booth family were actors. :D

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yeah, wow, that's a pretty strange coincidence. Can't wait to see what you have next.

    ReplyDelete
  34. its a conspiracy! sept not really.

    ReplyDelete
  35. If that's only #5, I don't even want to know the rest!!!
    Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Insane I never noticed the coincidence.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh, Cracked, you and your history lessons never fail to amaze me.

    ReplyDelete
  38. freaking, i like it. following ya

    ReplyDelete
  39. awesome post - also, you have a new follower!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Woah, if that's number 5, I can't imagine what the ones that outranked it are... wild, can't wait for the rest of the list!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Holy shit i would have never guessed O.o

    ReplyDelete
  42. Amazing post. This actually made my night, as I never knew the guy! It makes me wonder what the people in history who have been so easily forgotten really did. Who of us will be as famous as Edwin? Who of us expects to remembered, when he wasn't. Mind-effed!

    ReplyDelete
  43. yup, my mind is officially blown

    ReplyDelete
  44. Somehow I knew Chuck Norris would be in this post.

    ReplyDelete