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Abraham Lincoln’s son has a strange connection to presidential assassinations.

Abraham Lincoln’s son has a strange connection to presidential assassinations.

Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest son of Abraham Lincoln, did not witness his father’s assassination, although he was in Washington, D.C., at the time. Robert was, however, present at the two other presidential assassinations that happened during his lifetime.

In 1881, Robert Lincoln was serving as President James A. Garfield’s Secretary of War. Garfield invited Lincoln to accompany him on a trip; Lincoln was with Garfield at the Sixth Street train station in Washington, D.C., on July 2, 1881, when Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau.

Twenty years later, at President William McKinley’s invitation, Robert Lincoln went to the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. While there, on September 6, 1901, McKinley was shot by Leon F. Czolgosz.

No one was more aware of these coincidences than Lincoln himself. Once when he received another presidential invitation, Lincoln refused, saying, “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.”

Robert Lincoln’s last public appearance was the dedication of his father’s memorial in D.C. on May 30, 1922, at which two Presidents (William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding) were present. Both of them survived the event.