150 years ago on April 14th, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Being so long ago, there are many things about this event that modern Americans don”t know…like these strange coincidences surrounding the lives and deaths of two famous American presidents: Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
Both high-profile assassinations shocked the nation, and both presidents were in office during times of great civic unrest, as issues of race were on the forefront of peoples” minds at both points in history.
You”ll be amazed by how many strange connections there are between the two assassinations. History can be very, very strange.
1. Both Lincoln and Kennedy were elected to the House of Representatives in “46…
1846 and 1946, respectively. But then again, lots of presidents were elected exactly 100 years apart from each other. You can thank standardized election periods for that.
2. Both presidents” last names had seven letters.
The average length of a U.S. president”s last name is 6.64 letters.
3. As with getting elected to the House of Representatives, both were also elected president and inaugurated exactly one century apart.
Lincoln in 1860 and 1861…
…and Kennedy in 1960 and 1961. Again, because of the regularity of Presidential elections, it”s not that much of a coincidence. James Madison, William Howard Taft, and Barack Obama, for example, all took office 100 years apart from one another in 1809, 1909, and 2009.
4 During that election, they both beat an incumbent vice president.
Lincoln won against James Buchanan”s vice president, John C. Breckenridge.
Kennedy defeated Dwight D. Eisenhower”s vice president, Richard Nixon. Of course, Nixon would run again and succeed. Breckenridge, not so much.
5. Lincoln”s and Kennedy”s vice presidents were both named Johnson and were Southern Democrats.
Lincoln”s V.P. was Andrew Johnson (seen here looking oddly similar to Tommy Lee Jones). You have to understand that, politically speaking, the term “Southern Democrat” carried very different connotations in the 1860s than it did in the 1960s.
6. Both Johnsons succeeded their respective presidents after those presidents were assassinated.
Kennedy”s was Lyndon B. Johnson, and his personal weirdness is very well documented. Andrew Johnson became president at the close of the Civil War, while LBJ was elected to office at the beginning of the Vietnam War.
7. The Johnsons were born 100 years apart, in 1808 and 1908, respectively.
8. On the days of their assassinations (which were not 100 years apart), both Lincoln and Kennedy were shot in the back of the head while in the presence of their wives.
Lincoln was killed in 1865. He was shot at point-blank range with a handgun. He and the first lady were at the theater.
Kennedy was killed in the back of a car in 1963. He was shot with a rifle from a distance of several hundred yards.
9. Both presidents were assassinated on a Friday.
Both presidents were also at public functions.
10. As for the assassins, both were killed after the assassinations and never faced trial.
John Wilkes Booth, a 26-year-old actor and Confederate sympathizer, escaped on horseback after the shooting. He refused to surrender after a 12-day manhunt, and was shot by a Union soldier. He was shot in the neck and lived for three more hours.
Lee Harvey Oswald, 24, was shot in the chest by nightclub owner Jack Ruby on live television while being moved from Dallas Police Headquarters to the county jail, just two days after the assassination. He died in a matter of minutes that afternoon.
11. The name Ford was involved with both assassinations.
Lincoln was shot in Ford”s Theater, and Kennedy was assassinated in a Lincoln, which is a car made by Ford.
The untrue rumor: Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln.
This one is only partially true. Kennedy did, in fact, have a secretary named Evelyn Lincoln, shown here. There are no reports of Lincoln, however, having a secretary named Kennedy. His secretaries were John Hay and John G. Nicolay.
12. (A bonus fact!) John Wilkes Booth”s brother saved Lincoln”s son.
In late 1864 or early 1865, Edwin booth, John”s brother and a famous actor, snatched Robert Lincoln, the president”s son, moments before the latter fell off a train platform in Jersey City. Had he fallen, Robert would have been seriously injured or possibly killed. Edwin took some comfort in the fact that he”d saved Robert when his brother had killed Lincoln.
Appealing as it may be to draw these eerie conclusions, it may be a bit of a stretch. After all, there are plenty of differences between Lincoln and Kennedy, too. For example, Lincoln was killed in 1865, while Kennedy was killed in 1963, so there”s no perfect 100 year difference there. Lincoln died in April at the age of 56, while Kennedy died at 46 in November. Lincoln remained in a coma for about nine hours after the shooting, while Kennedy died almost instantly. But it”s still kind of fun to see how many connections you can make!
And don”t even think about making the “in Marilyn Monroe” joke.