Presidents of the 1960s
#35 John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy
Born in: Massachusetts
Vice President: Lyndon B. Johnson
Strange Parallels Between John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln
John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960. Abraham Lincoln was
elected president in 1860.
- John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1947. Abraham Lincoln was elected to
Congress in 1847. John F. Kennedy was a vice-presidential runner-up in 1956. Abraham Lincoln
was a vice-presidential runner-up in 1856.
- Each President married while in his thirties to a socially prominent twenty-four year old
who spoke French fluently.
- Each President had three children and lost one child through death while in office.
- President Kennedy had a secretary named Mrs. Lincoln and President Lincoln
had a secretary named John Kennedy.
- The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.
- Both were related to a U.S. Senator, Attorney General, ambassador to Great Britain,
and the mayor of Boston.
- They each had a sister to die before being elected.
- Both had a friend named Billy Graham and knew an Adlai Stevenson.
- Both Presidents were shot in the back of the head, on the Friday before a major holiday,
while seated beside their wives. Neither wife was injured. Kennedy was assassinated before
Thanksgiving and Lincoln was assassinated before Easter.
- Both Presidents were in the presence of another couple during the assassination, and in each
case the man was also wounded by the assassin.
- Both assassins, John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald, had fifteen letters in their names.
- Both Presidents were succeeded by vice presidents named Johnson. Lincoln’s vice president,
Andrew Johnson was born in 1808 and Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy’s vice president, was born
in 1908. Both vice presidents had 13 letters in their names and both had two daughters.
- John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in a theatre and fled to a warehouse. Lee Harvey Oswald shot
Kennedy from a warehouse and fled to a theatre.
- Both assassins were in turn assassinated by shooters who used a Colt revolver
and fired only one, fatal shot.
|#36 Lyndon Baines Johnson
Born in: Texas
Vice President: Hubert Humphrey
- Lyndon B. Johnson was an auto mechanic and teacher before becoming President.
- During political rallies, as an up-and-coming congressman, LBJ cultivated the flamboyant habit
of tossing his Stetson hat out into the crowd. The Stetson was worth $25 which was fairly expensive
in those days, so he always paid a little boy $1.00 in advance to retrieve the hat.
- President Johnson was the first president to be sworn into office in an airplane and the first to be
sworn in by a woman. Upon the death of President John F. Kennedy, U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore Johnson into office on Air Force One.
- After he became president, Johnson briefly considered firing the controversial FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. However, he eventually decided that it was better to leave Hoover alone. The President reasoned “I’d rather have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in.”1
- On June 13, 1967, Lyndon Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court becoming
the first president to appoint an African American to the highest court in the United States.
- President Johnson loved Fresca so much that he had a fountain installed in the Oval Office that would dispense the soda at the push of a button.
- President Johnson and his wife, Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson, were married with a wedding ring that cost $2.50 from Sears Department Store.
- Lyndon Johnson was once worshipped as a god by followers of a “cargo cult” in Papua, New Guinea. The people of New Hanover in Papua, New Guinea thought much of Lyndon Johnson and overwhelmingly voted for him during the first House of Assembly elections there. The feeling was that if he could lead the United States, he could lead them, too, and bring to them the prosperity enjoyed in America. Of course, Johnson declined to become their leader, and eventually the cult died out.
Cargo cults were a religious phenomenon that developed when Europeans began arriving in New Guinea, bringing with them huge amounts of material goods. The native peoples thought their wealth
had been acquired from the spirit world.
1Trivia Library.com, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson Little-Known Facts Part 1,
http://www.trivia-library.com/b/u-s-president-lyndon-b-johnson-little-known-facts-part-1.htm, accessed July 14, 2009.
|#37 Richard Milhous Nixon
Born in: California
Vice President: Spiro Agnew, Gerald R. Ford
- Richard M. Nixon recommended a play to the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI.
- President Nixon’s mother did not have political aspirations for her son. Devoutly religious, she wanted
him to become a Quaker missionary.
- Nixon’s mother, Hannah Milhous Nixon, showed a side of her son that the public rarely saw. She once recounted that “He was the best potato masher one could wish for. Even in these days, when I am
visiting Richard and Pat in Washington, or when they visit me, he will take over the potato mashing.
My feeling is that he actually enjoys it.” 2
- After graduating from law school, Nixon hoped to be an FBI agent, but the Bureau did not accept his application.
- Once during his trip to Peru as Vice-President, a man in the crowd spat on him. “As I saw his legs go by,” Nixon recounted, “at least I had the satisfaction of planting a healthy kick on his shins....Nothing I did all day made me feel better.”
- Excerpt from a phone call between President Richard Nixon and Golda Meir, then Prime Minister of Israel. THE PRESIDENT. Madam Prime Minister, I want you to know that you, needless to say, are always welcome here. I only regret that while I have visited Israel on other occasions, I have never been able to do so as President, but you can be sure that we will continue to work together for what you are interested in, what we are interested in, and that is a just peace in the Mideast which will protect the integrity of Israel, for which your people have suffered so much and sacrificed so much.3
2 Trivia Library.com, President Richard M. Nixon: Little-known Facts and Trivia,
http://www.trivia-library.com/a/president-richard-m-nixon-little-known-facts-and-trivia.htm, accessed July 14, 2009.
3 The American Presidency Project, Richard Nixon, 236 - Telephone Conversation With Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=3504, accessed July 14, 2009.
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