Image by Getty Images
History has many puzzling mysteries and questions that often cannot be explained, no matter how hard you try. There are mind-blowing coincidences that are almost too bizarre. For example, four of the United States Founding Fathers (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Monroe, and James Madison) all died on July 4, but in different years. That’s a pretty freaky coincidence, isn’t it?
However, this coincidence isn’t nearly as bizarre as the many comparisons between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy’s assassinations, nearly 100 years apart from each other. The presidents were both assassinated in two of the most popular historical moments in U.S. history. But there are some interesting comparisons between the two deaths that we have to consider.
Comparing Lincoln and Kennedy’s assassinations
When President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, it didn’t take long for historians and theorists to quickly create a list comparing his untimely death to that of President Lincoln’s assassination on April 14, 1865. Once they started making comparisons, they couldn’t stop. They realized the two presidents had more more in common then the fact that they both served incomplete presidencies.
For example, Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald while riding in a Lincoln motorcade (made by Ford) in Dallas, Texas. Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth (his name also containing three words) while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. But the comparisons don’t stop there.
Comparing Lincoln and Kennedy’s lives
The list considers not only the comparisons between the two assassinations but also, the presidents’ lives. Containing nearly 50 facts, the list reviews the men’s political careers, personal relationships, important dates, locations, and more.
The list contains personal facts, as followed:
- Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846. Kennedy was also elected to the House of Representatives, but 100 years later in 1946.
- Both presidents were losing candidates for their party’s vice-presidential nomination in 1856 and 1956.
- Both presidents were elected to the presidency 100 years apart, Lincoln in 1860 and Kennedy in 1960.
- The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.
- Both men were concerned with civil rights and proved to be advocates during their presidencies. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 and Kennedy proposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Their successors were both Southern Democrats named Johnson (Andrew Johnson and Lyndon B. Johnson). Both men were born 100 years apart in 1808 and 1908.
- Both presidents had been captains of ships in their private lives.
- Both men suffered from a genetic disease. Lincoln had Marfan’s syndrome and Kennedy had Addison’s disease.
- Both presidents fathered four children and lost a son during their presidencies.
- Both presidents were highly regarded for their wit and eloquence. They often quoted William Shakespeare and the Bible in their political speeches.
- Both presidents were in their 30s when they married their 24-year-old wives, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Both wives spoke fluent French.
- They were both born as second children in their families.
- Kennedy was the second president in U.S. history to issue interest-free money. The first was Lincoln, who issued greenbacks to offer financial support during the Civil War.
Comparing their assassinations
While it’s interesting to review the many unusual comparisons between the presidents’ personal lives, there are even more bizarre comparisons between their assassinations. It was almost like the assassinations were planned long before the presidents ever took office.
The list reads as followed:
- Both presidents were shot in the head.
- Both men were assassinated on a Friday while sitting beside their wives. The Fridays preceded a major holiday (Lincoln was assassinated the week of Easter Sunday and Kennedy was assassinated the week of Thanksgiving).
- The assassinations occurred in a city that was the 14th largest in the nation (Washington D.C. and Dallas).
- The names John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald each contain 15 letters.
- The assassins committed their crimes in the building where he was employed. Booth was an actor at Ford’s Theater and Oswald worked at Texas School Book Depository.
- Both presidents were smiling at the time of the assassinations.
- After shooting Lincoln, Booth ran from the theater to a warehouse. Likewise, after shooting Kennedy, Oswald ran from a warehouse to a theater.
- Both assassins were shot and killed with a Colt revolver.
- Both assassins were also Southern white men in their mid-20s and were 5’8” in height with hazel eyes and brown hair.
- Both assassins changed their names as adults and were bachelors.
- Both assassins fled the scene of the crime using modes of transportation they didn’t own. Booth rented a horse and Oswald rode a public bus. They suffered injuries during their escape plans.
- They were both killed before being tried.
- Both presidents had bodyguards named William.
- Lincoln’s secretary, Kennedy, warned him not to attend the theatre performance. Kennedy’s secretary, Lincoln, warned him not to travel to Dallas.
- Lincoln sat in box number seven at Ford’s Theater. Similarly, Kennedy sat in car number seven in the motorcade.
- Both doctors who attended to the presidents were named Charles.
- Each president died in a place with the initials “P.H.” Lincoln died at the Petersen House and Kennedy died at Parkland Hospital.
Lincoln and Kennedy: Coincidence?
What are we supposed to gather from these bizarre comparisons? Are they simply coincidences or is it a conspiracy theory? According to historians, the similarities between Lincoln and Kennedy are of mere chance. If you search hard enough, it’s easy to find comparisons between most historical events.
It’s human nature to search for clues to make sense of tragedies. Maybe you believe the assassinations were “meant to be,” or maybe you believe something else. Regardless, both presidents’ lives were cut short. Just imagine what they could have accomplished during the rest of their presidencies if they only had the opportunity.