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Old Coincidental Rumors Die Hard; The Kennedy Lincoln Connection

Photo portrait of John F. Kennedy, President o...

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Not long after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, this list of amazing coincidences appeared, and it’s been circulating ever since. It’s like the song that never ends. (it keeps going on and on my friends!) Despite how seemingly impressive it appears after an initial read through, several listed “facts” are actually just wrong, or make you wonder why you find that similarity so fascinating in the first place.

So here’s the list:

Abraham Lincoln elected to congress 1846.

JFK elected to congress 1946.

Lincoln became president 1860.

JKF became president 1960.

Lincoln and Kennedy both have seven letters:.

Both were concerned with civil rights:

Both wives lost their children while living in the white house.

Both were shot on a Friday.

Both were shot in the head.

Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy.

Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

Both were succeeded by Southerners.

Both had successors named Johnson.

Lincoln’s successor was born in 1808.

Kennedy’s successor was born in 1908.

Lincoln’s assinator was born in 1839.

Kennedy’s assinator was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by three names:

Both names were comprised of 15 letters:

Lincoln was shot in a theater named Kennedy:

Kennedy was shot in a car named Lincoln:

Booth ran from a theater and was caught in a warehouse:

Oswald ran from a theater and was caught in a theater:

A week before Lincoln’s assassination, he was in Monroe, Maryland; and a week before Kennedy’s assignation, he was with Marilyn Monroe.


And By request here’s an examination of said list: (with the help of this handy website too: http://www.snopes.com/history/american/lincoln-kennedy.asp

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.

John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

This is true. What’s so exciting about this? Both Lincoln and Kennedy were elected to Congress one hundred years apart. La de freaking da.

Lincoln was an Illinois state legislator who before reaching the white house in 1860, had only a single term in the House of Representatives, and several failed gaining national political office under his belt; including a futile bid for the Senate in 1854, an unsuccessful bid to become the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 1856, and another denied Senate seat bid in 1858.

Kennedy, on the other hand, was like a political golden child in his unabridged string of political successes after entering the political arena post World War II. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1946, re-elected in 1948, re-elected again in 1950, won a Senate seat in 1952, was re-elected to the Senate in 1958, and then elected President in 1960. (yay for him.)

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.

John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

This “coincidence” is less notable when you think about the fact that presidential elections are held only once every four years. Years: 1857, 1858, 1859, 1861, 1862 and  1863—out. Likewise, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, or 1963—no go years.

The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters. (just count.)

That’s not a riveting piece of information even a little bit and you know it…

The two men had a one in twelve chance of dying in the same month.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

While true, sorta of misleading in their content.

“First of all, saying that Lincoln and Kennedy were both “particularly concerned with civil rights” is like saying that Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt were both “particularly concerned with war,” or that Herbert Hoover and Ronald Reagan were both “particularly concerned with economics.” Neither Lincoln nor Kennedy evinced a “particular interest” in civil rights, and to all appearances, both would willingly have maintained the racial status quo had events beyond their control not forced their hands.

Although Lincoln was personally opposed to slavery, his primary concern with the issue was how its divisiveness affected the United States, not the liberation of the Black man. Had the Union been able to survive half slave and half free without erupting into war, Lincoln’s stated position was that he would have allowed the institution of slavery to remain intact and die a slow death. And whatever Lincoln’s personal feelings about the equality of blacks, he didn’t espouse support for their “civil rights” because he believed that white society would never accept them as equals. Lincoln’s only real expression of “civil rights” was his support for the idea of relocating free blacks to Liberia so they could live apart from whites in a separate society. Even Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued as an exigency of war, not as measure intended to permanently end slavery in the USA, and constitutional amendments ending slavery and guaranteeing citizens of all races the right to vote were not enacted until after Lincoln’s death.

In Kennedy’s case, it was only after racial crises such as the University of Mississippi’s refusal to admit a Black student (James Meredith) to attend class and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that he belatedly moved to promote civil rights legislation. Even then, his lack of support in Congress (and, ultimately, his assassination) meant that the task of passing civil rights legislation (such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965) fell to his successor, Lyndon Johnson.”

Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.(They didn’t lose all their children…but both did lose one while during their white house stay.)

Technically true. Lincolns’ eleven-year-old son Willie died of typhoid at the end of the couple’s first year in the White House. Mrs. Kennedy gave birth to a premature child in 1963, which died two days later.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

One in seven chances of that happening. Additional tidbit is that the best chance to shoot a President is at a public function and that most public functions are held on weekends, and it’s even more likely that a President would be killed on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Both were shot in the head.

Well, as dramatic as this sounds, if you want to pretty assuredly kill someone dead, you aim for the head. Add to the mix, that both Presidents were sitting and still—how many places are you going to aim for??

Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy. Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln.


John F. Kennedy did have a secretary named Evelyn Lincoln, but there is no Lincoln secretary named Kennedy. (Lincoln’s White House secretaries were John G. Nicolay and John Hay.)

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

John Wilkes Booth while yes, was a Southern sympathizer, he was born in Maryland. Even he “thought of himself as a Northerner who understood the South.”

Oswald was born in New Orleans; yes.

Both were succeeded by Southerners.

Both Lincoln and Kennedy were “succeeded by Southerners” because both had Southerners as vice-president. Back then if you wanted to balance the ticket to appeal all around you did things like: Lincoln a Northern Republican running for re-election in the midst of a civil war, runs with a Southerner Democrat, hence his choice of Tennessean Andrew Johnson. And Kennedy, represented New England and a vice-presidential candidate who could appeal to the populous Southern and Western regions was clearly a good idea. So he went with a Southwesterner, Texan Lyndon Johnson.

Both successors were named Johnson.

Johnson has been a popular last name since like forever.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.

Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

Okay, yeah, true as well.

John Wilkes Booth was born in 1839.

Lee Harvey Oswald was born in 1939.

Again with the errors! Booth was born in 1838, not 1839.

Both assassins were known by their three names.

I’ll give you that. Fact.

Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.

Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

Kinda, sorta, barely the same thing.

Booth shot Lincoln in a theatre of the type where live stage shows are held, then fled across state lines before being trapped and killed in a tobacco shed several days later.

Oswald shot Kennedy from (not in) a warehouse, then remained in Dallas and was caught and taken alive in a movie theater a little over an hour later.

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

Almost correct…Booth after shooting Lincoln resisted arrest, and was shot the warehouse/barn he was hiding in was burning down. Not really an assassination…

“Oswald left the warehouse from which he shot Kennedy and was arrested in a movie theater a little over an hour later by police officers who had no idea who he was. (Oswald was initially arrested only for the murder of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit, whom he shot while in flight; his connection to the Kennedy assassination was not established until later.) Oswald was captured alive and remained in custody for two days before being gunned down by Jack Ruby, a private citizen.”

A week before Lincoln was assassinated he was in Monroe, Maryland.

A week before Kennedy was assassinated he was in Marilyn Monroe.

Some versions of this claim it was a month, not a week, but it doesn’t matter because

Marilyn Monroe died a year before Kennedy was shot at.


About maggie.

Maggie Barnes is a nonprofit and for profit business content specialist / social media consultant; and social sciences web writer interested in everything from psychology and sexuality, to technology, race, and economics. She is passionate about good communication and information accessibility.


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