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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

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 'No Chappaquiddick' by Todayinah Ed.
Todayinah Editor Todayinah Ed. says, in this scenario in which Chappaquiddick never happened, we explore an EMK Presidency 1977-1985. This is a variation of Eric Lipps timeline of the same name, but in this one JFK survives Dallas. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Todayinah site.
Ted Kennedy



February 26

In 1977, just months short of his sixtieth birthday, former President Jack Kennedy succumbs to a rare endocrine disorder known as Addison's disease. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.

American TableauxHis state funeral in Washington, D.C. is attended by the elite from across the political spectrum: former Vice President and California Governor Dick Nixon, his successor in the White House, former President George Romney and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. to name but a few.

And his younger brother, the current President Edward M. Kennedy who delivered the eulogy. This focused of course on the successes, the Apollo Mission, the Cuban Missiles Crisis and the negotiated peace in Indochina. But unfortunately, these memorable words had the unintended effect of casting an unfavourable light upon his own weak record of foreign policy.

Also present was the man who would inherit the worst of it, the Iranian Hostage Crisis. That was former Texas Governor John Connally who had made a remarkable transition to Republican since that fateful day in Dallas when Jackie Kennedy was killed by a disgruntled former marine, Lee Harvey Oswald. Within two years, Connally was being talked of as the runaway candidate for fortieth President of the United States. And Teddy was considering a return to the Senate, this time in California where he had campaigned in the 1960 election despite the reservations of his father Joseph P. Kennedy.



February 27

In 1917, fortieth President of the United States John Bowden Connally, Jr. was born on this day in Floresville, Texas. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.

Birth of POTUS John ConnallyUnder President Jack Kennedy, he served as Secretary of the Navy before his election as the 39th Governor of Texas. And he was a passenger in the car when Jackie Kennedy was killed by a disgruntled former marine, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Only seventeen days after the assassination, the FBI published a report in which Director J. Edgar Hoover concluded that the motive was a grudge dating back to 1962 when the former Secretary of the Navy turned down a reconsideration of Lee Harvey Oswald's dishonourable discharge from the US Marine Corps. The decision prevented him from applying for the service entitlement benefits he was seeking to raise his young family. In a remorseful letter to the Navy dated 30th January 1962 he regretted his lie about the real reason for leaving the service, a false declaration which had resulted in the discharge being changed from honourable to dishourable, standard procedure in the US Marine Corps.

After leaving the Governorship in 1969, he made a remarkable transition to the GOP, serving in President George Romney's single-term cabinet as United States Secretary of Treasury. Romney was defeated by Ted Kennedy in the general election of 1972, and within five years, Connally was being talked of as the runaway candidate for fortieth President of the United States.



July 22

In 1969, after four days of intense medical treatment for a barely reported vehicular incident on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Edward M. Kennedy made a low-key public appearance in a neckbrace. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.

Crashing out after the PartyThe circumstances of the accident itself was unremarkable. Following a reception for aides of his late brother Robert, he had driven an unnamed young campaign worker to the Edgartown ferry but had lost control of his Oldsmobile on Dike Road. The car rolled over into Poucha Pond but fortunately both the driver and the passenger managed to escape.

Still grieving for his elder brother, Kennedy had been distracted during the party. His thoughts had already begun to turn towards his own run for the Presidency. And a challenge to George Romney, who had only entered the White House just six months before.

Romney had benefited immensely from the strong backing of fellow Republican governor (and former Vice President) Richard Nixon [1]. But of course the main reason for his victory was the self-destruction of the Democrat Party during the campaign. He wouldn't be so lucky a second time, crashing to defeat in 1972 at the hands of a resurgent, unified Democrat Party led by Edward M. Kennedy. But behind the winning smile, Kennedy was in huge discomfort, having suffered a serious lower back injury at the Chappaquiddick incident which had aggravated a condition he developed after a plane crash in 1964. His mobility was seriously restricted, and the inevitable result was a lacklustre pursuit of overseas travel that would hamper his foreign policy goals.



February 23

In 1980, President Kennedy addressed the nation from the Oval Office in response to a statement from the Ayatollah Khomeini that Iran's parliament would decide the fate of the American embassy hostages. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.

Lame Duck trapped in Poucha PondBut the speech is unconvincing, the contrast between the comfortable White House setting and the miltant streets of Tehran too stark, leaving the American people with the over-riding impression that their President was a weak leader being bullied. And the truth was that despite a string of Liberal agenda successes, EMK's Presidency had been over-shadowed by foreign policy failures since he triumphantly defeated single-term incumbent George Romney in 1972. This is in part due to his unwillingness to travel. Because for the past ten years he has suffered acute lower back pain since driving his Oldsmobile into Poucha Pond on Chappaquiddick Island, aggravating an existing condition caused by a plane crash during 1964.

On the other hand, Michael Dukakis, his successor as Senator for Massachusetts, has begun to set his sights on the Presidency. But independent observers considered it unlikely that a candidate from the same state could win the General election, and indeed even less likely that American would vote for a third successive candidate from the North-east. And in fact the candidate receiving the most press is John Connally, the former Texas Governor who accompanied the President's brother in Dallas on that ill-fated day in 1963.



March 12

In 1947, on this day United States Senator from Massachusetts Willard (Mitt) Romney was born in Detroit, Michigan. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.

Sen Romney MA-RHis passion for campaigning began in the late sixties when his father George served as Governor of Michigan. And supported by Californian Governor Nixon, Romney, Snr. calmly entered the White House in the turbulent year 1968.

But despite its initial sparkle, his father's single term of office was unremarkable and he was well beaten in 1972. The winning candidate Ted Kennedy left the Senate to occupy the White House, and his vacated seat would eventually be occupied by charismatic son Mitt. Despite Ted's desire to remain active in national politics, there would be no Romney, Jr. vs Kennedy rematch. because Ted had already made his mind up to return to California where he had campaigned in the 1960 election despite the strong reservations of his father Joseph P. Kennedy [1]. And when Mitt began to consider his own run for the White House and looked for his own source of support from California, Senator Kennedy would quickly emerge as one of his most vociferous opponents.



September 20

In 1994, the sleaze dredged up by a renewal of the Romney-Kennedy family feud gripped the United States Senate elections being held in California and Massachusetts. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.

Sen Romney MA-R, Part 2Opinion polls had shown the younger Romney on course for a famous victory in a campaign being personally managed by a former President, his ageing father George who had moved into his son's family home at the very beginning of the electoral cycle. And then fired ex-employees of Bain Capital had mysteriously begun to appear, smearing their former boss. The former President's golden boy, a stellar businessman with a sunshine smile was now being revealed as a ruthless money-lender, a "vulture capitalist" throwback to the gilded age.

Meanwhile on the other sea-board, fellow GOP Candidate Michael Huffington was facing near-certain defeat as former President Ted Kennedy looked set for a second occupation in the California seat he had won after leaving office in 1988 (he had returned to California where he had campaigned in the 1960 election despite the strong reservations of his father Joseph P. Kennedy [2]).

But at this critical junction, Senator Kennedy had become strangely engulfed in a fresh scandal, this one involving the "boiler-room girl" Mary Jo Kopechne. While there was never any shortage of extra-marital affair mud to sling at the Kennedys, it was generally excepted [1] that Kopechne had not been involved with Ted prior to the minor vehicular incident in Chappaquiddick. Most likely, she had been engaging with an affair with a staffer, and Ted really had driven her to the ferry as he had innocently claimed all along.

The picture that now emerged, although fifteen years later, was somewhat more sordid. It appeared that rather than Kopechne bravely rescued by Kennedy, the reverse was true and she had been coerced into a cover-up story that understated the perilous nature of their drunken crash into Poucha Pond. And worse still, they had engaged in an abusive affair as a result of his bullyish mind dominance. Her victim-falls-for-villain Patty Hearst story was even ridiculed as "Chappaquiddick Syndrome" in the media.

Although Ted had not divorced his first wife Joan until the 1985, it was well known that their unhappy Union was long since over, and for the sake of appearances they had agreed to remain officially married while he remained in the White House. It was now being suggested that Mary Jo was the real reason for the break-up, and also the underlying cause of Joan's long-suffering personal anguish.



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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.