In 1976, on this day Conservative challenger Ronald Reagan won the New Hampshire Primary by 1,250 votes beginning a string of victories that would force the 39th President of the United States Nelson Rockefeller (pictured) to concede the Republican Nomination by the time the race had reached North Carolina.
Rocky Goes Down"Rocky" was the second president in a row to reach the office without having to win an election. And many political observers had seriously doubted that the President's liberal views would survive the primary challenge from the former Governor of California. But then again few would have predicted that Reagan would crash to defeat in November at the hands of another former Governor, Jimmy Carter.
Serving briefly as America's third president in a single four-year term, the highlight of his short time in office would surely be his ceremonial leadership of the Nation's Bicentennial celebration. And the main beneficiary of that reduced tenure would be his Vice President George H.W. Bush. Because in the general election of 1980, he defeated Carter. By then Rockefeller had already died of a fatal heart attack, allegedly during a tryst with his twenty-year old secretary in January 1979. There was no little irony in this outcome, because of his notorious infidelity Prescott Bush had refused to back Rockefeller in his earlier Presidential Campaigns.