In 1968, on this day the twenty-one year old son of Michigan Governor George W. Romney died in a car crash.
Il Est MortWillard Mitt Romney had been in France serving as a missionary, a traditional Mormon duty that both his father and relatives had also performed. By nature it was a character-building experience because the message was met with such outright rejection. Not easily discouraged by these evangelical challenges, he had recently been promoted to the most senior position available to a missionary. As the Assistant to the Head of the Paris Mission, he had overseen the work of 175 fellow members.
Upon his return to the States he planned to enroll in the Future Leaders of America. Utilizing his articulate fluency in French he aspired to serve in a diplomatic capacity that might rebuild the troubled relationship with the Union's principal ally.
The family tragedy brought an abrupt end to Governor Romney's participation in the Presidential campaign. His role would be taken by fellow Michiganer Bob Griffin who was selected as Richard Nixon's running mate after a kickback scandal eliminated the disgraced Spiro T. Agnew.