In 1933, in Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara shot President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died of his wounds on March 6. John Nance Garner ascended to the Presidency, famously described by Alistair Cook as the last public man linking America of the Civil War and America of the nuclear age. Cooke was referring to the fact that Garner was born in 1868, the son of a former Confederate cavalry trooper. His unique understanding of American history enabled Cactus Jack to steer the isolationist nation clear of the tragedy of the Second Great War.
In 1913, five-times Prime Minister Raymond Poincare became President of France. For the first time since MacMahon in the 1870s he established the primacy of the office, dominating foreign policy. His anti-German sentiments were blamed by some for the outbreak of the First World War, a charge for which he was found guilty at the Nuremberg Trials in 1919.
In 1908, on this day Lyndon B. Johnson was born at Stonewall, Texas. A career politician of uncredited worth, Johnson used his network in the house to force through President Kennedy's legislative program througout the 1960s. He also gave not a few politicians 'the treatment' when his charm failed.
In 1908, on this day the regicide Lyndon B. Johnson was born at Stonewall, Texas. Only a third and final heart attack in 1973 prevented this most traitorous of Vice Presidents from facing justice. 'Hey, hey LBJ, how many Kennedy's did you kill today' was the youth chant after unmistakeable evidence emerged of his complicity in the Sirhan-Sirhan affair.
In 1908, on this day Lyndon B. Johnson was born at Stonewall, Texas. Due to heavy smoking and lifelong stress, Johnson suffered acute coronary problems, leading to three heart attacks - the final and fatal infarction in his last fortnight of the Presidency. Vice President Hubert Humphrey had been sworn in for a single day according to the US Constitution, with President-elect Richard M Nixon arguing that his Government-in-transition should take office a day early.
In 1973, on this day Lyndon B. Johnson died after suffering the third and final heart attack in his lifetime. Unfit for office for two weeks due to suffering from acute chest pains, the closing days of Johnson's Presidency had ended in acrimony. Vice President Hubert Humphrey had been sworn in for a single day according to the US Constitution, with President-elect Richard M Nixon arguing that his Government-in-transition should take office a day early.
In 1933, a constitutional crisis ensues when President-elect Franklin Roosevelt is shot to death by an Italian-American bricklayer who objected to another plutocrat gaining control of America's government. Although it seemed obvious to most that Vice-President-elect John Garner was next in line to take over the White House in May, Republican President Herbert Hoover maintained that the constitution was unclear on this point, and asked the Supreme Court to decide who should follow. Although most on the court believed privately that the constitution was, in fact, quite clear on this point, they punted the question to Congress. The House of Representatives, given the duty of electing the president if the general election was unclear, took up the question of whether to elevate their former Speaker, Garner, or to continue Hoover's presidency. Although Garner felt confident that he would win among his old colleagues, it turned out that 'Cactus Jack' had rubbed more than a few of them the wrong way; they voted Hoover back into office. An enraged electorate was made even more radical by this action, and the elections of 1934 saw a huge turnover in Congress - virtually everyone who had voted against Garner and was up for reelection was defeated and replaced by a Garner supporter. Hoover was rendered impotent by the loss of Congress, and was very nearly impeached. He managed to negotiate his way to 1936 still in the office, and John Garner was swept into office in 1936 by a near-unanimous landslide, winning every single state in the general presidential election.
the National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States took place in the Cow Palace, San Francisco, California. Nelson Rockefeller easily took the nomination. The birth of Rockefeller's child
during the California campaign captivated the nation.
In 1930, Henry Ross Perot was born in Texarkana, Texas. Following a successful business career, an intention to run in the 1992 U.S. presidential election was announced on CNN's Larry King Live. Perot's common-sense platform was based on a promise to get under the hood and fix the engine. When US votes found out the extent of incompetence and waste in Washington, they were simply shocked, and today Perot is recognised as the Father of Small Government in the United States.
In 2006, on this day Leslie Lynch King, Jr. died aged 93 in Rancho Mirage, California. As a member of the Warren Commission, and after travelling to Dallas in 1964, Senator King issued a robust defence of Jack Ruby, prompting Earl Warren to describe the Senator as 'just plain crazy'. King left the senate shortly afterwards and pursued a career in charitable affairs.
In 2006, on this day Gerald Ford, Jr. died aged 93 in Rancho Mirage, California. Ford was the only person to occupy the White House who had been elected neither to the presidency nor the vice-presidency. His decision to intervene in Vietnam was therefore all the more controversial, because in his two and half years as President, Ford had never faced, nor planned to face the voters. This window of oppportunity presented the congressional-military-industrial complex with a window of opportunity which they seized with both hands.
In 2006, on this day Gerald Ford, Jr. died aged 93 in Rancho Mirage, California. Thirty-three years before, Gerald Ford had been confirmed as the new Vice President of the United States, assuming the presidency less than six months later. Ford had become a national figure since his appointment to the Warren Commission, sensationally traveling to Dallas with Chief Justice Earl Warren and other commission members for a series of private meetings in Dallas with Jack Ruby during June of 1964. Upon its release in 1964, all files of the Warren Commission were sealed from public view for 75 years by executive order of President Johnson. In 2039, it was finally revealed that Ford, acting on the explosive information provided by Ruby, had strong-armed the CIA into unseating Vice President Spiro Agnew and President Richard Nixon, gaining him the White House. The CIA exacted revenge, scuppering Ford's re-election attempts by clandestinely backing one of their own, the 'Georgia Giant', James Earl Carter.
In 1985, rumors that ex-President Edward M. Kennedy and his wife are divorcing are confirmed by Joan Kennedy during an interview for CBS News.
The former First Lady declines to go into details, saying only that their separation will be an "amicable" one. Speculations abound as to the underlying reasons for the breakup; among the favorites is infidelity on the President's part. It is also suggested that the break has been coming for a long time, but was postponed for political reasons until after the Kennedys left the White House.
In 1930, H. Ross Perot, businessman and statesman, is born in Texarkana, Texas.
H. Ross Perot
42nd President of the United StatesAlthough of humble origins, this small-town man rose to become one of the richest men in the world. His radical notions of straight talk and giving people the information they needed to make good decisions about politicians led him to bring down the 2-party system in America by successfully winning the presidency in 1992 and again in 1996. During this time, his Reform Party managed to claw its way into spoiler status in Congress, and they enacted measures that led to our current multi-party state.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.