Updated: Sep 2
“A Storm is coming. If God has a place for me, I am ready to meet him.”
JFK wrote these words over and over again. They were transcribed by Evelyn Lincoln
We are all familiar with the list of coincidences between the assassination of JFK and Abraham Lincoln. Published soon after the events of November 22, 1963, they included many amazing facts, some true, some a stretch;
The Lincoln/Kennedy Coincidences; Both Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were first elected to Congress in '46 and became president in '60. John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and ran to a warehouse; Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and ran to a theater. When Kennedy was shot, the car he was riding in was a Lincoln......etc.
These coincidences are interesting but being that the assassinations occurred one hundred years apart, the dates are not surprising. Still there were many more coincidences that are harder to explain.
Both men predicted their assassinations
Lincoln said; “...If anyone is willing to give his own life in the attempt to murder the President, it would be impossible to prevent him.”
According to Professor Robert Dallek, JFK told Mrs. Kennedy after his success in the Cuban Missile Crisis: “If anyone’s going to kill me, it should happen now.”
Just before the Dallas motorcade began, JFK said; “We’re heading into nut country today,” he told his wife, “But Jackie, if somebody wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, nobody can stop it, so why worry about it?”
Plots against Lincoln were numerous. The first attempt on his life was in 1861 before first inauguration as his train passed through Baltimore. Exemplary intelligence work by the Pinkerton agency saved his life by sneaking him through the town in disguise in the middle of the night. After taking office, he amazingly avoided six kidnap plots seemingly by pure chance.
Like Lincoln, JFK survived an assassination attempt before he took office. In December, 1960, Richard Paul Pavlick, a retired postal worker armed with dynamite, called off his attack when he saw the Senator and president-elect was with his family. He was arrested before he could stage another attempt. Like Lincoln, good intelligence work saved him from plots to kill him in Chicago and Tampa in 1963.
Although their early lives differed vastly on an economic level, Lincoln and Kennedy's family lives paralleled in their both being filled with tragedy. Lincoln lost two sons and a sister with whom he was extraordinarily close. Kennedy endured the deaths of a sister, a brother and a son. Both men lost a son while they occupied the White House.
Oswald and Booth were both Southerners, although at least on the surface, their political views were of the opposite spectrum. Oswald was born in 1939. The Kennedy/Lincoln Coincidence doc says Booth was born in 1839 as well. The truth is he was born in 1838. Another misleading entry in the doc is that Oswald shot JFK from a warehouse and was captured in a theater and that Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and was captured in a warehouse. Again, this is not exactly true. Booth was captured (and killed) in a barn, not a warehouse.
Both historical villains used fake identities. Booth's was Boyd and Oswald's Hidell. Both may have been incriminated by doubles or lookalikes. Boyd may have been a real person and not just a fake identity. Both kept diaries. Booth's was strangely missing 18 pages. Many researchers believe the Oswald diary was forged.
Both assassins were able to escape in spite of massive manhunts. The route Booth chose was the only one not closed off. Oswald simply walked out the front door of the TSBD and escaped in public transportation. In the end both met death at the hand of pathetic, attention craved fellow lone nuts. Oswald was shot by Ruby in the police station while under the guard of an army of Dallas' finest. Boston Corbett shot Booth through a gap in the wall boards of Garrett's barn.
English immigrant, Thomas Corbett, adopted the name “Boston” in honor of the city in which he found Christ. When tempted by “fallen women,” he promptly castrated himself with a pair of scissors in accord with the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of the book of Matthew. He then went to a prayer meeting and had a hearty dinner. In addition to reward money amounting to exactly $1653.84, “Lincoln's avenger” briefly became a celebrity. Corbett soon gave up his career in the army, moved west and got a job as a doorkeeper at the Kansas House of Representatives. In 1887 he drew a revolver and held the legislature hostage. Confined to the Topeka asylum, he escaped in 1888 and disappeared from history.
Don't let your guard down
John Frederick Parker was an American police officer for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. Parker was one of four men detailed to act as United States President Abraham Lincoln's bodyguard on April 14, 1865, the night Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theater. Parker was assigned to guard the entrance to the President's box where the presidential party was seated. At first, he stayed at his assigned post, but he later told family members that Lincoln released him from duty until the end of the play. Parker went to a nearby tavern with Lincoln's valet and coachman. As a result, Parker was not at his post when the President was shot. Although charged with neglect of duty, the complaint ended up being dismissed. Amazingly Parker continued to be assigned to the White House and even became Mary Todd Lincoln's bodyguard! According to Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley, Mrs. Lincoln once yelled at Parker, “So you are on guard tonight, on guard in the White House after helping to murder the President." Mrs. Lincoln made it known to Parker that she would always think of him as being responsible for the President's death and angrily dismissed him from the room.
So Lincoln's body guard was out drinking and provided no protection. Jump forward 100 years and you will find JFK's Secret Service Agents in Dallas taking a page from Parker's book and partying 'til 4am the night before the assassination. Although in Parker's day there was no “Secret Service,” the man credited with tracking down Booth, Col. Lafayette (Lafe) Baker belonged to the NDP or National Detective Police. The NDP was the forerunner of today's Secret Service.
A tale of two theaters
The Texas Theater, the site of Oswald's arrest, closed in 1989 and the Texas Theater Historical Society (TTHS) purchased it the following year. This allowed Oliver Stone to remodel the exterior facade for his 1991 film, JFK. However, by 1992, the Society was no longer able to fund the property and the theater closed again. Former usher and sign changer Don Dubois of Texas Rosewin-Midway Properties, saved the theater from the wrecking ball in 1993, but two years later, it was nearly destroyed by a five-alarm fire, forcing another closure. In 1996, Pedro Villa stepped in to rescue the theater from another plan which would have demolished the structure and replace it with a furniture warehouse. However, he was unable to obtain financing to restore the theater and it defaulted to Texas Rosewin-Midway Properties once again. The fire-damaged building remained vacant for three years, open to vandals, stray animals, and the elements. In 2001, the Oak Cliff Foundation acquired the structure and began renovations after receiving $1.6 million from the Dallas Neighborhood Renaissance Partnership. Since then, the board of the Oak Cliff Foundation has raised an additional $2 million of the estimated $9 million needed for the complete renovation of the theater. The foundation used the funds to secure and provide the restoration the building needed after years of neglect and fire damage. The venue began hosting movies and special events soon after. In September 2010, Aviation Cinemas, Inc. signed a lease to operate the theater as an independent and repertory cinema with hopes of presenting live theater and concerts in the future.
After Lincoln's assassination, Edward Stanton ordered Ford's Theater closed and confined the owner John T. Ford in the Old Capitol prison for 39 days. After at least two attempts to burn it down, the Government gave it back to Ford on the day Booth's four confederates were hung. When Ford said he planned to reopen the theater he began receiving death threats. Stanton then seized Ford's Theater a second time and paid contractors to gut the interior. At this point it became a three-floor office building. The Record and Pension Bureau of Stanton's War Department moved in and crammed the office with clerks and tens of thousands of pounds of files. In 1867, the top floor became home of the Army Medical Museum for next 20 years. In June 1893 the load on the top floor became too much and all the floors collapsed crushing 22 clerks and injuring 68 more. Restored in the 1960's, the Theater is now a museum and playhouse.
So like the Ford Theater, the Texas Theater suffered fires, abandonment and disaster. And similarly it has been rebuilt and restored as an historical artifact.
Strange correlations between historical events leading up to the demise of the two presidents seem to provide evidence of the inexplicable way history repeats itself. The role of the CIA's AMLASH plots to kill Castro leaves an odd taste in mouths of the research community. In a nutshell a Cuban Government official named Rolando Cubela (AMLASH-1) was being courted as an assassin in a plot to kill Castro. Cubela wanted assurance from his contacts in the CIA that JFK had authorized the project. He was led to believe, probably by Des Fitzgerald, that this was the case and that RFK had given the go-ahead. On the day of the assassination Cubella was being given a poison device to carry out the deed. After JFK's demise, the CIA tried to manipulate the incident to place the blame on Castro as retaliation. The Dictator had warned in a speech that if American officials continued to try and assassinate Cuban leaders, they themselves would not be safe. After the assassination, the CIA (likely Angleton specifically) tried to link Cubela to Kostikov insinuating a triad of Cuba, Russia and Oswald as the perps of the big event. By linking Cubela to Kostikov and the KGB, Angleton was using a classic application of tradecraft. This technique, known as a poison pill, avoided a negative outcome by increasing the costs of that outcome to those seeking it. The brilliant Angleton was simply covering his ass.
The Dahlgren Raid
The 1860's counterpart to AMLASH was the Dahlgren Raid. In February-March 1864, a daring, and seemingly harebrained scheme was attempted by Union cavalrymen to assault the lightly defended Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, and free prisoners of war. The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid was concocted by Brigadier General H. Judson Kilpatrick. The raid turned into a fiasco when Kilpatrick’s men were stopped northwest of the city and a supporting column, under the command of twenty-one-year-old Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, was routed to the east. Dahlgren was killed, however papers found on his body, detailed plans to burn the city and assassinate Confederate president Jefferson Davis and his cabinet. The papers were published by the Richmond press and public opinion in both the North and the South was inflamed. Historians continue to debate the authority behind these so-called Dahlgren Papers. The South was outraged by the Richmond news article and they speculated that President Lincoln had given the orders himself. On the Northern side, reports of mistreatment of Dahlgren's corpse by angry mobs produced equal outrage. His body had been displayed in the Southern capitol. Union newspapers and Dahlgren's father, Union Navy Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren labled the papers a forgery. Union Major General George Meade personally assured Confederate General Robert E. Lee that the orders were unauthorized by the Union Army. The controversy may have played a role in John Wilkes Booth's decision to assassinate President Lincoln. Since the papers have disappeared and it has never been determined if the papers were forged or if they written by Dahlgren, Kilpatrick, Secretary of War Stanton or President Lincoln.
The Richmond Examiner compared Dahlgren to Atilla the Hun and speculated that Lincoln himself had given the orders. Many historians, such as Duane Schultz in The Dahlgren Affair: Terror and Conspiracy in the Civil War, agreed that the papers were forged and intended to justify the numerous plots by the Confederate Secret Service to kidnap Lincoln or to blow up the White House. However, a new handwriting study performed on the papers by the Smithsonian Channel seems to confirm that the documents are authentic, and their theory is that Stanton was the originator of the assassination order.
Did the Dahlgren raid and the plot to kill Jefferson Davis backfire and result in Lincoln's death? Did the AMLASH plots backfire and lead to JFK's murder. Were these both false flags designed to inflame the radical opposition into revenge? Was the letter fake? Was the Confederacy behind it to create a false flag? Was it Stanton who was responsible for the letter? Was it Lincoln? Was it the plot to kill Castro that resulted in JFK's death? Similarly, was it retaliation for the plot to kill Davis that resulted in Lincoln's murder? There was also similarity in events in both centuries that sabotaged peace talks. In the 1860's it was Tennessee. In the 1960s' it was Paris.
What is also interesting is the similarity of the names of individuals involved in the historic events that occurred a hundred years apart. Two stand out to me. General Judson Kilpatrick of the Dahlgren Raid and Lyman Kirkpatrick, who served as inspector general and executive director of the CIA in the Kennedy administration come to mind. But the one I really like is that Booth's sidekick David Herold shared a similar moniker with the owner of the Schoolbook Depository, David Harold Bird. In addition the role of Stanton in 1860's and that of J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960's seems as eerily similar as is the cover-ups run by the Military Tribunal in the 1860's and the Warren Commission in the 1960's. Furthermore, it is prodigious that both commissions reported to a president named Johnson.
Finally there is a scary correlation in the similarity of communication breakdowns in both centuries. When Lincoln was killed the commercial telegraph lines from Washington were blacked out. When JFK was killed telephone lines were overwhelmed and JFK's Cabinet, in flight at the time, lost all communication with the outside world.
Another bizarre piece of trivia is that Lincoln and Tippit were both killed on 10th Street. Granted one in Washington and the other in Dallas and a hundred years later, but the parallel is fascinating. James Swanson in his book Manhunt pinpoints Lincoln's death to the 400 block, another coincidence tying him to Tippit. However, several researchers insist that Ford's Theater and the Peterson House are in the 500 block...and so it goes.
We were taught in school that Booth and Oswald were lone assassins. Conspiracies didn't happen in America. I didn't find out until much later that four others were hanged in the Lincoln conspiracy. The JFK conspiracy is another story. The perpetrators went free. Ironically, it was the victims and not the assassins who became the martyrs, much to the chagrin of Booth and the right wing hate groups. The conditions in the 1860's and 1960's were essentially the same. The Civil War never really ended. The country was just as divided in the 20th century as the 19th. Only the characters were different. Kennedy replaced Lincoln. Stanton replaced Hoover. Oswald replaced Booth, at least in the history books. Lyndon Johnson replaced Andrew Johnson. Like one of Booth's plays, the show went on with new characters. The stage was set with the same scenery and conditions. The new actors played out their roles and destinies. History repeated itself and will again.
Lee Oswald believed that America was becoming more militaristic, as it increasingly interfered with the internal affairs of other countries. He predicted there would someday be a coup d'etat.
“Under dictatorship, people are enslaved but they know it. Here, the politicians constantly lie to people and they become immune to these lies because they have the privilege of voting. But voting is rigged and democracy here is a gigantic profusion of lies and clever brainwashing.”
Lee Harvey Oswald
Manhunt, The 12-day chase for Lincoln's killer, James L. Swanson, William Morrow, 2006
Martin, Paul (April 8, 2010), Lincoln's Missing Bodyguard, Smithsonianmag.com. Kilpatrick-
Dahlgren Raid Summary, Encyclopedia VirginiaMurdering Mr. Lincoln, Charles Higham, New Millennium Press, 2004
Like the 16th President, JFK seemed to know his days were numbered. MLK did too. His “I've been to the Mountain top” speech is clearly of the same ilk. “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life—longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will…. And so I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man.” and “I may not get there (the promised land) with you.” ...Abraham, Martin and John. Blessed are the peace makers. For they are the children of God, (Mathew 5.9). They are also magnets for hate. Targets of assassins.
Sounds like the Watergate tapes.
The complete opposite of his 1963 counter part, Jack Ruby, who profited from “fallen women.”
Manhunt, The 12-day chase for Lincoln's killer, James L. Swanson
Manhunt, The 12-day chase for Lincoln's killer, James L. Swanson
Garrett's barn, Booth's last haven, was destroyed by fire as well.
In the 21st century as well.