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Lincoln-Kennedy Coincidences

Lincoln-Kennedy Coincidences

A critical evaluation of Lincoln-Kennedy coincidences, which will help you understand how a few coincidences between them have been blown out of proportion to fuel an 'urban legend'.
Historyplex Staff
The list of things common between Abraham Lincoln―the 16th President of the United States, and John F. Kennedy―the 35th President of the United States, is quite impressive no doubt, but is it possible for so many similarities to exist between two individuals? While some people believe that these similarities are signs that Abrahan Lincoln was reborn as John F. Kennedy, others dismiss them as mere coincidences.

If you have a closer look at these similarities between the two, you will realize that most of them are factually incorrect. There is no doubt about the fact that there do exist some similarities between the two, but the list is not as lengthy as it is said to be.

Abraham Lincoln-John F. Kennedy Coincidences

The car codenamed 'SS-100-X' in which President John F. Kennedy was traveling when he was assassinated was based on 1961 Lincoln model, 74A convertible. It was modified by Ford Motor Company's Advanced Vehicles Group and Hess & Eisenhardt based at Ohio, as per the instructions given by the US Secret Service. Coincidentally, the name of the theater in which President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in Washington, D.C., was 'Ford's Theater'. Though a little less interesting, it is worth noting that the surnames of both the Presidents had seven letters; L-I-N-C-O-L-N and K-E-N-N-E-D-Y. At the same time, their full names (including the middle name initial used by Kennedy) had five syllables each. Discussed below are the details of these coincidences, each of which are quite interesting in themselves.

Political Career
Abraham Lincoln was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1846, while John F. Kennedy was elected to the House of Representatives exactly a hundred years later in 1946. While Lincoln was elected as the President in 1860, John F. Kennedy was elected the President exactly a hundred years later in 1960. The 100 year coincidence doesn't just end here. Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln as the US President was born in 1808, while Lyndon B. Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy as the US President was born in 1909. Similarly, the name Johnson in case of both the successors is no short of a coincidence.

Assassination
Another aspect which tops the list of coincidences between these two is related to their assassination. Both the Presidents were shot on Friday and both were shot right in their head. Incidentally, both of them were with their wives when they were shot dead. The names of both the assailants, John Wilkes Booth (who assassinated President Lincoln) and Lee Harvey Oswald (who assassinated President Kennedy) have 3 words, which add up to 15 alphabets. Not to forget the car-theater coincidence mentioned above, was also related to their assassination.

Debunking these Coincidences

Even though the similarities between Lincoln and Kennedy enlisted above seem to be quite interesting, a little bit of critical thinking is more than enough to debunk most of them―if not all. One of the most popular similarity that you find in almost all the lists of coincidences is that both the Presidents were killed on Friday. That isn't quite interesting as it seems, considering that most of the public functions involving the Presidents are scheduled for weekends. Similarly, the fact that both the Presidents were with their wives doesn't quite hold ground if you note that the practice of the First Lady attending some public function with the President is quite common. In contrast, Abraham Lincoln was shot at point blank range, while Kennedy was shot from a considerable distance.

Widely-Circulated Fabrications

You might be surprised to see that quite a few mind-boggling coincidences which find a place in other lists don't feature in this write-up. Well, that's only because these so-called facts about Kennedy are nothing but fabrications and misinterpretations. While some of these alleged similarities are obvious assumptions (like the wives holding their husbands head in their lap after they were shot or both the Presidents were concerned with civil rights of the people), others (like Booth ran from theater and was caught in a warehouse, and Oswald ran from the warehouse and was caught in a theater) are outright false claims. Booth was killed in a scuffle at the tobacco-curing barn in which he was hiding, while Oswald was caught in a movie theater as opposed to a drama theater where Lincoln was assassinated. Many of these lists also suggest that Booth was born in 1839 and Oswald in 1939, while the fact is that Booth was born in 1838.

While some coincidences between the two do exist, it isn't unusual as such regardless of which two individuals you take into consideration. Nevertheless, by no means do these coincidences suggest that Kennedy was reborn as Lincoln.