Thursday, October 28, 2010

JFK Assassination Attempt

So we all know JFK was assassinated (if you don’t, where did you learn history?). But do you know that there was a failed attempt on his life in 1960?

In December 1960, a postal clerk set out to kill JFK:

A craggy-faced retired postal clerk who said he didn't like the way John F. Kennedy won the election is in jail on charges he planned to kill the president-elect.

"Richard Pavlick, 73, was charged by the Secret Service with planning to make himself a human bomb and blow up Kennedy and himself."

Pavlick came much closer to killing Kennedy than most news reporters realized at the time. He was arrested in Palm Beach on December 15, 1960, in a car loaded with sticks of dynamite. Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline; his daughter, Caroline; and his son, John, Jr., were staying in the Kennedy family mansion in Palm Beach, preparing for the inaugration the next month.

But this was much closer than the news reported, according to a Secret Service agent:

On December 11, 1960 -- four days before he was arrested -- Pavlick drove his car to the Kennedy home in Palm Beach. He held a switch wired to the dynamite, which, according to the Secret Service official, was "enough to blow up a small mountain." His plan was to wait for Kennedy's limousine to leave the house for Sunday Mass, then to ram it and blow up both the president and himself.

What stopped him?

Kennedy did not leave the house alone. Instead, he came out the door with Jacqueline, Caroline and John Jr.

Pavlick later told law enforcement officials that he did not want to hurt Mrs. Kennedy and the children. He only wanted to kill Kennedy himself.

The author of this piece then goes on to spectulate – what if JFK had been assassinated in 1960 – what would have happened differently? How would LBJ have handled the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Thanks to Greg for the link!

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