Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy:
Two very different times, but two very similar men
The two most discussed assassinations out of the four within the position of the United States President are that of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. There are many similarities between the two and there are also some differences. There are many similarities associated with the assassination of Lincoln and Kennedy. They were both assassinated on the same day, and the men that were caught for the crime were born a century apart from each other and they were both killed before their trials. A difference between the two men is Lincoln was poor and worked his way to the top and Kennedy was born into a wealthy family in which his father was a large political figure.Both men had different struggles but they were similar in many ways.
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 and was raised in a log cabin in Kentucky until he was seven. In 1816, he and his family moved to Indiana. Lincoln was raised in a farming family and with no ambition for education. He went to school long enough to read and write and then stopped attending school so he could work on the farm. Both natural parents raised Abraham until 1818 when his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln died. In 1819 Abraham’s father, Thomas, married a woman named Sarah Bush. By this time Lincoln was nine years old and very capable of taking care of himself and the farm. John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Massachusetts. Unlike Lincoln, John F Kennedy was raised in a fairly wealthy family. His father, Joseph P. Kennedy was the ambassador to Great Britain during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was very well educated, and in 1940 he graduated from Harvard University with the honor of winning note with the publication of Why England Slept which was an expansion of his senior theses on Britain’s lack of preparation for World War II. Then in August of 1943, as commander of the U.S. Navy he became a war hero by rescuing several crewmen after the boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer.
Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy each began their political careers at an early age. Abraham Lincoln ran for the Illinois legislature in 1832 when he was just 23 years old but he was unsuccessful. However, two years later, he was elected to the Lower House for the first four successive terms as a Whig until 1841. Lincoln was married to Mary Todd Lincoln on November 4, 1842. In 1847 to 1949 Lincoln served as a member of the United States House of Representatives where he opposed the Mexican War. In 1854 there was a Kansas-Nebraska Act presented before Congress which would open lands previously closed to slavery to the possibility of its spread by local opinion. Lincoln strongly opposed slavery and viewed it as immoral so when the act passed in 1854 Lincoln was loosing interest in politics. In 1856 he joined the newly reformed Republican Party and two years later campaigned for the Senate against Douglas. Lincoln appeared with Douglas in seven debates. This was his first considerable national fame. However, he did not win the Senate seat. The democratic holdovers in the upper house elected Douglas. John F. Kennedy became involved in politics after World War II. In 1946 he was elected to the U.S. Congress, representing a district in greater Boston. He was a democrat and served three terms or six years in the House of Representatives. In 1952 Kennedy was elected to the U.S. Senate. In 1953 Kennedy had barely missed being picked as the Democratic Parties candidate for Vice President.
In 1860 Lincoln was elected President and in 1960 Kennedy also was honored with the position of President of the United States. Both Lincoln and Kennedy had Vice Presidents with the last name of Johnson. Kennedy was the youngest man elected to President and the first Catholic. Both Kennedy and Lincoln were second children and they both lost their son while serving as the President. Abraham Lincoln’s secretaries’ name was Kennedy and Kennedy’s secretaries’ name was Lincoln.
Finally we come to the most interesting similarities between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Not only were they both assassinated while in the most honorable and prestigious position in the United States, but there are many similarities within the structure of the assassinations and those involved. First of all, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were both elected for the term in which they were assassinated, and that took place on Nov. 8th, 100 years apart from each other. President Lincoln was assassinated in 1863. On hundred years later in 1963 President Kennedy was also assassinated. Both presidents were shot on a Friday, in the head from behind and both Lincoln and Kennedy’s wives were present at the time of the shooting. John Wiles Booth was the assassignator of Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Booth shot Lincoln in the Ford Theatre, and was found in a warehouse later that evening. The assassignator of John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, shot Kennedy in a Ford Lincoln Continental, from a warehouse, and was found later that day in a theatre. Lincolns’ assassinator was born in 1839 and Kennedy’s was born 100 years later in 1939. Both Booth and Oswald were known by their full names and both were murdered before their trials.
There have been four presidents that have been assassinated. Along with Lincoln and Kennedy, James Garfield and William McKinley were also assassinated as presidents. Lincoln and Kennedy are the two that are the most similar and are missed and talked about the most out of the four. Both men were heroes of their time and both were greatly respected and revered by most of the nation they led. Although Lincoln was born into poor home and Kennedy was born into the political world, they were able to accomplish many great things while they were in office. They were both reelected for another term but were then killed on November 8th exactly one century later. Although these men are dead they are still greatly missed by those that loved them.