No. 41 - THE $25,000 IDEA

No. 41

Sometime back, a lady in another state called me on the telephone regarding something about President Abraham Lincoln and in the course of our conversation she asked this question: "Have you ever heard of the amazing coincidences between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy?" When I confessed that I had not, she offered to send it to me by mail. When it arrived a few days later and I read it, I was literally amazed, which I'm sure is the reason it's called "The Amazing Coincidences." I was most impressed with this article and since it was not copyrighted, I decided to include it in my book, You Can Be The Best, which is a collection of the best stories and ideas I've run across in the past 25 years. Sometime back I even thought about sharing this with you in this column, but had decided that most people had already seen it and had pretty well written it off. However, Mr. Herman Brown, editor of the Okmulgee Daily Times in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, has changed my mind. He said, "I know most people have not seen this article and I'm sure they would like to." Well, Herman, for what it's worth, here are the "Amazing Coincidences" between former presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
Lincoln was elected in 1860, Kennedy was elected in 1960, exactly one hundred years apart. There are seven letters in each name. Both presidents were slain on Friday; both men were slain in the presence of their wives. Both presidents wives lost children through death while in the White House. Both were directly concerned with civil rights. Both presidents had legality of elections contested. Kennedy's secretary's name was Lincoln, who warned him not to go to Dallas; Lincoln's secretary's name was Kennedy, who warned him not to go to the theater. Both of their successor's names were Johnson: Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Johnson. Each name contains thirteen letters; both men served in the U.S. Senate; both were southern democrats. Andrew Johnson was born in 1808, Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908. Booth and Oswald were both Southerners favoring unpopular ideas. Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and hid in a theater; Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and hid in a warehouse. Both presidents were shot from behind and in the head. Booth and Oswald were both assassinated before going on trial. They were both born 100 years apart and each name, Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth, has 15 letters.
Well, that's the end of it, but even more importantly, what do you think about it? I'll confess that I don't know what to make of it. For me, it's highly unusual and even a little spooky. Here, I'm reminded of the words of Satchel Paige, who pitched baseball in the major leagues until he was over 50 years of age. He said, "Don't look back, something may be gaining on you." Personally, I'm grateful that we live in a world of order and the odds or chances that something like this would ever occur again have to be very remote.
As I bring my thoughts to a close in this column, I would like to say that I hope you are enjoying the various topics, ideas and concepts that I've been sharing with you. While today's column has been the exception, as a general rule, I try to be conscious of what I'm saying and present my ideas from a positive point of view. This is not to say that I'm not aware of the serious problems we have in our nation today.
In fact, the first five stories on our local television newscast the other evening had to do with murder. While tragic as this is, we can thank God for the fact that murder is still news. If it ever becomes so commonplace that it is not reported, we as a nation, will be worse off than we are. What we should never forget is that there are still millions of good people and that we have tremendous opportunities in this country. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)