The old man, Richard Pavlick, knew his target would be going to Sunday Mass. It was Richard’s intention to crash his car into the target’s car, and then set off his infernal machine, killing them both. Richard was thus ready, just before ten that morning, when the target car edged out of the driveway from 1095. His hand was on the Buick’s ignition key.
But as the car edged onto the street, in the back seat of the limousine, Richard saw a woman with dark hair. It had to be the target’s wife, which meant the target’s two children were probably in the car too. Richard waited. What stopped him at that crucial moment was not the police or the Secret Service, but some shred of sanity floating free in Richard’s mind.
In a nation that seems obsessed with being more partisan today than ever before, the presidential election of 1960 shouts for attention. According to the history books, the election was settled on Tuesday, November 8th. But in fact, the decision dragged out for weeks, with lawsuits in 11 states. On Tuesday, December 11th, 1960, a Federal judge in Texas rejected a Republican lawsuit asking for a recount, and two hours later the state awarded all 27 of its electors to Kennedy. That put Kennedy over the top, and it was not until the next day, December 12th, that the state of Illinois rejected a similar Republican lawsuit, and awarded its 24 electors to Kennedy.
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