Congratulations, Mr. Bush

Now that the conservative wing of the Supreme Court has clearly demonstrated it cares not a whit for the voting rights of African Americans, it’s virtually certain that George W. Bush will be our forty-third President. How we ever got to this miserable nadir, I can’t say.What’s on my mind right now is the frightful statistic sometimes referred to as “The Zero Factor.” Since 1840, every President elected to a term in an election year ending with the number zero has died while in office. The only exception is Ronald Reagan, who just barely survived an assassination attempt.

  • 1840: William Henry Harrison
    Caught pneumonia after giving the longest inauguration speech in history while standing outside in the bitter cold of January 1841. Passed away a month later.
  • 1860: Abraham Lincoln
    Assassinated by John Wilkes Boothe at Ford’s Theater in 1865.
  • 1880: James Garfield
    Fatally wounded in an assassination attempt by Charles Guiteau in July 1881, but suffered for eleven weeks before passing away.
  • 1900: William McKinley
    Assassinated in 1901 by Leon Czolgosz.
  • 1920: Warren Harding
    Died under mysterious circumstances in 1921. No autopsy of the body was allowed.
  • 1940: Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945.
  • 1960: John F. Kennedy
    Assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.
  • 1980: Ronald Reagan
    Survived an assassination attempt two months after his inauguration by John Hinckley Jr. The exception that might prove the rule.