10 Secret Presidential Accidents – #2 Find Out Who Was Accident Prone
We’ve lost eight sitting presidents to either illness or bullets. Not one of them died because of an accident. But here are 10 close calls.
10 – Lyndon Johnson Was Nearly Shot By A Secret Service Agent
November 22, 1963 was a dark day in American history. Just 30 minutes after the noon hour on a short Dallas road with the unpretentious name of Elm Street, President John Kennedy was shot and killed in the back of his limo. On JFKs elite Secret Service detail was four-year veteran special agent Gerald Blaine. Fifty years later, what Blaine remembered about that day was how suddenly the detail had to change their focus from the Kennedy family to that of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson. They had no time to feel anger, guilt, or grief.
That night, Johnson returned to Washington and stayed at his estate, The Elms. Blaine had the night shift, and he was standing a lonely watch outside on the grounds. We were still emotionally in shock over the assassination, hed later say. It had been well over 40 hours since we slept. We didnt know if it was a conspiracyor what to expect.
At 2:15 AM, Blaine heard footsteps in the darkness. The agent unslung his Thompson submachine gun, nestled it against his shoulder, and pulled the bolt back. Blaine hoped the sound of the bolt would give the intruder pause. But the steps kept coming, and a moment later, a dark figure came around the corner of the mansion. Blaine pointed the gun at the figures chest and was about to pull the trigger when he recognized the new president.
I swear he turned white, Blaine said. He had just walked out for a breath of air! He hadnt told anyone. When Kennedy left the house, he would notify the command post. He added: [Johnson] struggled to regain composure as the reality of what happened washed over him. Fourteen hours after losing a president, the nation had been chillingly close to losing another one.
The president turned around without saying a word. He never spoke of the incident. I had nightmares, Blaine said. I had nightmares for years.