A Time For Greatness: The Alternate Presidency of John F. Kennedy and beyond

Oh Ye Gods, if Jackie does miscarry because of the stress due to her husband being severely wounded by a thrice-be-damned racist, segregationist assassin, Jack's really going to be on the warpath :mad: - he'll undoubtably light a raging fire under Congress to get the Civil Rights Act passed immediately, and no doubt sympathetic citizens will vote overwhelmingly to re-elect him to a second term as their president easily... Certainly not the result that Beckwith Jr. was intending!
 
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Oh Ye Gods, if Jackie does miscarry because of the stress due to her husband being severely wounded by a racist assassin, Jack's really going to be on the warpath :mad: - he'll undoubtably light a raging fire under Congress to get the Civil Rights Act passed immediately, and sympathetic citizens will undoubtably vote to re-elect him to a second presidential term easily... Certainly not the result that Beckwith Jr. was intending!
Yep all of this would work in his favor! in real life she lost the baby around August 7th-9th so in this timeline an exact month after the attempted assassination.
 
Maybe in this timeline she also loses the baby because of the attempt on her husband's life?? maybe that also gives a extra push to the Civil Rights bill and also helps him out in the election??
I'm not comfortable with writing such a thing or framing the loss of a child as a benefit.
 
Just got all caught up on this @PickledFish and I have to say this is absolutely fantastic work. I like how you explore a successful JFK with a unique PoD and without sliding into a lot of the Camelot hagiography that tends to color the analysis of a complex, interesting and flawed man forty years on, and you do a really good job incorporating real life figures in creative ways (had never heard of Eugene Ashley Jr before this and that helped “unlock” something ive needed for a TL of my own).

Eagerly following this for future updates!
 
Glad that JFK survived here. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

Does Vice President Symington automatically take over here, or does JFK have to be declared incapable?
 
I'm not comfortable with writing such a thing or framing the loss of a child as a benefit.
oop I didn't mean it in a way as if it was a "benefit" it's sad all around, understable if one isn't comfortable writing about it.

just like how in real life jfk's death really pushed through the civil rights act. It wasn't a "benefit" that he was killed that way but it sadly did help the whole CRA.

but I didn't mean for it come out that way, was just a thought :)
 
oop I didn't mean it in a way as if it was a "benefit" it's sad all around, understable if one isn't comfortable writing about it.

just like how in real life jfk's death really pushed through the civil rights act. It wasn't a "benefit" that he was killed that way but it sadly did help the whole CRA.

but I didn't mean for it come out that way, was just a thought :)
Ah, I understand. No problem!
 
Just got all caught up on this @PickledFish and I have to say this is absolutely fantastic work. I like how you explore a successful JFK with a unique PoD and without sliding into a lot of the Camelot hagiography that tends to color the analysis of a complex, interesting and flawed man forty years on, and you do a really good job incorporating real life figures in creative ways (had never heard of Eugene Ashley Jr before this and that helped “unlock” something ive needed for a TL of my own).

Eagerly following this for future updates!
This is very high praise, thank you so much.
 
Apologies for the delay in the next update. I have been distracted by other things and also planning the long term future for this timeline, as well as some other timelines that I will eventually, hopefully write.
 
The Return New
A plot uncovered
With the full weight of the Justice Department and FBI breathing down their necks, it did not take long before the accomplices of Byron De La Beckwith Jr were arrested and charged.

The perpetrators were two Jackson, Mississippi police officers, and several members of the White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan, including its leader Samuel Bowers.

Bowers would later testify and admit that the idea of assassinating Kennedy had been pitched to him by others, but he had found the idea “insane”.

Still, Beckwith had decided to carry out the plan regardless and, with the help of two sympathetic Jackson police officers, secured a uniform which allowed him to get close enough to the President to make a move.

Overall, the next few weeks would see 24 men indicted for their involvement in the plot to kill President Kennedy. Two thirds would be convicted, with sentences ranging from 8 years in prison for low level conspirators to the death penalty for Byron De La Beckwith Jr.

Samuel Bowers was one of the few who was not charged, but he knew that he and his fellow Klan offshoot organizations were now marked men.

Until now, Bobby Kennedy had been largely known for his hard charging campaign against organized crime and corruption in labor unions – but now, he would surely go after southern white supremacist organizations with all that he had.

They had tried to kill his brother, he would not let them get away with it.
“When I’m done in this office, I hope they’ll call me Klan Killer Kennedy.”

-- An alleged quote by Bobby Kennedy in the days following the attempt on his brother’s life

Bobby Kennedy’s latest crusade had only just begun.


The return
On the 26th of July 1963, John F. Kennedy made his return to the White House.

Determined to show the attempt on his life had not lessened his “vigah”, the President strode confidently out of the Marine One alongside the First Lady, waving to journalists and adoring members of the public. His beaming smile was a comfort to a nation that had been thrown into chaos a few short weeks ago.

The last few weeks of recovery had been difficult, particularly with Kennedy’s complex medical history to consider, but doctors were pleased with the President’s recovery overall.

Still, he would need to take it easy for the next while.

It was moments like these that made him thankful he had picked Stuart Symington to be his Vice President.

Symington had shown unflinching loyalty following the attempt on Kennedy’s life, shepherding the cabinet through difficult times and making sure to consult with Kennedy’s Irish Mafia before making statements or decisions, so as not to give the impression he was trying to usurp power from the President.

Kennedy’s first order of business after reuniting with his family was to host a lunch with the Vice-President to thank him for all he had done. The two men agreed to host regular lunch meetings from then on.

On the 28th of July, Kennedy would make a televised speech from the Oval Office to address the attempt on his life and the need for civil rights legislation:

“Good evening, my fellow Americans.

Tonight, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank those brave men and women in the Secret Service, police, national guard, ambulance, and medical service, to whom I owe my life.

Your bravery, heroism and dedicated service are a credit to this nation, and my family and I will be forever grateful to you.

I would also like to thank those of you, who sent letters and other messages of appreciation to myself and the First Lady.

And to the millions more who prayed and kept us in your thoughts during this time, our deepest appreciation is extended to you as well.

There must be no confusion - those were involved in this recent attack do not represent the good people of Jackson, Mississippi, or the wonderful citizens of the American South.

In my travels through these wonderful states, I have seen the generosity, the kindness, the compassion and the thoughtfulness of these proud Southern men and women.

Those who commit acts of violence under the banner of hatred do not represent these citizens, nor any other moral cohort in these United States. And this government shall not be deterred by any act of terror, foreign or domestic, that seeks to alter the course of the United States.

Thus, let us continue. Let us continue the work of making a more equal society for all Americans. Where all Americans can be free from violence and have an equal start in life.

To do any less would be to admit that acts of brutality and violence are legitimate forms of expression in the civilized world – which they are not.

Let all of us, in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, conduct the work that will build a better world.

And let all citizens come together to end intolerance and the scourge of violence in our times.



Thank you.”

-- An except of Kennedy’s speech to the American public 28th of July, 1963


President Kennedy had made his triumphant return to the White House.

Now, the work of Government began again in earnest.


The Situation in Congress
On August 2nd, 1963, JFK would address a special joint session of Congress, to echo his message of thanks to those who had saved his life, and to lobby for the passage of civil rights legislation and his tax cuts.

The speech was well received, and many liberals and moderates in both parties were prepared to support this agenda.

The Southern Dixiecrats were put in an awkward position given that they had previously engaged in inflammatory rhetoric directed at Kennedy and his civil rights proposals.

Following the news of the motives of the President’s would-be assassin and his co-conspirators, the offices of politicians like Strom Thurmond, Harry F. Byrd, George Wallace, Herman Talmadge, and others were inundated with letters condemning them for creating a culture of hostility in the South that could lead to the President being shot.

Others outside the South, like Barry Goldwater, were also subject to a similar campaign.

The Southern Democrats agreed that they could not support Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act.

However, if they were more willing to support other parts of his agenda relating to tax cuts and the like, this might surely take the heat off them as obstructionist, Kennedy hating rabble rousers.

Thus, discussions around Kennedy’s police proposals – particularly those around taxation, transportation, and care for the disabled – began anew.



Peace in the Atomic Age
On August 5th, 1963, the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) was signed by British Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home, Soviet foreign minister Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko, and US Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

The PTBT was the culmination of years of work by countless diplomats from these respective countries, and forbid the testing of atomic weapons, except underground.

Kennedy called the signing “a landmark agreement that moves us closer to peace in the atomic age, and away from an endless arms race that threatens all of mankind.”

Kennedy’s British and Soviet counterparts were similarly optimistic about the PTBT.

However, not all countries were as supportive.

The People’s Republic of China publicly condemned the Soviet Union, as "freaks and monsters" for making "unconditional concessions and capitulation to the imperialists”.

This was the latest example of the Soviet-Sino split that had formed between the two largest communist nations on Earth.

Under Leonid Brezhnev, relations between the Bear and the Dragon had only seemed to worsen.

As the Soviet Union and the West moved closer to peace, it seemed that the PRC and USSR were moving closer to war.

Kennedy hoped the upcoming Conference for Peace might ease tensions between the two. Though they were both communist nations, if the split became a war, it would be disastrous for every nation on Earth.
 
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It is good JFK survived and his VP had no major crisis during his spot in charge- it will in fact look good on the CV.

Wonder if JFK can defuse the Sino-Soviet split?

The Crusade against the KKK will be an interesting read.
 
Oh hell yeah, Bobby's got a whole new set of targets to go after, and since they tried to kill his brother he's going to go after them with a vengeance :evilsmile: - Methinks he really will become known as "Klan Killer Kennedy" once he's through with the KKK and their kind... couldn't happen to a more-deserving group of bigots!
 
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