Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

Post 1
Post 1: Prologue-to-Chapter 1

Hi! This is my first TL, and I hope you all like it. I'm starting it today since today is the Colonel's birthday, and I'm planning on posting a chapter every Thursday or so starting next week. Questions and comments welcomed. Enjoy!

Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders TL


(Originally titled “President Sanders (Relax! This Isn’t Current Politics!): A KFC TL”)

By gap80
(With a giant credit of thanks to Gentleman Biaggi)

Prologue: A Brief Flash-Forward

"It always seems impossible until it is done"

– Nelson Mandela

“Consarn it! How many did we lose?”

“A lot.”

“Yes, but how many?”

“Dozens on our sides, over a thousand on their side at the least.”

"Oh, Dang-blast it,” Father’s face as turning red with rage.

“It’s a tactical victory, sir,” William commented.

Father was quick to reply, “Over a thousand, Bill! Have you forgotten what I said already?” Father groaned in frustration and returned to his spot on the couch, the situation weighing down on him like a flour sack on a runt mule. He folded his hands atop his cane as he mulled over his thoughts, venting the anger out through his nostrils until his breathing was calmer. Then he sighed to himself “Lord forgive me” before asking, “Any word on where Henry is?”

“Still waiting for a reply from his office, sir.”

Father sunk a bit in his seat. To me, he had a look that for most of his life he had rarely ever worn, but was wearing the look more and more often every day, it seemed. He looked like he was lost for what to do next.

I took a seat beside him, “Don’t worry, Pop. We’ll figure this out.”

Father turned to me with concern swimming in his eyes, “Do you remember when you had your tonsils removed, son?”

“Vaguely,” I answered, “I remember only being awake for half of the time that I should have been.”

“You got very sick. An infection, I think. I don’t know if it was somehow some common mistake or if the doctor was an idiot and he made a mistake. Maybe he didn’t wash his hands, maybe he wasn’t as careful as he should have been. But I remember how sick you got, I remember your fever, and the color leaving your face. For days you were bedridden and in and out of consciousness. I’ve been through a lot of things in my life, and that was the most terrifying of them, both then and even now. I was so frightened that I would lose you, my son. I tongue-lashed that doctor somethin’ fierce over it, I was so angry and frightened.” He rubbed his brow with his hand, “But all the shoutin' in the world couldn't keep me from feeling so…useless. I didn’t know what to do to help you. I kept thinking, ‘Oh Lord, why can’t I do anything? I can’t save my son.’ All I could do was pray. But then, by some chance, by some miracle, you recovered [1]. As simple as that, your color returned to your face and the illness left.”

“Maybe your anger scared the doc into workin’ better to save me,” I suggested.

“Maybe,” Father replied, “but that’s the thing. We can never know if something will work or make something happen until after the thing has happened. We tried this approach here, and it hasn’t worked. In my opinion, the situation is now worse. They could now be even more reluctant to sit down with us…one thousand, my god…”

After a brief moment of thought, I commented, “we fought fire with fire, but it wasn’t the right fire.” My eye wandered over to the picture of George Washington hanging on the wall nearby, and I commented, “You know, you remind me a lot of him, Father. He swore like a madman and still found glory in the darkest of times through sheer resilience. Crossing the Delaware in the frigid cold and all that.”

Father suddenly lifted in head in revelation, “By gummit, that’s it!”

“What is?”

“Junior, how’d we win the Revolutionary War? By standing in orderly lines? No, that’s what the British did and they lost! Gentlemen!” He now turned his attention to his other advisers, huddled around at the main table.

“Yes sir!” they all barked.

“We have to try a more effective approach. We tried to go in there with our most advanced tools and this was the response,” holding up one of the photos. “No, no, we have to be more clandestine. Gentlemen, I think we need to seriously organize an 'un-criticize-able' response to this mess. We need to tweak our traditional approaches. But not only that! There’s also something else on my mind.”

“You got some ideas, Pop?” I asked curiously, a small grin forming on my face.

“Oh, just wait, Junior,” Father chuckled, “Like my chicken before it’s fried, we ain’t licked yet!”

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

[1] The POD:


But what exactly is this "mess" that the Colonel is referring to?
...You'll find out eventually... :biggrin:
NHBL said:
This could be interesting....subscribed
I hope it will be interesting...thanks!
OldNavy1988 said:
Will the Colonel run against John Y Brown or Happy Chandler?
I'm not going to spoil my own TL, but I will tell you that he will meet and interact with both of them
Gentleman Biaggi said:

I literally only told him what day to post on
Indeed I did!

You also helped with choosing the title, the title card, with ironing out the details of the POD and with planning out key plot points! Don't sell yourself short; you were a big help! Thank you! :)
Emperor Norton I said:
Will Harland Sanders promote himself from Colonel to Generalissimo Sanders?

Lol, maybe... :p
Roberto El Rey said:
Very much watched. One thing I do have to ask, will Sanders be racist in this timeline? I was actually pondering this question last week and my (admittedly not too in-depth) research didn't seem to turn any evidence that he was racist. Well, other than the fact that George Wallace considered him as a running mate, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence that Sanders himself was enthralled by the idea of running with Wallace.
There's no evidence suggesting he was racist that I could find. In fact, I found more to suggest that he was pretty progressive and forward-thinking for his time (which I'll cover in more detail in upcoming chapters). IMO, Wallace likely offered it to him not due to racial views but more likely because of The Colonel's fame, businesses success, being a known Republican (so the ticket would have been more bipartisan in nature had it unfolded that way I guess) and most likely because of his OTL comments regarding protestors and J. Edgar Hoover, which will also be covered in an upcoming chapter as well.

Thanks for all the comments and positive feedback, everyone! I really appreciate it!

5/2/2021 EDIT: Also, here’s a link to a photos thread for this TL, created on 3/1/2021 by @PNWKing:

Chapter 1: December 1950 – April 1955

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”

– Mark Twain

I really do not think that I will ever forget how fateful the day before my 1950 recommissioning was. Early that December morning, Junior, who was staying over with us at the time, reminded me in the morning that I had to go to the bank to check out my taxes so I could avoid the chaos I had gone through earlier in the year in April. I came back about an hour or two later with what must have been a very pale complexion, because when I walked in, Claudia bolted to fetch me some water.

“What’s wrong?” I remember her asking as she handed me a cup.

“I’ve realized something,” was my response. See, I had made a very startling discovery at that bank, and had to talk to the bank teller and one of the men from one of the side rooms to confirm it. “As it turns out, if we lost all of this,” I stretched out my arm as I stood up to go to the window overlooking our mighty Sanders Court and Café, “this restaurant and everything, we’d be penniless.”

At the bank, they were touting the ending of Social Security’s 1-percent payroll tax on the first $3,000 of annual earnings. They were spouting all of this financial hoo-haw about the program’s many new new benefits (an increase of 77%, apparently). About how the program’s benefit payments were under 1 percent of the nation’s GDP but rising (and I had no idea what that meant at the time), and how only 1 in 50 Americans actually received Social Security [1]. New parts for Social Security created by President Truman back in August of that same year were expected to make it so 9 or 10 million more workers were getting covered by the program [2]. But the number of people in the workforce over 64 was dropping, and the program was acting accordingly [3]. Curious, I asked what this all meant to me; “How much would I make if I retired today?” After several minutes to doing their math, I was shocked by the numbers. “If we didn’t have the restaurant, we’d have to live off of a monthly Social Security check of merely 92 dollars and 81 cents [4]!

I could not live off that, nor could my Claudia. My wife did not deserve to scrimp, nor did she like to. All my early life I had been dirt-poor, and after finally becoming comfortable, I was not willing to give up any of it. It would be like it had all been for nothing, to revert back to those conditions. I couldn’t allow it!

But those numbers frightened me, and I was anxious to do something about them, “I’m thinking of expanding our business, but I’m not sure how.”

“You’re worried about a silly hypothetical, Harland!” I remember my wife telling me.

I disagreed, “I just want to know that we aren’t keeping all of our eggs in one basket with this place.”

I would have kept talking on about it if the whole thing hadn’t taken up so much time at the bank. And Claudia and I had to get ready for the recommissioning. On the drive up, I figured, while we were there, I might as well ask my ol’ friend Wetherby [5] about it.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

Now I can’t remember exactly when I befriended the Colonel, but I do recall being on a first-name basis with him by the time I became Governor. Of course, even before then, he was fairly well known across the state – at least in restaurant circles – for his café in Corbin. He had been for many years by then. But, uh, still, I like to think that I somehow contributed to his rise to greater fame in some small way at the beginning of it all.

– Former Governor Lawrence Wetherby (D-KY) in CBS Interview, 1965

“Thank you all for showing up to this here commissioning. Actually, I should say re-commissioning. See, I was originally commissioned in 1935 by Governor Ruby Laffoon for the same reason as now – my menu over at my gas station and restaurant, which is now a motel, too. I hope you’ve all been to it, by the way! But anyway, in the years since that time I seemed to have misplaced the official commission document, so I asked my good friend here, Governor Wetherby, to recommission it for me. So now, I guess this makes me a Colonel twice over!” After this brief speech I mingled with the people gathered around for the event. But really, I wanted to talk to Wetherby. I tried and failed to pry him away from several chatterers until I finally cornered him at the small buffet table over to the side of the room. Quickly, I told him about my financial fear, that I had nothing to fall back on without the restaurant. “I need a safety net of sorts.”

“What about your family, Harland? Doesn’t your wife work with you in the restaurant business?”

“No,” I explained, “Claudia used to run the restaurant when I worked at that federal government cafeteria down in Tennessee during World War Two [6]. But I don’t want her to have to keep on workin’ now that we’re older – and I don’t want her to be laborin’ on after I’m gone. She deserves to enjoy her autumn years. Besides, I learned long ago to not mix business with pleasure, on account of that’s how I lost my first wife.”

Wetherby didn’t seem to hear that last bit over his disapproving of the buffet’s repulsive-looking salad, but he continued on, “I thought you had children, Harland. Any of them in the cookin’ business?”

I shook my head. “My daughters are too busy with their own lives. My oldest, she’d rather work with clay than with cookery [7]. My youngest, she’s keen on helping, sure, but she’s raising a family of her own right now. I don’t trust either of their husbands, to tell you the truth. And my two stepchildren ain’t interested in cookin’ at all.”

“Oh, I get that, uh, the son-in-law…part” Wetherby said while picking up a crumbly donut, wincing at it for a second, and quickly putting it back. “But what about your son, Junior? I just saw him the other day; he seems to be doing better.”

I thought for a moment, “Oh, Junior’s got enough of his own problems. His back’s still out of commission from Utah Beach. So is his busted leg from the last fire he fought. And his wife just left him, so, really, he’s struggling...” I thought back to all his misfortunes and sacrifices, “You know, Junior gave up college to hold down a job during the Depression, but he’s finally going now. He started this semester and, uh…” At this moment I noticed Wetherby’s eyes focusing on some sort of slimy-looking sandwich. “Lawrence, that there turkey troublin’ you?”

“Hm? Oh, I’m sorry, Harland. It’s just that, well, look at all this! I wouldn’t serve any of this to my huntin’ dogs! Who catered this event?” At this point I think I saw an idea light up Wetherby’s face, as he said, “Say! You know, Harland, if you’re looking to make some more money, and if you’re interested, you could expand into catering!”

I thought for a second and replied with “It’s not a bad idea, but where would I start?”

Wetherby answered, “Well, we’re having a state Democrats event back here in two weeks, maybe you could provide the eats. Here,” pulling out a pen and one of his business cards, and began scribbling on the back, “Ask for my secretary. You’ve met her. I’ll tell her to expect your call and you can set up the specifics with her.” He slipped the card into my hand and tucked the pen away right before another guest walked over. As the two of them departed, I took a look at the card and wondered what the job could lead to.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

The job was catering a government event in Frankfort, the state capitol a fair drive north of our Corbin home. I remember there were two events, one in the morning and one in the evening, but I don’t recall what they were for. Some political hogwash, I suppose. Regardless, for the morning event, we set up a spread of food carefully driven up from our restaurant: delectable honey biscuits, wheat cakes, and various light sandwiches. And for the later event, which I remember attending as it had something to do with business development or something like that, we served pork chops with home fried potatoes, honey-glazed ham, ham biscuits, and, of course, my husband’s famous delicious chicken. Harland and I also made several pies ranging from the pudding-like spoonbread to the classic pecan.

And the catering gig was highly successful – oh, the attendees left nothing on their plates! One portly patron exclaimed, “You fellas sure know how to cook!” while piling chicken pieces onto his plate! A large crowd formed around the table near the end as the folks tried to take as much home as they could, each person practically salivating over our creations. At one point, as I served the gentleman from before his second slice of pecan pie, a young attendee remarked, “This food is fantastic! You should do catering more often, Sanders.” And Harland replied, with a bold and somewhat distant tone, “Actually, I have a different idea.” Turning to me, he added, “Claudia, if this chicken can catch on over here, why not elsewhere, too?!”

– Claudia Price Sanders, TNB (Trinity National Broadcasting) interview, 1979

A 1946 Ford can hold a lot in its trunk – in this case, it held a custom-modified boiler, a rack of spices, some cake flour and oil, and an icebox filled with several cuts of chicken, with room to spare! My car had seen many roads with me already, but it still had a long ways to go before retiring to the junk-heap.

“Be careful, Pop, and remember to let Ma drive whenever you get tired” I remember Junior telling me as Claudia and I hopped in. For the first few weeks it would be just the two of us together travelling Kentucky’s roads.

“Well don’t none of you all bury the business while we’re gone!” I joked before assuring him I heard him, and knew that he and Millie could keep the place from burning to the ground for a few days or so. We then said our farewells and headed north, first to London and East Bernstadt.

At each stop I would give a sales pitch – I would just show up, almost always unannounced, and after a quick inspection, I would make my chicken for the owners or chef, right then and there. If they liked it, we would enter a simple handshake agreement, that they would give me 4 cents for every piece of my chicken they sold. It was the chicken-making process that would coax them – as stated before, I first discovered in the early 1940s that cooking chicken in a pressure cooker tweaked into being a pressure fryer was much quicker than iron frying the birds, and made them taste much better than them deep-fried birds. It seemed nobody else had caught on to that yet, which was more than fortunate for me!

The idea to franchise my flagship food – my specially-pressured chicken – came to me at the catering event. The second government meeting was a discussion on local gas stations and the oil companies, harkening me back to my younger days, back to when I first started running a service station in Nicholasville, after meeting the general manager of Standard Oil of Kentucky by chance in 1924 [6]. Gas was the first industry to widely use the franchising form of business, getting already-established stations to sell engine-runner for them. I’d seen it in action and I knew how well it worked. And I was confident that franchising chicken to already-established eateries could work well, too, assuring us financial security for our twilight years.

Our travels during the early years of KFC were unforgettable, even with the trouble I have nowadays of remembering some parts. But I do remember the important parts. We stayed largely inside the state over tax concerns – it was just easier that way. Right before starting our venture, Wetherby convinced us it would increase revenue for the state if word of mouth of “Kentucky’s unique and wonderful chicken” spilled past state lines. Ol’ Lawrence also hoped that, even in some small way, it might even slow down the number of Kentucky residents moving out of state in then-recent years [8].

Originally, I never travelled too far with Claudia, but with Junior keeping an interest in the goings-on at the restaurant (“just until the right job for me shows up,” he kept telling me) while also taking college courses, I found myself trusting him more and more with the Court and Cafe's day-to-day operations. That trust allowed me to do more traveling with Claudia, in turn allowed the two of us to visit more places. The roads to the coal-mining towns of the state did a number on the Ford; Claudia loved the rolling hills found in the north of the state, though, so we traveled down those smoother roads a bit more often.

Now, selling the chicken didn’t start off as well as I hoped it would. My proposal was rejected many times, often because the pressure fryer seemed too dangerous or high-maintenance – both, understandable complaints that would later hound me like huntin’ dogs on a jackrabbit – but many other times, the proprietors just didn’t understand why I would take a handshake instead of signing on some paper. But I did business with an old fashioned handshake because of what it represented. To me, it was all about trust – if I was a man of my word, so would they be. You’d be surprised by how long a ways honesty and decency can go. At least when it comes to chicken.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

In the early days my mind was elsewhere. The pain and discomfort from the burn wounds. Wherever on Earth my ex-wife was. What my next job would be. When I was going to pay back all these loans. Because of all of this, I approached Millie and tried to convince her to get more involved at the Court and Café. To sort of help me carry the weight. I knew she’s say yes, because Millie Sanders always likes a challenge. When Father returned from his first round of what was to be many trips around the state to check on how we were minding the store, he was noticeably impressed with Millie’s handling of some things. I remember asking him about his trip. “No biters,” he admitted, “But we’ll try again starting after Sunday.”

Millie ended up proving herself helpful in areas outside the restaurant, too. That next week, Millie helped me with organizing tax documents and coordinating workers during the café’s heavy lunch hour. Impressed further by this, Father asked her “You sure you aren’t going to, uh, burn out, Millie? Maybe you should take it easy.”

Her rebuttal was bold and clear, but with a smile: “I’m still raising three kids, Pop. Motherhood is a crash course in organizing, where keeping things in check and in line, and testing your resolve in the face of stress and pressure is a daily requirement. Trust me, Pops, I can handle this.”

Enjoying seeing his children having such determination, Father grinned with pride from ear to ear and chuckled. “You sure can, Mildred!”

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

It is often said that Harland’s chicken was rejected 1,009 times before it was first accepted [9]. Let me finally put that ridiculous rumor to rest – it was not 1,009 times, but somewhere between six-hundred- or seven-hundred-and-nine times, I’d say.

…Oh, we went everywhere – across the whole state, from the plains to the mountains, from the high-class restaurants in the cities to the humble diners in the country. We visited potential buyers in Richmond, Morehead, Campbellsville, Hodgenville, the peculiarly-named towns of Burning Springs and Hazard, and even the city of Lexington, all without success. But Harland wasn’t desperate. Once, we stopped over at some greasy spoon somewhere later than planned, as they were closed up for the night when we got there. Still curious, Harlan went around back while I waited in the car. A minute later, I saw Harland darting back to the car, and immediately told me how through the back window he could see how filthy their kitchen was; “no chicken deserves to be served here!” he declared.

…With each failure, Harland tweaked his sales pitch. He practiced the swiftness of his moves and his preparedness. He enhanced his style and persona by presenting himself as a wise old gentleman and calling himself “Colonel,” a title he embraced after the second commissioning. He was becoming more professional with each passing rejection until finally we reached that six-hundred- or seven-hundred-and-ninth spot, a family-run diner in outside of Danville, near the very heart of the state. That family is rich now, and they still frequently comment with a grin how sorry the six-hundred- or seven-hundred-and-eight people before them must have felt about rejecting Harland’s offer once KFC caught on! I mean, many of them later became franchisees once the chicken increased in popularity, yes, but it was still good for a laugh.

– Claudia Price Sanders, TNB (Trinity National Broadcasting) interview, 1979

It was now the beginning of the summer of 1951, and I was travelling across the rugged hills of the Cumberland Plateau, along the same roads that once made up the old Dixie Highway, and would soon be made up into I-75. When traveling alone, I would sleep in the car, sometimes with the windows down, as these were back in the day when petty crime was not a concern like nowadays, at least not in those parts of Kentucky. For food, I’d subsist on the chicken made during the demos to cut down on expenses as much as possible. I was roughing it, but never doubting my goal – to create a security blanket for Claudia and I’s retirement.

…It had been a long time of trying, but my chicken was slowly becoming a hit around the state. Leave it to good ol’-fashioned Kentucky word-of-mouth to make it so, before too long, potential franchisees knew exactly who I was the moment I told them my name!

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

After months of living on the road, Father took a short break from driving to do some running. The 1951 campaign for state senate was set for August 4, and he figured that if the chicken franchising idea didn’t work, perhaps a brief career in the state legislature would help him better understand how to better ensure his family’s savings long-term. On election night, the margin was incredibly narrow, but Father was not the victor. He threw it up to him not campaigning enough for it. In retrospect, though, that failure was a blessing in disguise. It kept his intermittent interest in politics alive. It wasn’t his first run for office [10] and I could tell he didn’t want it to be his last. The narrow loss gave him the courage to be active in politics again if a time came for it later, because he believed that if he ever ran again, he’d know from this experience how to run better. That if he ever ran again, he would win.

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000


[ imgur: SK1kvoU ]
– Sanders political campaign poster, 8/4/1951

On November 26, 1951, father was in his den, going over his plans for traveling through the state during the winter, deciding to focus on the less mountainous parts until the spring thaw set in, when the phone rang. We both ran to it, but he was quicker. He then regretted answering when he heard it was my mother. But then his face went from showing annoyance to sadness.

“What’s wrong, Pop” I asked.

“Your Uncle Joe, um, he died yesterday [11].”

“Oh, no.”

Father returned to the phone receiver, “Yeah, uh-huh. Yeah, 59, that’s awful, I kind of liked him…” Then the two then started arguing. After several minutes of exchanging insults, retorts, and rebuttals, Pop got one insult too many, and slammed the phone down in a huff.

I remember their divorce was shocking to me and my sisters, while both of our parents seemed resigned and accepting of it all. Years of conflict, tension and resentment had nearly exploded like a mishandled pressure fryer, but the two had managed to keep the divorce proceedings mostly civil for our sakes. It possibly was their way of making up for not being so civil during the preceding years.

Pops was always restless while Mom was most comfortable nestled into one spot, so maybe it was meant to happen. The two of them may have just been too different from one other. I remember them fighting often when we were younger. One of their biggest fights occurred during my near-fatal tonsils operation in 1932. The two of them responded to death differently. "Maybe that was the start of this fight, too," I remember thinking when they told us that they were divorcing. But despite all of what had split them up, a small piece of what brought them together still remained: after father finally slammed the phone down, he paused for a few moments to see if Mother would re-dial.

Pop saw I was still there, and I guess he figured he should say something. “You know, I didn’t really know your mother when we married. We were both two youngin's that just went to the same movie-house. We were, well, we were kids, and before we really understood what we were getting ourselves into, we were married kids. Then we were married with kids before we really even knew what hit us!” [12]

“Millie recently told me that Ma once said that she never wanted any children,” I decided to just cut to the chase concerning the thought buzzing around my head like a horsefly on a donkey butt for the past few days.

“Only at the beginning!” Father defended Mother. “After we got married, she told me only then that she didn’t want to be overwhelmed by maternal obligations. But, she thought that resolve alone could stop nature. Margaret was born just 40 weeks after our wedding night, y’know!” [12] He chuckled, “But you know what? I’ve never regretted our marriage, because it gave us you and your sisters. Never forget, son, a mistake can always be a blessing in disguise if you respond to it in the right way.”

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

Kentucky Fried Chicken was built on the efforts of one old man tirelessly driving around to back-road diners nearly as decrepit as himself. He would get himself booked onto local TV shows in order to promote the opening of some new franchise, and he would…hand drumsticks out to members of the audience. He was a natural performer and began filling his everyday speech with the backwoods slang he’d been at pains to shed when he thought the insurance world [in which he once worked] didn’t approve of it [13]. But the Colonel was moving up from his insurance days of the 1920s. By 1952, Sanders’ chicken was becoming a common weekend dish for many Kentuckians. However, the Colonel would push outside of Kentucky’s borders after seeing the quick success of his chicken in Utah…

– Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

I first met Pete Harman and his lovely wife Arline at a convention that the National Restaurant Association held in Chicago, Illinois in 1951. It was one of the few non-KFC-related trips that Claudia and I had made that year, and I'm glad we did. Pete and I found we got along fine over our shared disapproval of the vice of alcohol. ...On August 3, 1952, Claudia and I were driving to California to catch a plane for a Christian retreat in Australia, where I hoped I would finally cut out my constant swearing [14][15]. The retreat didn't work, but it didn't hurt to try. Which brings me to my next point - that when were passing through Utah on our way to California, I figured, well, “why not give franchising out here a try?” I approved of Pete's work ethic. I liked the man’s establishment – a fancy hamburger stand called the Do Drop Inn – and I liked the cut of the jib of the humble Utahan who ran it. It was the farthest place from Kentucky at which my chicken had ever been sold at the time. But as it turned out, working with Harman proved to be a crucial catalyst for KFC.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

This stocky man with a shock of white hair and peculiar greying goatee graciously came around back with a business proposition. It took me a moment to remember him, it but the recognition clicked as soon as he referred to himself as “Colonel Sanders," and I was elated to re-make his acquaintance.

"Say, how about you let us treat you and the misses to dinner tonight?" I remember asking him. "We can go to the Log Haven restaurant over in Millcreek Canyon, and you can see our Wasatch mountains - they're a real sight to behold."

"I've got an even sight for ya, Pete," The Colonel replied, "The thing that'll give ya a long line of eager and happy customers spillin' in through those doors over there."

He offered to franchise to me a product that he was calling “Colonel Fried Chicken.” As the Colonel started the pressure fryer, he explained that Bertha was his nickname for his first pressure cooker. The Colonel added pressure relief valves to Bertha and then spent years experimenting with various marinades, oils, temperatures and the like; “I guess you could can me a scientist or an engineer for that,” he said, “I got a patent for the design so at least I can be called an inventor [16].” He then pulled out an opaque packet, some flour, and the chicken. I carefully studied his device and how quickly he prepped the birds, eager to impress a business colleague and potential business partner. “Now here’s the part that puts my chicken above the rest,” he explained as he grabbed the packet, “a mixture of eleven spices and herbs that I perfected way back in 1939 [17]. If you don’t mind, I’d like to keep it a trade secret, you understand.”

He surprised me with how quickly the chicken was cooked, and I remember being wowed upon my first bite of his heavenly crunchy chicken. I decided to give it all a try, and I am so glad I did. Because in just a few months, we really did have long lines of customers, each one waiting for and looking forward to their turn to order. Cars lined up and down the street many-a-time. And sales at the Do Drop Inn tripled in the first year, with 75% of that increase stemming from the selling of the Colonel’s Chicken [18]!

Soon I began maintaining regular contact with the Colonel, first as a business partner, but soon enough as a friend. A major idea that I – well, a sign painter of mine named Don Anderson [19] – contributed to his creation was the name, by switching the Colonel for Kentucky, since southern cuisine in Utah was a rarity back then. It gave it an exotic aura of sorts that caught local attention better. Soon enough, sales of the chicken were so successful that I had a huge sign erected over my diner saying “Kentucky Fried Chicken!”

– Pete Harman, 60 Minutes interview, early 1992

As the traveling and franchising continued, I found myself more and more taking a liking to being called Colonel and being treated like the Southerly Gentleman type, so I decided to change my look to better match the man I wanted to be. I started wearing a string tie and a sharp black suit, and I started using a fancy cane like the man on the monopoly board game. I also decided I wanted make myself look older and wiser, so I dyed by spotted grey beard and moustache to match the snow already on my head.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974


[ imgur: wpB3hY3 ]
– Sanders and Harman, c. early 1952

At first I didn’t think he was serious about wearing the old-timey outfit all hours of the day, but he started wearing the getup every time we were in public, whenever we went to family events and activities, and even at places when someone, anyone, could have just decided to drop on by. But I never thought he was silly. In fact, I thought he looked handsome and dignified. I even started to wear a matching ante-bellum dress when joining him on trips around the state, in order to complete the look.

– Claudia Price Sanders and interviewer, TNB (Trinity National Broadcasting) interview, 1979


[pic: ]

– Sander's business card, c. mid-1952

A lot of people don’t know this, but I was the one that convinced him to switch from a black suit to a white one.

And why did you do that?

Because whenever he’d make the chicken, flour stains would end up on his coat! White cotton clothing breathes in a kitchen and can hide such stains much easier, too. Harland embraced the look; he took to it like a duck taking to water. By early 1952, he was using two kinds of the outfit: a heavy wool white suit in winter and a light cotton white suit in the summer.

Yes, many of the Colonel’s aides have said that they never saw him wear anything other than his iconic outfit.

Oh, that sounds about right. Even after stepping out of the bath, all the bathroom towels were either white or white with black details! By, I’d say, the Summer of 1952, the iconic ‘colonel’ image we all remember him by today was present and staying.

– Claudia Price Sanders and interviewer, TNB (Trinity National Broadcasting) interview, 1979

By the end of 1952, Father had fully transitioned from being “Harland” into being “The Colonel.”

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997


[ imgur: IKIkwya ]
– Colonel Sanders on the road, c. late 1952 (photo likely taken by Claudia)


By Harold H. Harris and Richard J. Roth

Dwight D. Eisenhower has scored a smashing victory tonight, being elected the 33rd President of the United States and ending the 20-years Democratic control of the White House. The former General defeated Democratic nominee Adlai E. Stevenson by a popular vote and electoral college margin that even his most enthusiastic supporters had not dared to predict. Cracking the "Solid South" for the first Republican triumphs below the Mason-Dixon Line since 1921, Eisenhower won or was leading in 38 states with a total electoral vote of 431. ...The popular vote - currently incomplete - was Eisenhower in first place with 28,434,963 votes and Stevenson in second place with 22,871,179 votes. Never before in American history has a candidate received so many votes for the Presidency, and never before have as many persons journeyed to the polls to cast their ballots. The previous individual record vote was 27,476,673 set by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936. Four years later, 49,901,835 Americans went to the polls in the Roosevelt-Willkie election, and in doing so established the previous total voting record. ...Whether Eisenhower's tremendous landslide swept a Republican-controlled Congress into office is still in doubt as late returns continue to trickle in. At the time of this publication, the G.O.P. was leading, but only by five seats, in the fight to wrest control of the House from the Democrats. Republicans had won 199 House seats and were leading in contests for 24 others for an indicated total of 223, five more than the 218-seat majority...

– The Brooklyn Eagle, 11/5/1952 [20]

“I remember when KFC outlets started poppin’ up in our corner of Kentucky. It was in, I want to say, 1953 or so, and we’re in Appalachia territory, see, very mountainous, so if you’re driving around up there or opening up a store up there, you have to know what you’re. You have to know the area. And the Colonel knew how to work around the place. He was a mountainous type himself, though you wouldn’t be able to tell from just lookin’ at ’im.”

So can you tell us what your first experience eating KFC was like?

“It was good! It was actually at this one restaurant at Wheelwright Junction, right off of Route 122, not too far from the Cardinal Country Store. Part of some kind of tie-in offer. I thought the stuff was delicious. And because it was convenient to get good chicken so easily, I remember going back there to get some KFC every Sunday for dinner, time and time again.”

– Mary Woodson, former resident of Pikeville, KY, 1991 interview

As the enterprise grew, Harland continued to run the company’s business specifics concerning travelling and selling to new franchisees both on the road and in Corbin, while the children and I would mix and ship the spices to the growing list of restaurants, even running to the train station to see the shipments off on midnight deliveries every now and again. Soon enough, we had to expand our number of employees to beyond just family.

– Claudia Price Sanders, TNB (Trinity National Broadcasting) interview, 1979

Throughout the year 1953, Sanders began to expand his franchise locations to places outside of Kentucky, emboldened by praise from his chicken, especially from Harland Junior (or Harley, as he began to be called a different name at around this time as well! Apparently, according to a 1963 interview, the "label change" had something to do with there being another person named "Junior" in one of his college classes, but Harley quickly grew fond of the new nickname and it simply stuck).

Contemporary reviews in various forms of literature – food magazines, travel guides, and cuisine booklets – commended the quality of the Colonel’s chicken and gravy, along with more items such as Colonel Biscuits (honey biscuits made with zesty spices and healthy herbs, a creation of Harley and Claudia's design and work) as the year progressed. At the same time, local and regional worker unions praised Sanders for his choice in workplaces, albeit were sure to also comment on the occasional accusation of the Colonel having “a mean temper when provoked.” However, these accusations, at least at the time, were dismissed by most as slander from competitors wishing to replicate the Colonel’s successful introduction of chicken into the fast-food industry.

– Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

I worked at one of The Colonel’s first South Carolina franchises for over ten years, beginning in 1953. Down there it’s nearly impossible for someone like me to get a job working at a white man’s diner, but The Colonel never struck deals with them hatin’ types. Sanders cared more if you were a good worker than if you were a black worker or a white worker. You know, that’s why I hate it when I hear rumors that The Colonel was a racist because that is a lie through and through. I met The Colonel, and I learned from him how to make the chicken. One time, some customer started giving my boss flack for hiring black people instead of white people just when The Colonel was visiting. I tell you, he gave that customer such a yellin’! Told him the skill of the cook’s hands matter more than anything else, and pushed and kicked that Pasty right out of the malt shoppe! Believe me, if you could do the job, The Colonel didn’t care what color you were, trust me on this. [21]

– Anonymous former KFC Employee, interview for ABC report, 2002

…It is worthy of note just how fortunate - or smart - The Colonel’s company was to avoid unintentionally oversaturating the market with their product. The heads of the business were also smart enough to not expand too quickly and overwhelm their business models. Instead of blind ambition influencing its growth, the company went at just the right pace, naturally branching out to organically stay in step with the ways of supply and demand…

– Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

Rookie workers would start off complaining about The Colonel’s strict policy of forbidding us waitresses from collecting tips. I worked as a waitress at the Sanders Court and Café during the 1940s, so I knew where they were coming from, but The Colonel wouldn’t risk customers getting the wrong idea from flirtatious youngsters and causing any ruckus in any of his franchise’s locations. Instead, from the get-go, The Colonel paid his customers what he would later call “a livable wage” that took average tip amounts into account. In some places, the Colonel was a really smart fellow. Even ahead of his time, in fact!

– Anonymous former KFC Employee, interview for CBS report, 1975

The summer of 1953 was when I really started selling my franchise beyond Kentucky’s borders in full force. I knew we were making enough money and our financial future was looking as bright as Montana at noon. But I just loved travelling those roads and seeing so many great and interesting people! That summer, I convinced an old friend of mine, Jo Clemmons from Oak Ridge, TN, to open up the first KFC franchise in Tennessee [22]. Then, on my first try at selling my chicken in northern Illinois, much farther north of Little Egypt and Alton, I was driving north along the eastern side of the state toward Tuscola in September of 1953, when I witnessed a terrible car wreck happen, with one car almost hitting mine in the melee. One driver, a young man, ended up pinned under what was left of this panel truck of sorts; without thinking I hurried over and held out my cane. He grabbed it, and another man and I pulled him out of the wreckage [23].

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

I’ve never read the Colonel’s autobiography, so I don’t know if the Colonel ever visited Illinois in the early years of KFC, but I understand he was passionate about infrastructure. I agree with that. My father almost died in a car accident once when I was little. He told me it was a miracle that he survived it. By the Grace of God, right before he lost consciousness, some man with a smooth tree branch pulled him out of the wreckage and saved his life. The point is that the accident wouldn’t have even happened if the roads were safer, and they have gotten worse across the country in the decades since then. …My father also developed a temper from the pain of his injuries, but at the end of the day he was still a good man. I saw him struggle with the pain, and struggle to pay for medication and treatment for his wounds causing him pain. Seeing someone you care about go through that is absolutely heartbreaking. It shouldn’t happen to anyone, and it should not happen anymore, but it still does, despite the progresses made in healthcare of the years...

– Jim Edgar, speech on the costs of highways and healthcare, 11/3/2009


…“Republicans have repeatedly accused half of the state House and Senate – the Democratic halves – of corruption, but tonight the voters proved that they were not falling for any of it. Tonight showed how smart the voters of Kentucky are, and they have overall rejected the malarky. Now, the Party of Jackson is going to hold Republicans accountable, and make sure that corruption, big business favoritism, and partisan bias are kept out of Frankfort,” claims Democratic Caucus aide and legislative assistant John B. Breckinridge…

The Louisville Times, 11/3/1953

…But the big news story of today is the one about last night’s School Funding Referendum. Across our Commonwealth, the people voted on how to pay for schoolin’, and a slim majority of Kentuckians who went to the polls voted to repeal and replace our current per capita distribution process for school funds and permitted the General Assembly, by a general law, to prescribe the manner of distribution of the Common School Fund. This referendum was opposed by segregationist groups on the claim that the General Assembly will unfairly distribute funds to Black schools. …The referendum passed by a very narrow margin, with the latest report suggesting a margin of roughly 2%...

– Thomas T. Hall, WMOR 1330AM radio broadcast, 11/4/1953

By the start of 1954, my chicken was becoming incredibly popular in the state. Claudia and the children were instrumental in getting the word out by word of mouth within Kentucky, while Harman began to spend more and more time helping me come up with interesting eye-catching ideas – advertising details, and what have you. Business was so successful that by the end of 1953, people were actually traveling to me, requesting to become my next franchisee. I was truly surprised the first time it happened and didn’t expect it to be the new phase of KFC. It meant that now any travelling was more often spent inspecting franchisees than finding new ones, turning the focus from quantity to quality. But, like a farmer getting a better tractor, I didn’t mind this change; it just made the trips more leisurely, and so, more enjoyable for me and Claudia!

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

Harley graduated from college with a law degree and a BA in business administration in June 1954. After lengthy discussions with my husband [John Foster Ruggles Jr.], I told the family I wanted to take some night classes in business. I thought it could prove beneficial to both my father’s chicken business and to John’s sign-making business. Father agreed, as did my husband after some convincing. As one Sanders left the world of education, another entered.

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000


[pic: ]

– American mandolinist and singer-songwriter Bill Monroe, often called "The Father of Bluegrass" for creating the bluegrass music genre in the mid-to-late 1940s, meets with Colonel Sanders, circa July 1954; Monroe was stopping by a KFC outlet near Hebron, KY, on his way to a venue in Frankfort, KY, just as Sanders was dropping by the outlet; Sanders was a fan of Monroe, and greatly enjoyed the unexpected and rather serendipitous visit

When I first met Colonel Sanders, I was 22 years ago. It was August, 1954, and I had been working at the Clauses’ Hobby House Restaurant in Fort Wayne since was 15 – except for my aforementioned army years, that is. Counting from my discharge, I had been at the Hobby House for just over a year, and was working as its head chef, when The Colonel first stopped by. I remember thinking how odd he looked in his nearly all-white outfit, and for some reason I didn’t recognize him until he said his name. He was odd-looking, but charming, and gave a sales pitch that really won over the Clauses. ...Soon I started working with The Colonel more directly on matters of the kitchen …But of course, I was only 25 then; I had no idea that he was going to be such a huge part of my life. …Of course it wasn’t all flowers and sunshine. When I first started making the chicken, he cussed me up big-time for dumping the chicken out of the fryer. He wanted them ladled out, because that minimizes damage to the crust. But despite his mean temper, I recognized that he had the wisdom and skills of a lifetime in the restaurant business; wisdom and skills that he could tell me and teach me; wisdom and skills that I could use for my own dream of having my own restaurant someday [24]. I just didn't realize at the time how greatly The Colonel and his chicken would end up being a part of that journey...

– Dave Thomas’ Under the Colonel’s Wing, Mosaic Publishing, 1982


…The Democratic victor, Alben W. Barkley, who is “77 years young,” as he repeatedly puts it, previously served as Vice President of the United States from 1949 to 1953. Before then, he served in the US Senate from 1927 to 1949 and in the US House of Representatives from 1913 to 1927. …The Republican loser of the election was 53-year-old incumbent US Senator John Sherman Cooper, who had held the seat since November 1952, after winning a special election to finish the term won by Virgil Chapman, a Democrat, in 1948; Chapman passed away in office in 1951, prompting said special election. …Cooper’s loss – by a margin of roughly 9% – demonstrates a major problem that the Kentucky GOP has been facing for years now. Frankly, they repeated fail to nominate the right kind of candidate…

The Louisville Times, 11/2/1954

…The 1954 US congressional elections were held two years after Eisenhower’s election to the Presidency. …Republicans lost gubernatorial seats and seats in both chambers of congress, largely as a result of public backlash to McCarthyism and several relevant controversies, most notably McCarthy’s hearings on the US Army, and the machinations that led to the suicide of incumbent US Senator Lester C. Hunt (D-WY). …In the House, Republicans lost 18 seats, costing them majority control. Furthermore, Republicans lost only 2 Senate seats, but as they were holding the Senate by 1 seat, the results cost them control of that chamber as well. …Republicans lost 8 governor seats...


…Travelling to all of these new a different places in that state allowed my father to really reinvent himself. With each new location, with each new person he met, he tweaked his sales pitched and watched his swear-filled mouth. He was able to separate himself from his reputation of swearing like a sailor. I remember how he’d often say how the priest in Corbin refused to eat at his place until he quit cussing, and as a result the priest had never tried KFC. And he apparently wouldn’t until after “The Swearer” became “The Colonel”…

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000

My stepdad seemed to really have his pulse on image and marketing and all that. Inside the state, the chicken was called “Colonel’s Chicken,” and had become incredibly popular in the state by the start of 1955, if I remember correctly. Outside the state, though, people called it “Kentucky Fried Chicken,” which I guess what an intriguing title to non-Kentuckians. It sounds like a brilliant marketing strategy, but it was actually accidental, as someone who worked for my stepdad, I forget who, called it K.F.C. when it started out in Utah, and it just kind of spread out from there to the rest of the states I guess, you know? Anyway, I do remember that the Colonel once commented about how unbelievably successful the whole thing was, and actually sort of feared that the whole thing could be growing out of hand – by 1955, I think he had, oh what was it, about two or three hundred franchisees? And as his chicken’s popularity spread across the nation, which he really, honestly, he really wasn’t expecting that, I really think it became a tiny bit overwhelming for the man. Really.

– Elvis Ray Price, Colonel Sanders’ stepson, in a rare interview, 1994

“The easy way is efficacious and speedy, the hard way arduous and long. But, as the clock ticks, the easy way becomes harder and the hard way becomes easier. And as the calendar records the years, it becomes increasingly evident that the easy way rests hazardously upon shifting sands, whereas the hard way builds solidly a foundation of confidence that cannot be swept away.”

– Colonel Sanders, c. 1954 [25]

In the years after World War 2, Kentucky experienced economic peaks and valleys. Under President Eisenhower, federal construction of the Interstate Highway System helped connect even the most remote areas of Kentucky to one another, improving communicate and trade throughout the state.

Lawrence W. Wetherby served as governor during the first half of the decade, from December 1950 to December 1955. A moderate Democrat, he was considered pragmatic, solid, and effective, though unspectacular. As lieutenant governor under Earle Clements, he had been out of the limelight. After Clements was elected as a US Senator in 1950, Wetherby succeeded to the office; he was elected to his own gubernatorial term in 1951. He emphasized themes of road improvements, and increasing tourism and other economic development. Wetherby was one of the few Southern governors to implement desegregation in public schools after the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Furthermore, Wetherby supported agriculture workers at a time of change for the state agricultural scene. Though still important to the state’s economy, the agriculture sector was being supplanted in many areas by industry, which stimulated urbanization (in fact, by the end of the 1960s, Kentucky had more urban than rural residents). To ease the transition for mostly-rural to mostly-urban, Wetherby promoted pro-farmer legislation at the start of the early 1955 state congressional session. The bill was later credited in helping workers such as farmhands for the state's tobacco farmers avoid financial hardships later on down the road. Although decreasing in overall importance, tobacco production remained an important part of the state economy for the next several decades, bolstered by a New Deal legacy that gives financial advantages to holders of tobacco allotments.

At the start of the 1950s, 13% of Kentuckians migrated out of state largely for economic reasons. Dwight Yoakam's song "Readin', Rightin', Route 23" is named after a local expression describing the route that rural Kentuckians took to find work beyond the coal mines. (U.S. Route 23 runs north from Kentucky through Columbus and Toledo, Ohio and to the automotive centers of Michigan.) Rather than the standard line that their elementary schools taught "the three Rs" of "Readin', 'Ritin', and 'Rithmetic", Kentucky residents used to say that the three Rs they learned were "Readin', 'Ritin', and Route 23 North. Governor Wetherby fought against this growing trend during his term by strongly supporting “home-grown” enterprises to lower unemployment, and promoting multiple Kentucky-based businesses, including Kentucky Fried Chicken… [26]

– Lynda Downard’s Kentucky In The 20th Century: A History, Borders Books, 2020


Covington, KY From north to south, construction workers are pouring out concrete and asphalt to create I-75, the latest road development project transforming the face of Kentucky and improving it's connections to the road systems of the rest of the country. The massive transportation infrastructure is reportedly adding thousands of jobs at a time when the state truly needs them. New buildings are also being established ahead of the highway’s completion, with half-built lots dotting the sides of the mega-road’s path – gas stations, appliance stores, motels, and of course, restaurants and diners galore flank the future transportation "lifeline," as its planners call I-75. …“this new road can help bring Kentuckians and Americans closer together and expand their consumer options” says a franchisee for the state-wide famous Colonel’s Fried Chicken. His restaurant in Williamstown will be serving the famous “pressure-fried” chicken alongside its own menu items to hungry customers stopping on by on their way into Kentucky, out of Kentucky, or even just plain through Kentucky. …“It seems this new highway will bring good fortune to all!”

The Courier-Journal, Kentucky newspaper, 1/9/1955

In early 1955, about a week or two after the start of the final session of state congress, I joined Wetherby for some political social event, not as a caterer this time, but as a welcomed guest. I found myself captivated by the patriotic rhetoric spouted out there. When he finally had the time to do so, when everything was winding down and the Governor had had some Champaign or what-have-you, Wetherby said to me, “I’ve really got to hand it to you, Harland – I mean, ‘Colonel.’ You went from having one local institution to handling a national enterprise!”

“Yeah, but now that I’m getting all this attention, people keep asking me to do things for them. I’ve been invited to several business conventions and discussion groups for this year alone!”

“Well if you ever need a plus-1, just give me a call.”

“Aw, what are you talking about? You’re way too busy being Governor!”


At this, I turned my head to face him directly, “What do ya mean, Lawrence?”

He quickly looked around and lowered his voice to confess, “Do you know how easy this job is? In the first 90 days, you fix the budget and push for the programs and ideas you campaigned on, then the state congress takes a summer break. You only do voluntary legislation in the fall, and the congress is off to focus on the midterm elections during your second year. Then, in your third of only four years in office, you repeat the intense 90-day period of budget-balancing and program-pushing before summer break, and after the final fall session, you’re basically a lame duck!” [27]

I was shocked by this revelation, “Balancing the budget every two years for um, uh…”

“Four years,” Lawrence returned his voice to normal.

“…and that’s it? That’s all you have to do?”

“Well, personally, you and I know I’ve done a lot more for this state than just that, but constitutionally speaking…yes! That’s it! Really, to tell you the truth, Colonel, it’s a very easy job.”


“I’m telling you, anybody could serve as governor, Colonel Sanders. Anybody.”

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

[1] Source of boring tax specifics:
[2] As it was described and can be found here: (August 28, 1950 entry)
[3] Source: one of the charts found in the above link (so, I really should have just written "Ibid." here...huh...)
[4] IOTL, Sanders received a Social Security check on $105 dollars in 1955 (according to several sources); in 1950, that amount would be valued at US$92.81, according to this site: Also, the 2018 value of $105 in 1955 and $92.81 in 1950 are $969.48 and $969.49, respectively (same site)
[5] Their friendship is often mentioned, albeit just in passing, whenever I look up his 1950 re-commissioning
[6] Mentioned here:
[7] She was a sculptor, according to this: The Colonel’s sentiment towards it is mention in her Associated Press obituary: [imgur: c1Hty3C.png ]
[8] Mentioned on wiki’s Kentucky (history) article; seems legit
[9] Rumored # of rejections mention here: and on other sites as well
[10] Briefly mentioned in list on the KFC website
[11] Who? This guy!:
[12] Mentioned (and paraphrased from) here: (page 7 when printed out)
[13] These sentences are taken verbatim from here:
[14] Found here: And additional information can be found in this OTL article here:
[15] Source:
[16] Quote is from here: (page 18 when printed out)
[17] Pulled from here:
[18] Taken from sourced/cited sentence found here:
[19] Found in this source here:
[20] A slightly edited OTL article!
[21] Based on Johnny D. Miller’s comment found here:, along with the comments of family members such as this one: and especially this one:
[22] Source: (page 20 when printed out)
[23] Some details concerning Jim Edgar’s father’s death found on a PDF found when googling “Jim Edgar 1953” (edgar_jim_4fnl_vol i.pdf (I don’t know how to link it, sorry…))
[24] Thomas commenting on Sanders can be found throughout this: [ youtube: f7u8HjdvUpk ]
[25] This is an OTL Colonel Sanders quote, which was pulled from here:
[26] Italicized parts were pulled from here:–1980
[27] Clements' exact comments are noted here:
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Post 2
Post 2: Chapter 2-to-Chapter 3

Chapter 2: May 1955 – September 1955

“Politics is the art of the possible.”

– Otto von Bismarck, 1867 interview

It was sometime in either the start or the middle of May, 1955. A man arrived at the Colonel’s franchise’s headquarters in Corbin; I saw him poking around the café and I asked him what we could do for him. His accent was local, “Hello, I’d like to speak with Colonel Sanders on some very important –”

“Do you have an appointment?”

“Yes, I –”

“Back here,” I ushered the man around back to my father’s office. Like his image, Father kept his “paperwork room” tidy despite its noticeable age and small size. The wallpaper kept peeling and the air was never as hot or cold as should have been. Cabinets and files lines the sides of the room, making it even smaller. Opposite Father’s desk hung the 1939 entry on Sanders’ Court and Café that Duncan Hines included in Adventures in Good Eating:
“A very good place to stop en route to Cumberland Falls and the Great Smokies. Continuous 24-hour service. Sizzling steaks, fried chicken, country ham, hot biscuits.”

Father was reviewing some papers on his desk when the man and I entered the open doorway; he sat up and bluntly asked, “Hello, stranger, what’s your business?”

The man quickly answered while we entered the room, “Sir, I represent the state’s Republican Party leaders, and –”

“Hey Dad, you know your main franchiser in Colorado?” Millie quickly popped her head into the doorway, interrupting the stranger; she was holding the nearby phone in her hands.

“What about him?” Father inquired.

“He just bought 400 plastic buckets on a whim and wants to know what you think he should do with them.”

“Heh-heh, what?! Oh, boy, that fella. Ha… oh, uh, I don’t know, was it a local bucket store or something?”


Father, failing to come up with an idea he thought would be sensible, dismissively said, “Well, uh, oh, I don’t know, maybe he could sell my chicken in them as a tie-in – or whatever it’s called – to the bucket store or something [1]! We’ll see how well it goes to see if it should be done again.”

“The chicken, huh? That could work. Sir, did you hear him?” Millie spoke back into the receiver as she went around the corner.

“Sir, we are wondering if you would be interested in –”

“Harley!” Claudia entered the room next, “someone spilled a drink and it's gone everywhere. Where do we keep the extra towels?”

A few more interruptions from the day-to-day business invaded the area until finally the man, growing agitated at starting his thought again and again, reached his limit. Raising his voice, the man quickly blurted out as politely as he could, “Colonel Sanders, we’d like you to run for Governor!”

Everyone – Father, Claudia, Millie, and I – stopped talking to look at the stranger.

Not sure what to say next, the man added “Please.”

Father sat up in his chair. He was noticeably surprised but also genuinely curious. He inquired if it was some joke, but the look of seriousness on the man’s face answered that question. At a loss for words, Father chuckled, “Why?”

The man presented the case. “For three very good reasons, sir. Number one: the chaos brewing in the Democratic race could be the Republican’s chance to finally win back the governorship. Secondly, your strong showing in your Republican primary bid four years ago shows that support for your candidacy can be built up instead of made from scratch. And on the final note, above all, your name recognition within the state. Every Kentuckian knows your name, and can see you as a traditional well-meaning man whom wants what's best for everyone. That’s the image you have, and that’s the perfect image for a successful Republican campaign. An honest businessman with heart, compassion, vision and – ”

“Hold on, sonny,” Father cut the brownnosing session to mull over his points a bit before replying, “Sir, my life has been in chicken. As you can see by how busy I am here, I have my hands full already.” I’m not sure why he stopped himself from saying the franchise was mainly for retirement funds. It's most likely that, given the uniqueness of the circumstance, my intrigued father just wanted to see if there was anything more to this strange Republican man’s even stranger pitch.

The man with the offer switched tactics. “The governor’s seat is a wonderful way to be of bigger help to this state. Everyone loves your chicken. I love your chicken, but regardless, the GOP state leaders believe it to be every Kentuckian’s duty to do the best thing when they can.”

“Hmm, I still don’t know, stranger,” Father replied.

“At least think about it, Colonel, sir,” The man took out a card and left it on the desk. “We would really like you to say yes to this wonderful opportunity. But get back to us soon. Very soon, in fact; the filing deadline is the first of July [2].”

Fathered quickly returned his gaze to the man “Wait, Why so soon?”

“It gives the candidates time to run for their respective primaries on August 9 [2].”

“A primary run? You mean I’d be running two times for the one job?” Father held up his two fingers, then one, to illustrate his point.

The man quickly went on the defense with the line, “You’re a shoo-in, Colonel! The only other person in the race is a small-time businessman with no name recognition.”

“What’s his name?” Father asked.

“Um, Ed…Edwin Denney [3], I believe” the man eventually answered.

Father thought for a moment more, “I know lots of businessmen, but I’ve never heard of him.”

“My point exactly. Colonel, we need you, your state needs you. Please think it over, and call us when you have, sir. Thank you for your time,” he then made his cordial goodbyes and left for the door. His last words on that day were, “Kentucky needs you, Colonel. Will you answer the call?”

It was a corny conclusion, but it still struck Father, who fiddled with the card as he sat back down in his office chair, the man’s words still swimming through his mind. His taste for politics was rekindled; I could detect the spark in his eyes. Finally he huffed, “there’s just one problem – what about my chicken? All of this, this empire, what would happen to it all if I ran for Governor? What would happen to it all if I won?!”

Millie took her turn to speak her mind, “Pop, many businessmen have become Governor before. And businessmen wouldn’t run if it meant having to give up everything, that’d be ridiculous. And personally, Pop, I think you would win. I mean,” walking over to the window, likely to take a peek at the giant sign out front, “your chicken has made you the most popular and beloved man in this state! They’d have to be crazy not to vote for you!”

Over the next several hours, between managing the restaurant, motel, employees, and franchise, all of us chimed in to voice support for the run. We all agreed that this was something that Father should go for.

Early the next day, at the breakfast table, Father finally asked Claudia, the visiting Millie, and I, “Now, suppose I did run and then win this here election. Who would take over as the head of this company? Harman has his own restaurant and wouldn’t want to move across the country. And the term is only for four years, so after the job is done, I’ll definitely want to return to running the company I started!”

Millie gave me a look, then visually gestured to me that I should step up to the plate, so I did. “I can run the business for you, Father!” I offered boldly.

“But Junior, you need to really know how to make the chicken. One does not simply walk into KFC.”

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991


[ ]
– Sanders discussing business with family members, c. 1955

“I can run the business and more! I’ve made the chicken before, and when it comes to handling the ins and outs of the company, well, I do have a BS in business administration.”

“No offense, son, but the only business you’ve ever run was a lemonade stand! [4] And if I recall correctly, it didn’t do that well!”

“Failure never stopped you, Pop,” Millie rebutted.

Father let the sentiment sink in for a moment, “Heh, you’re right about that, Millie.” After a long pause, he drew out a long exhale and asked with all seriousness and expecting all sincerity, “Alright, son. If I win the governorship, the company’s yours – but only for four years. And only if I win. …But do y’all really think I could pull that off?”

Each one of us nodded in an unspoken agreement. When opportunity calls, you’ve just got to answer!

A warm smile stretched across our old man’s face. He stood up and walked over to the phone, the card pinned to the wall by a thumb tack. “This is The Colonel,” he ultimately said into the receiver, “Get the ring; I’m throwing my chef’s hat into it!”

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

…and here’s a news bulletin: Food Magnate Colonel Sanders Announces Bid For Governor! Well, how about that? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s the latest out of the southern-central town of Corbin, where the famous Colonel Sanders has decided to try to move from the kitchen to the governor’s office, announcing his bid for the Republican nomination for Governor of Kentucky earlier today outside of the Sanders Court and Café restaurant and motel. Now, I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but since the Colonel is also a noted figure outside the state, this is certain to bring more national attention of this race. And even inside the state, since to be completely honest, folks, I didn’t even know we had an election this year! Heh. And now, back to the music!...

– Thomas T. Hall, WMOR 1330AM radio broadcast, 5/29/1955

For my campaign, I needed a base of operations, and the folks in the party found a place for it right in the middle of the drive between Corbin and London (home of the GOP’s state party headquarters). What we got was a rented-out office space that was small and stuffy but still bigger and more advantageous than my office in Corbin. On my first time walking into that place, I saw people running around like busy-body hens, too busy to even greet the very man they were trying to make governor. In a side room, rows of women were clacking away at typewriters in a cacophonous roar of metal bells and whistles. Already, posters were being printed: a sign reading “Sanders for Governor” covered most of the narrower wall of the main room. Underneath sat my new desk.

My campaign manager escorted me over to them all, and at one point noted, “Now remember, Colonel, if you’re going to mention KFC, then mention how it qualifies you for the governorship.”

Margaret walked over from her station and added, “Separating your own personal businesses from politics is essential to prove you’re in it for the people, Pop, not to promote yourself, because while you know that, the people don’t. Not yet, anyway.”

“I reckoned, I reckoned. Now we just have to tell the people why they should vote for me. Oh, and Margaret?”


“…Those are some nice posters. Keep it up!” It was nice to see her finally taking an interest in family activities.

She nodded before getting back to work. I think she smiled, too.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

Initially, John [Ruggles]’s Sign Company didn’t work for the campaign. The state Republicans already had a guy making posters and whatnot for them, but Pops convinced them to let John do some things here and there. It was a crucial moment for John’s company, as it exposed him to all the details necessary – the machinery and materials, the number of workers, the organization overall – to run a sign company big enough to run a statewide campaign. John very much enjoyed it, and thereafter sought to make the Ruggles Sign Company even bigger.

There was never any conflict-of-interest or what-have-you between KFC and the Ruggles Sign Company. Even still, strangely, an allegation of nepotism - of the state GOP hiring their preferred candidate's son-in-law for some marketing tasks - was one possible accusation that Chandler never made…

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000

Business Edwin R. Denney met with Father near the middle of June, but it was not exactly a social call. According to Father, who told me about it right afterward, Denney was bitter and stubborn about the political machine’s "malicious and underhanded" machinations, endorsing and throwing their money behind Father instead of staying out of the primary to make it a fair run. "Kentucky Republicans ought to have a choice in this affair - otherwise, how will we know they want you instead of me?" he apparently bellowed.

“He wasn't willing to just give up without some kind of fight, That’s why I like him; he’s willing to fight for what he thinks is right – just like me!” Father said.

"I don't know," I remember Claudia saying with uncertainty in her voice. "Do you think it's right to try and make him forfeit?"

"I don't know myself, dear," Father said to her, "But those folks tell me that they've been takin' internal poll after internal poll, and that those polls keep saying that he'll lose to me anyway if he saying in. And I told him just as much. After that, the ball was back in his court."

After about 40 minutes of them talking and arguing over the merits of the KYGOP's proposal, both and Denney and Father had lunch with the state Republican leaders. Eventually, Denney was convinced to drop out of the primary run to redirect party attention and materials to the general election. In exchange, Sanders agreed to back Denney strongly if he ran for Lieutenant Governor instead. Denney did just that, reportedly saying, “I’m going to run for something, dammit!” Denney couldn’t be removed from the primary ballots for governor, but he was added to the primary ballots for Lt. Governor at the last moment, much to the relief of the KYGOP and to the printers’ annoyance.

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

Kentucky State Party Gubernatorial Primaries, 8/6/1955:

For Governor:
Republican Primary Results (3.30% Total Population):
Colonel Sanders – 65,602 (67.42%)
Edwin R. Denney (withdrawn) – 16,181 (16.63%)
James L. Clay – 15,519 (15.95%)
Total votes cast: 97,304

Democratic Primary Results (17.16% Total Population):
Happy Chandler – 259,875 (51.40%)
Bert T. Combs – 241,754 (47.82%)
Jesse N. R. Cecil – 3,965 (0.78%)
Total votes cast: 505,594

– [2]

"I was happy for The Colonel, but I could not possibly openly support his candidacy despite the very public open dissensions between Chandler and I. It would eviscerate my standing in the Democratic party. Well, that is, that is how the situation started out, I mean. At the beginning of the race."

– Former Governor Lawrence Wetherby (D-KY) in CBS Interview, 1963

Making light of how long the former Governor had been involved in state politics, Chandler ran for his former job on the slogan “Be like your Pappy and vote for Happy.” Meanwhile, incumbent Governor Wetherby and former Governor Clements continued their somewhat complicated and deep-rooted feud with Chandler as the 1955 party primary arrived. The state Democratic Party's Clements-Wetherby faction’s candidate, an inexperienced state judge named Bert T. Combs, ran an inefficient campaign against the better-known and better-funded Chandler.

Not only that, but Chandler also assaulted the incumbent administration with a series of scandalous accusations, alleging corruption and financial misuse against Clements and Combs before switching to the next accusation against Wetherby before any of the three anti-Chandler men could sufficiently respond to the previous claim. I remember two of his many allegations concerned office furniture - he claimed that Clements had purchased a $20,000 rug for his office and that Wetherby had paneled his office with African mahogany. Chandler promised that, if elected, he would use "good, honest Kentucky wood" in his office and that all Kentuckians would be invited to the capitol to walk on the $20,000 rug. Clements responded by publicly releasing invoices that proved that no $20,000 rug had been purchased by Clements, and Wetherby's paneling had been purchased from and installed by a local contractor. Now one might think that the fact that Chandler's charges may have been inaccurate [8] would be enough to slow down his momentum. But like I said, before the truth of one scandal could catch up with him, Happy was one spinning another yarn. And the voters paid more attention to the claims than to the explanations. It seemed to be what they always did.

With all this in mind, when Combs lost by a considerable margin to Chandler, it was not exactly a surprise upset. They were a huge blow to the Wetherby administration, that's for sure, but more importantly, the results seemed to only boost even further the former MLB Commissioner’s ego and confidence in the November election results. “The general election is practically over. They should just give me back the keys to the governor’s mansion right now!” I remember Chandler saying soon afterward, laughing jovially and confidently.

I however, was much more cautious than my boss. “So we shouldn’t be worried at all about the Republican nominees?”

Chandler thought otherwise, exclaiming boisterously “The voters of Kentucky will always vote for the more experienced candidate. And Sanders and Denney have none! This is going to be a cakewalk!”

– Anonymous former aide to Happy Chandler, radio interview, 1971


– Poster promoting the Sanders/Denney ticket, 8/7/1955

I should have figured that it would happen. I saw the trucks and machines driving by from time to time. I saw them tearin’ up the earth to widen the roads. I just hadn’t put two and two together.

Right after winning the primary and nomination, Millie ran into the campaign headquarters with some startling news – it seemed that the development of the new highway, I-75, would completely bypass the Sanders Court and Café (a famous local institution!), by several miles!

“The cut could seriously hurt the flow of customers,” Millie bemoaned.

I thought for a minute before noting, “Y’know, if things were different, this would seriously worry me a whole lot more.” After all, this turn of event was coinciding with me turning 65, coinciding with me getting Social Security for the first time. I would probably be much more fearful of my financial future if I hadn’t already created my franchise. But instead, because of fate, or luck, or whatever intervention had occurred, I was blessed to not have such worries. Thanks to the franchise catching on like a fire in dry brush, I avoided woe in advance. I didn’t have to worry about losing customers or finances shrinking up like a river in a heat wave. We were fine!

But Millie was still mightily concerned about the restaurant, the one that had started it all, and the workers involved. "We might have to lay people off when revenue dry up. I don't want that to happen, Pop. Most of the waitresses at the Café are single mothers, for pity's sake."

"I know, I know," I agreed that the situation was less than fine for the spot's workers, and so I decided to give Millie a challenge of sorts. “That restaurant has a lot of history. So we won’t sell it. Instead, Mildred, I’m giving you a job.” It was a test to see if she really did have what it would take to run the business with her brother if I made it to the Governor’s seat. “I want you to scout out a spot right on this I-75 where we can open up a second restaurant, the Sanders’ Café II,” holding up two fingers for effect. “It’ll be the location for our new headquarters if the business continues to expand and customers do indeed stop pouring in on account of this here darn highway. If it works, those waitresses will get to keep working for us, just farther on down the road a-ways.”

Millie accepted the task, “I won’t let you down, Pop!”

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

The Colonel reportedly had little difficulty adjusting from selling chicken to proprietors to selling himself to voters. His campaign platform tended to focus on the human side of local issues. Social issues were non-existent until Sanders started discussing food prices, agriculture, and infrastructure improvement. Government corruption was dropping in relevancy with each passing week, likely due to voters being exhausted from debating it during the 1951 election and the 1955 Democratic primaries.

Rather, for most of the campaign season, the primary focus was fiscal responsibility, and managing the efficiency of government programs in order to make them more productive without adding to their costs. At one event, Sanders explained “We have to go about not cutting corners so much as cutting the fat – the excess. The government should not be spending good money on something that the people can more than take care of themselves.” The Colonel also ran on his record as head of the Sanders Court and Café, especially his compassion for the working man, by pointing to his long-held practice of employing single mothers and assuring “a decent wage” in order to keep the Court’s waitresses from needing to ask for tips. “Tips encourage a humiliating form of living where you have to practically beg the customers for what you should be getting from your own boss.” Despite these moments of pro-worker rhetoric, the Colonel was invited to several business events, where the Colonel would apparently, “work his charm” as Claudia Sanders once put it. His charm explains why many wealthy Kentuckians financially divested in his campaign – the campaign's funds doubled between August 7 and September 7.

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015

My first public speech was a lukewarm speech to a small crowd of supporters; it was meant to test my public speech skills. Of course, I’d done this sort of thing before, when I was a practicing lawyer, but this was different; here, it was my neck on the line, not my client's, and that puts things into a different perspective for me. Still, speechin’ is speechin’. It’s all about showmanship, always. I gave the speech and they clapped, and everything seemed fine. But then, when someone after the speech asked me a question, I did not know the answer to it, and I had to give the man the old run-around. It left a bad taste in my mouth – the taste of doubt. “What am I doing?” I remembering thinking to myself. “I don’t know how to be a politician. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!”

But then again, I’d never been a millionaire before, and I seemed to be handling that pretty well!

I told my concerns to Junior. By then I was getting used to calling him “Harley.” After talking it over with me, he directed me to an obvious source of help – the library. Junior and Mildred went and picked up for me books upon books on the state’s economy, on local histories, and on statewide politics; they got archived newspapers showing what the problems were, too. It was helpful, sure, but it still wasn’t enough. I needed more – I needed to do what I always did – talk to people. So, I went back to the tried and true method of travelling around the state and casually striking up conversations. Instead of offering chicken, I offered an ear to listen to their woes. I listened to the coal miners in north-central Kentucky, to the farmers of the bluegrass plains, to the grease monkeys of the factories (though I can’t recall if they were called that back then), to the single mothers of the cities, and to the nuclear families of the surrounding newfound suburb lands. I even met with a group of people, plus some of their youngin’s, and listened to their claims that goblins from outer space had attacked their farmhouse (because a voter ignored is a voter not votin’ for you!) [5]. And of course I talked to businessmen, but of businesses big and small! I listen and I learned, and I showed that I did hear them, and that I was concerned. And I'm real sure the people could tell that my concerns were genuine.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974


[ ]
– Sanders on the Campaign Trail, 8/30/1955

“Back in 1926, I was in a terrible car accident. I got out of the wreck with only a torn scalp, and my wife, uh, at the time patched it up [6], but many folks aren’t so lucky. We need to have better healthcare in our state – more funding for doctors, more doctoral programs at Kentucky’s colleges and Universities. More incentives for doctors to work here and medical students to come and learn their trade here. We also need better roads – safer highways and bridges – to keep painful accidents from ever happening in the first place!”

– Sanders, stump speech in Ashland, KY, 9/1/1955

SANDERS GAINING ATTENTION: Businessman’s “Listenin’ Tour” Picking Up Steam

The Advocate-Messenger, KY newspaper, 9/7/1955


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders discussing road safety with local servicemen, Paducah, KY, 9/8/1955

…I again reminded Happy that he was failing to win over liberal Democrats, and that the party was still bitterly divided from the mud-caked primary race! Repeatedly, he’d brush off the idea of a more active campaign. However, after about a month or so, his resistance was growing weaker. I think it was beginning to dawn on him he was not as formidable as initially believed. That the Democratic domination over the state, which had been experienced for the past several years, was not going to hold forever. I believe it was his wife who reminded him that he had lost races before. But the thing was, those unsuccessful bids for higher office in then recent-years had only hurt his ego - it had not killed it. If anything, the losses made him even more focused on - and more desperate to win - the November election.

On September 8, Chandler finally began giving formal speeches, largely at charity dinners and fundraisers for his political allies. He was not exactly reaching outside the base, but it was a start, at least. However, even with the more active campaigning, Chandler was greatly reluctant to stump on major issues instead of one generic platitude, because despite the early polling, he was pretty much still convinced that the people who backed him in the primary would be enough to win over the Republican vote in November…

– Anonymous former aide to Happy Chandler, radio interview, 1971


[ ]
– Chandler/Waterfield Campaign Button, c. 1955

Oh, we went all over that state. We visited all the major cities – Covington, Owensboro, Bowling Green, Paducah – and the small towns, too. Oh, you name it, we probably visited it. We even stopped over at Louisa on the Tug Fork part of the Bid Sandy River, the eastern border of the state and the site of the famous feud between the Kentucky McCoy and West Virginia Hatfield families, though if we met any McCoys that day, they kept the last name to themselves. I was there when he made that speech in Nicholasville, at the same place where he had managed a Standard Oil service station during the ’20s [7]. My, that was a big crowd. I remember, Harland actually won some big-time local union’s endorsement after that trip!

– Claudia Price Sanders, TNB (Trinity National Broadcasting) interview, 1979

Chandler began to slowly take the general election more seriously as the days and weeks went by. By September 9, he had only visited 6 cities. Sanders, meanwhile, had dropped by over 50 communities in less than 40 days; this statistic finally made Chandler begin to legitimately worry.

Another moment that made him realize that running an 1890s-style "front porch campaign" might not work this time around came on September 10. On that day, the Commonwealth Journal, a small newspaper near the state’s center, reported that when one Kentuckian in Pulaski, County asked a local Chandler supporter “If Chandler wants this job, why isn’t he campaignin’ around like this Sanders fella is?” the Chandler backer failed to answer.

Ultimately, Chandler decided to be more active a campaigner the only way he knew how - by reusing the tactics of the primary race and going negative with a mudslinging attack campaign. However, as The Colonel had already begun the process of divesting interests in KFC to avoid conflict with this political aspiration, Chandler decided to try to attack The Colonel from a much different angle.

– journalist John Ed Pearce’s Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1959, A University Press of Kentucky, 1987


…“Education is monumentally vital when it comes to running a whole state.” The former Senator continued, “Records show that Mister Sanders never completed the seventh grade. I believe it is dangerous and irresponsible to put the responsibilities of the Governor’s office into the hands of a man with merely a sixth-grade education.”

The Courier-Journal, KY newspaper, 9/9/1955

"I met my husband at Chandler’s 1935 inauguration [9], so of course, I had with a fair amount of respect for him. But I did not appreciate his personal attacks, and neither did my father…"

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000

“Now it is true that I left school during the seventh grade, because I couldn’t understand why letters of the alphabet were being used in math class. But you know what? Academia isn’t everything. Politicians are often highly educated, and yet they are often terrible at their jobs, so maybe someone who’s not confined to bein’ book-smart is who the people of Kentucky really need. Besides that, these remarks were not so much an insult to me as it is an insult to everyone who’s never graduated from high school – including those who dropped out to go fight for this country in Europe and the Pacific. But trying to insult me, he is insulting a great swath of Kentuckians who had to put taking care of their families by going to work a job ahead of learnin’ algebra.”

– Colonel Sanders, in a rebuttal of Happy Chandler’s comments the day prior, 9/10/1955

“Doesn’t anyone else think it’s silly? An old man going around lying about him being a Colonel? It’s ridiculous. He’s not a Colonel; he didn’t even serve in the Army apart from hauling a few donkeys onto a boat for a few weeks when he was 16. That kind of service is pathetic!”

– Happy Chandler at a formal dinner at the exclusive Pendennis Club in Louisville, KY, 9/12/1955

“Every job in the army is important. You don’t belittle the people who perform the less glamourous jobs. That is uncalled for, Hap, it's shameful.”

– Colonel Sanders, in a rebuttal of Happy Chandler’s comments the day prior, 9/13/1955


...we believe that Mr. Chandler's disrespectful attitude toward certain occupations found within the United States armed forces make him unworthy of both the governorship and of other endorsement for the governorship," the press secretary remarked, "Not all military service positions are glamorous, but every single one of them plays a part in keeping America safe and secure..."

The Jeffersonian, KY newspaper, 9/14/1955

After nearly five weeks of scouring along the southern half of Kentucky I-75, calling people and learning the property values, taking into account every variable I could think of, I finally found the perfect spot. Florence, near of the Ohio border, while being fairly far from Corbin, lied close to the Ohio river, was a short drive away from Cincinnati, and was sure to be a site of growth as the years passed. Father approved of the spot, and beamed with pride. His support made me know that I could do anything if I just worked at it right.

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000

“Senator Chandler, since you’ve promised to not raise taxes to balance the budget, do you plan on cutting any government programs, if elected?”

“That’s 'when' elected, and I think that the statewide programs are very helpful, like, uh, for instance, um, the Youth Authority program and others. Excuse me.”

“That’s not an answer.”

“Well it’s what you’re getting. Excuse me…”

– The “not an answer” Chandler Gaffe, local press recording, 9/15/1955

“I did not know he could muddy up answering the press so badly. If Chandler went to rob a bank he’d hold onto his money sack and toss the teller his gun.”

– Colonel Sanders, 9/15/1955, multiple sources


Louisville, KY – This year’s upstart political newcomer, famous “fast food” businessman Colonel Sanders (R.) is dead-even in polls against former Senator Happy Chandler (D.). The latest results contrast sharply with polling taken earlier in the year, which repeatedly showed Chandler in the lead and Sanders losing to him by as much as 20 percentage points. Since then, Sanders has gradually won over the support of multiple organizations, in light many of Chandler’s evasive comments in recent weeks. The polling results also follow several missteps from the Chandler campaign. ...While the G.O.P. is united behind Sanders, members of the Wetherby-Clements faction of the state Democrat party are refusing to back Happy after a bitter Democratic primary in August. Chandler, in turn, is "purposely doing very little" to win over full party support "out of spite," according to an anonymous members of his campaign…

The Courier-Journal, 9/16/1955


Corbin, KY - In another attack on political opponent Col. Sander’s character, Chandler claims his opponent was once thrown out of court when practicing law after “a violent confrontation with his own client in front of the local judge” [10]...

The Kentucky Standard, 9/17/1955

“Now folks, I admit my passion can get out of hand at times. As a lawyer, I once used my fists instead of my words to give an ornery client of mine a well-deserved wallop. But that just proves that I’m a fighter who never backs down from a fight. Not then, not now, not ever. As Governor, I will fight for all of you. I will fight for your rights, to have them be protected and heard. I will fight for lower taxes. I will fight for road repair and for better hospitals and for better schools. I will fight for the things that matter most, even if it means kickin’ and screamin’ and bitin’ and beatin’ all the fat cats in Frankfort!"

– Colonel Sanders, 9/18/1955

CHICKEN AND POLITICKIN’: KFC Founder Leading Ex-Senator in Gov. Race

Frankfort, KT – Kentucky’s political derby this year is one for the ages: a chicken-selling underdog may just defeat an experienced DC insider. Coming after weeks of personal attacks from ex-Senator A. B. "Happy" Chandler that Col. Harland Sanders has successfully deflected, the latest polls make it seem that Chandler’s criticism of the Republican candidates’ intelligence and alleged temper are being seen as attacks on the undereducated and discontent people of Kentucky. These voters are moving en masse to Sanders’ column, and may prove pivotal in the elections’ outcome, provided they can be mobilized well enough for Election Day. If the Colonel is victorious, it would give high hopes to the Republicans as the 1956 election races approach.

The Washington Post, 9/19/1955

“Why even campaign, Colonel? There’s no way we can’t win!” [11]

– Edwin R. Denney, 9/19/1955, upon seeing the latest polls

"In September, another story came out concerning Sanders’ wild early years, this one about his apprehension to two rival bootleggers who were shooting up his neighborhood. Basically, Sanders was awoken in the middle of the night by them firing at each other, and Sanders bolted out of his home in his underwear and held both gunslingers at gunpoint until the police arrived [12]. The image of Sanders being as tough as nails when it came to crime and protecting those he cared about really excited voters that cared more about image than policy."

– Kent Prestwich, a KFC Executive Vice President from Utah [13], ABC interview, 1963

“Does he do everything by the gun?!” Chandler proclaimed, “He’s making a mockery of the office I once held…and will hold again.” Happy was fuming. He was becoming very desperate in his efforts to find something to attack Sanders on to bring him down. A second story “arose,” let’s say, about a week later, describing how the Colonel, back when he worked as an unlicensed midwife, once forced a drunk doctor, possibly at gunpoint, through stormy rain to help deliver a difficult pregnancy [14]. Instead of the story depicting him as a brute, it instead seemed to be cast him as a responsible and moral citizen; it backfired even worse, though, as the story helped Sanders win over female voters and the state’s medical community, causing the Colonel to boast “they can’t assassinate my character!”

Chandler began demanding his more intellectual goons to dig into any old records and files they could think of to see if there was any dirt on him “with enough weight to bring him down.” Happy personally perused through old papers – everything they could find on Sanders – and scanning over them, muttering a swear under his breath from time to time, until finally he stopped at some piece of peculiar parchment. Happy, widening his eyes as an idea grew in his mind, shouted “Wait… hey!” He called me over and said, “get my lawyers, I want to run something by them.”

– Anonymous former aide to Happy Chandler, radio interview, 1971


Louisville, KY – Outside of his political headquarters, former Governor Albert “Happy” Chandler today made a serious accusation against his political opponent. According to Chandler, Col. Harland Sanders of Corbin is not constitutionally eligible for the Governorship. …The part of the oath of office for the position of Governor of Kentucky, written as part of the current 1891 state constitution, involved in this accusation is the following passage: “I do further solemnly swear that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this state, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this state, nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God.” Chandler claims that in 1931, Sanders shot in the shoulder and wounded a man name Matt Stewart in a confrontation that the Chandler campaign is calling a duel. If Chandler's claim is true, and that this armed conflict really was a duel, this would disqualify Col. Sanders for the office of Governor. Already, a member of the Colonel’s campaign has come to the Colonel’s defense, saying the accusation refers to a “self-defense incident” and is being “atrociously distorted in a blatant act of mud-slinging meant to disrupt the state's entire voting process”...

The Washington Post, 9/21/1955

…Also in the news, The state Democratic party leaders are claiming that several pro-Sanders broadcasting stations are, quote-unquote, "excessively" running advertisements for the Colonel's Kentucky Fried Chicken, which they believe violates the Federal Communication Commission's equal-time rules, a part of the federal agency's "Fairness Doctrine" policy introduced in 1949. A spokesman for KFC claims that KFC is working independently of the Colonel's aspirations for governor, and that it is the local stations that determine, quote, "the exact frequency of advertising," unquote. Nevertheless, the Democratic party spokesman has just announced that the party will go to court to hand them a judicial injunction if the stations continue to air KFC commercials. We will have more on this story as it develops...

– WKCT 930 AM Bowling Green, KT, radio broadcast, 12/2/1955


London, KY – An incident outside of Republican headquarters occurred today, in which a yet-unidentified man, allegedly known to be in Chandler’s inner circle, reportedly heckled Republican candidate Col. Sanders. The man allegedly egged on Sanders by calling him, among other things, a “deceitful bum.” Sanders reportedly had to be held back in order to keep the confrontation from becoming physical, with the Republican candidate shouting back to Chandler’s associate several unprintable slurs and the vow “we’ll see you all in court! I will not stand for this fowl play!”

– Follow-up article, The Washington Post, 9/23/1955

[1] In OTL, the idea for buckets of KFC actually came about in 1957, when a KFC franchisee in Colorado purchased 500 buckets from a travelling bucket salesman! (at least, according to source 23 on The History of KFC’s wiki page:
[2] Source:
[3] Who? This guy: /
[4] They were around as early as 1879!:
[5] I’m talking about this:–Hopkinsville_encounter
[6] OTL, as described here:
[7] Mentioned here: (page 12 when printed out).
[8] These italicized parts were pulled from this source here: And can apparently be found on pages 61 and 62 of this book: Pearce, John Ed (1987). Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930–1963. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1613-9.
[9] Noted here:
[10] This really happened!: sanders arkansas judge&f=false (page 12)
[11] Denney’s high level of confidence in the race is suggested here:"Edwin+R.+Denney"+1955&ei=PfbnSICINp7ItAOS18DtBg&sig=ACfU3U37Tq4dV0UxHFupjXmPFBJB4DJpCw#v=onepage&q="Edwin R. Denney" 1955&f=false
[12] OTL, as depicted in here: (pages 13-14 when printed out)
[13] This guy:
[14] OTL thing, mentioned here:

Chapter 3: October 1955 – December 1955

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

– The Bible, James 1:22

JOHN CAMERON SWAYZE: Today, the highest court in the state of Kentucky today hears the case between candidates for governor Happy Chandler and Colonel Sanders. The race for governor detoured into the courts as former Governor Chandler claims his opponent, Republican businessman Colonel Sanders, is ineligible to serve. The accusation has caused a ruckus across the state as the election date nears. We take you now to our correspondent in front of the Kentucky Court of Appeals building in Frankfort.

CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, John. The state’s Court of Appeals [1] will listen to both sides of the story, so to speak, in a special session called to settle the matter before the election occurs. Happy Chandler is making the case that Colonel fought a duel with a man named Matt Stewart roughly 20 years ago. And because fighting a duel disqualifies one from serving as governor here in Kentucky, Chandler is calling for Sanders must be disqualified and removed from the ballot. Chandler’s representatives as repeatedly stated that Sanders and Stewart knew each other and that the encounter was a planned confrontation, while the Sanders campaign have argued otherwise.

JOHN CAMERON SWAYZE: Well either way the court rules, this will have an effect on the election, isn’t that right?

CORRESPONDENT: Oh yes, and we are waiting to see how this court case unfolds…

– NBC news broadcast, 10/1/1955

The seventh of May of the year of 1931 [2] was the day of the shooting incident in question. On this day, the accused, Mister Sanders of Shell Oil, and a one Mister Matthew Stewart of Standard Oil, confronted each other in the region of Corbin known as “Hell’s Half-Acre.” The two men knew each other; the two men talked to each other; the two became angry at each other; and the two men fired weapons at each other. And a duel, my fellow Kentuckians, is defined by Merriam-Webster, as, and I quote, “a combat between two persons; a conflict between antagonistic persons; or a hard-fought contest between two opponents,” unquote. Thus, in compliance with the state constitution, Mister Sanders is an illegal candidate for Governor. As such, we beseech the court to uphold this state’s institutions with a firm upholding of the law. Sanders must be removed from the ballot for dueling, or at the very least, have any votes cast for him be declared invalid votes! And let the Republicans offer up a legal candidate, for it is a matter of letting the voters have a legal candidate that they can choose to vote for or against on their ballots, and it is a matter of upholding the standards of the integral office of the governorship of this, the greatest state in the union. Thank you.

– Chandler’s representative at the hearing, 10/1/1955

Let us review the facts of this case as laid out in the official police report. Matthew Stewart fired first and without warning, killing Shell Oil executive manager Robert Gibson, a business associate of Colonel Sanders whom was present at the scene. Sanders, fearing for his life, promptly fired back in self-defense, most probably saving the lives of himself and his other associates present at the scene. Justification for such a response as can be seen by the fatality of Stewart’s initial round of fire. Stewart was wounded, apprehend, trialed and jailed for his crime; no charges were ever filed against Colonel Sanders. Gentlemen, an exchange of gunfire in the act of defense and self-defense does not at all equal a duel. Sanders, by becoming a nominee for Governor, has not broken the law. Far from it! By defending his fellow businessmen, Sanders was a defender of the law, an enforcer of the law – Sanders singlehandedly brought a scoundrel and a murderer to justice and upheld the sacred institutions of this state’s constitution. Furthermore, Sanders had just cause for carrying a gun in a part of town witnesses have sworn was at the time of this incident commonly known by locals as, pardon the language, “the Devil’s A** hole” because of its “odor of deadliness.” Most importantly to this case, however, is the fact that neither Stewart nor Sanders had agreed to meet each other at this region. Ergo, this was not a duel. And gentlemen, if self-defense is now the definition of a duel, then most of Kentucky’s citizens will have to be locked up for dueling with prowlers, trespassers, and would-be killers and harm-doers. Judge, I plead you to use common sense in this ridiculous case. Thank you.

– Sanders’ representative at the hearing, 10/1/1955

While Mother's comments toward our dad were usually very negative, she stayed neutral during the court case. "It didn't matter what I said about it," I remember her telling me when I later talking to her about it. "I lived through that mess, but you didn't have to live through that mess to know that what Harland did back then was common-sense self-defense. You certainly don't need a judge's ruling to figure that out." She then conceded, "There's one good thing I can say about your father - he's a fighter, and sometimes, being a fighter is a good thing to be."

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

KFC HEAD WINS COURT CASE: State Court Rules In Favor of Col. Sanders, Verdict Quick: “Self-Defense Is Not a Form of Dueling.”

Louisville Times, KY newspaper, 10/6/1955


Frankfort, KY – Governor Lawrence Wetherby (D) at a press briefing delivered a condemnation to his party’s nominee for governor, Happy Chandler, and an endorsement to Republican nominee, K.F.C. founder Colonel Sanders. “Out of party loyalty, I stayed out of this election in which my friend the Colonel opposed my party’s candidate. But my party’s candidate has proven himself to be a man unworthy of the affiliation. He does not represent the moral standards of Kentucky Democrats. I do not believe that such a man should be governor. Compared to Chandler, Sanders is the man Kentucky needs to vote for this November.”

Kentucky Post, northern KY newspaper, 10/7/1955

Chandler was furious at the blowback of his legal challenge backfiring so badly. His standing in the polls began dropping as voters interviewed by the local media voiced disapproval of how much time the court case had taken up. One poll showed a majority of voters were unclear where Chandler stood on the issues, which befuddled Happy. He soon realized that, because he had been out of office for so long, many older voters had forgotten his previous gubernatorial campaign, while younger voters were completely unfamiliar with him. So, Happy decided to try to fix that by refocusing his campaign on the actual issues, although really, it was done with the hope that it would distract voters from the failed court challenge.

– Anonymous former aide to Happy Chandler, radio interview, 1971

“The people are right – we should focus more on the actual issues of this race. Take, for instance, Sanders’ desire to perform an extraordinary amount wasteful spending. Despite being a businessman, this self-declared Colonel would suffocate the free markets if given the chance. In his speeches, he frequently mentions dangerously borderline socialist concepts. He wants good Kentucky men and women to pay through the nose for things they don’t need or can get for themselves. If he likes the government having that much control over the people’s lives, then maybe Mister Sanders really was a Colonel – in the Red Army!”

– Chandler at a speaking engagement at the Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY, 10/13/1955

During the final campaign stretch, Chandler claimed that Sanders was “dangerously unfit for public office,” while Sanders focused on policy. Publicly, Sanders only occasionally mentioned his opponent. Privately, though, Sanders confessed that he didn’t “want to think of the sneak,” so instead focused on what he wanted to focus on. For instance, in a stump speech on October 14, Sanders talked about better education, noting he already was a grandfather, and only quickly referred to “his opponent” as “painting himself into more corners than Moe, Larry and Curly ever have.” Sanders took his first-hand accounts to use, advocating for road repair, farming and rural development, and vocational education programs. Most pivotal, however, was his supporting of small businesses, his calling for the “untangling” of the state government’s bureaucratic process, and his repeated claim that, as a businessman he knew what to do to get businesses to return to Kentucky. According to J. D. Vance, “13% of Kentuckians migrated out of state largely for economic reasons” in the 1950s, with most of them heading north to the car industry hubs of the Midwest [3]. State businesses heavily funded and/or otherwise backed the Sanders campaign in the belief that a business-oriented Governor would reverse or at least curb this situation.

– Robert A. Powell’s Kentucky Governors, Bluegrass Printing Company, 1976


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders on the campaign trail, getting out of his car to talk to potential voters, 10/17/1955


Bowling Green, KY – Vice President Richard Nixon travelled to Kentucky earlier today to endorse and speak at a campaign event for gubernatorial hopeful Harland Sanders. “The Colonel is a fine example of American hard work and self-reliance, and he will be an excellent governor,” Nixon said. Nixon also reportedly sat down with Sanders for a brief discussion before Nixon left to return to Washington.

With the state’s election for Governor only two weeks away, the Nixon endorsement may narrow an already-tight contest. The Democratic and Republican candidates that have received much press coverage in recent weeks…

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/23/1955

The Colonel went to Denney’s on election night. His running mate’s house was large enough for a small party. Even if we lost, we knew that at the least it would be the closest the Republicans had gotten to victory since 1943, and that would be worthy of at least some celebration. On election night, anticipation filled the air, surrounding us like bugs surrounding an abandoned caramel apple. Our father, the boisterous mountain man, sat on the edge of the couch he shared with his more urban-based running mate. As the election results came in county by county, most of the attendees anxiously listened to the radio, while others scribbled the digits onto a blackboard or inspected the state counties map on the wall. The results were narrow; the night wore on. At 1:05, we cheered when two northern counties put us in the lead. Then, at 2:31 AM, the election was called.

It was been a fight harder than the one Father had been promised by the man with a card all the way back in May. But now, finally, the fruits of our labor could be picked and enjoyed.

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991


[ ]

Kentucky Gubernatorial General Election Results, 11/7/1955:
Colonel Sanders (Republican) – 434,552 (52.91%)
Happy Chandler (Democratic) – 384,206 (46.78%)
Robert H. Garrison (Prohibition) – 1,397 (0.17%)
Jesse K. Lewis (Free Citizens’) – 1,149 (0.14%)
Total votes cast: 821,305
Turnout: 31.94% Total Population

– [4]

“That son of a deep-fried f@#ker!” Happy bellowed out in rage.

Reports on the state level showed that Democratic voters were still split between the Clements-Wetherby-Combs and Chandler camps, with some former Combs backers even crossing party lines to vote for Sanders. For the state legislation, the Sanders campaign had energized enough Republican-leaning voters to increase the number of Republicans in the state legislature, but not by much. Results were similar for the Democrats holding majority control – among the Democrats there were slightly more “Clementines” then “Chandlerites.”

Chandler searched for a silver lining, “Well, at least Waterfield will be there to throw a few wrenches into his work.”

“Um, Boss?” another campaign worker chimed in, “the Lieutenant Governor results are in… Denney beat Waterfield.”

“Oh that son of a…” and Happy continued on like that for a little while before finally calming down again. He then asked the room, “Who’s stupid idea to challenge his eligibility was it anyway?”

“Uh, sir?” I began to speak, uncertain of how to remind him that it had been his own idea, when he interrupted.

“You? Well then you’re fired!”

That’s how I stopped working for that miserable miser of a man. And that’s why I really hope he doesn’t win in November…

– Anonymous former aide to Happy Chandler, radio interview, September 1971

Dad was overjoyed. When he heard that he had won, his facial expression switched from tired from working so much on the campaign to suddenly ebullient, practically charging him with a great surge of energy. He was ecstatic. Immediately after the election was called, the phone began ringing off hook, with one of the congratulators being President Eisenhower himself, much to Dad’s elation. It was only after several minutes of additional celebration did it begin to dawn on him that soon he would have to say goodbye to direct involvement with KFC, his brainchild that had brought him there. His face shifted to showing worry, but Harley was able to reassure him that he could handle it.

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

“Never let anyone ever tell you that your ideas and opinion don’t matter. Because if it’s a good idea, people will support it. And judging by the election results, me running for Governor was a pretty good idea! But this election also shows your trust and belief in me. And when somebody puts their trust in me, you better believe that I deliver, so help me God. I swear and promise, folks, that I will not let y’all down. You will not be forgotten, because it was the hard work – and also, the actual voting, of course – of all of y’all that made this new era of government responsibility possible! During the next four years, we will make Kentucky a state that benefits all! Thank’ya all so much for this incredible opportunity! Y’all will not be disappointed, I swear to it!”

– Colonel Sanders, 11/8/1955

…And another story today is the conclusion of the FCC case over the right to air KFC commercials during the past gubernatorial election. Democrats, after failing a cease-and-desist measure to be imposed for the final weeks of the campaign, backed Happy Chandler’s claims that his company’s advertisements created an unfair advantage and violated fair-use policies. Today, the judges at Kentucky’s Court of Appeals nor agreed nor disagreed – they threw out the case on mishandled documentation regarding the airings of the KFC commercials and other paperwork issues. Not exactly an exciting conclusion, but hey, that’s politics…

– WKCT 930 AM Bowling Green, KT, radio broadcast, 12/2/1955

“It’s a fast but delicate process. You have to be careful but strong-armed with the fryer. Don’t overcook, don’t undercook. And above all, don’t tamper with the recipe! It took me many years to get it down just right, and just one moment of idleness, laziness, or greed could wreck an entire franchisee’s revenue. There will be no sub-par chicken connected to my name!” Pops instructed Harley and I.

After several additional semesters, I had finally earned a business degree, and just in time for me to join the family business, no less. My post-college years truly started with our father finally (with Harley being 43, and I being 36, it was better late than never, I suppose) teaching us how to properly prepare his chicken. “The cracklin’ gravy takes advantage of the bits of breading left in the oil after frying” [5] were one of many details he successfully urged us to absorb. Pops adamantly claimed that “knowing the tricks of my trade” was essential to transitioning power from him to us. Harley would run the place, “at the top,” Pops would say, while Margaret and I would work part-time as the co-heads of marketing, joining a growing number of high-end workers to study recent trends, analyze the latest fads, and brainstorm and test a plethora of creative concepts and ideas. Staying true to his old policies, a majority of workers in those years were widows with young children [6], a fact that really made the company stand out in social circles.

When the day came to hand over the reins of organizing his franchising empire, there were mixed emotions, for sure – Pops seemed anxious and almost frightened that he would miss the company too much. However, we all were excited about the days ahead, and as those days marched past us, Pops grew to embrace the many possibilities of being governor more and more.

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ biography, My Father The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000


[ ]
– Kentucky Governor-elect Colonel Sanders inspecting pressure fryers at a KFC franchise location in Valparaiso, Indiana, 12/3/1955


Corbin, KY – Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Company founder and Kentucky Governor-elected Colonel Sanders has officially stepped down from the company, relinquishing managerial control to his son Harley Sanders. The move is to assure that the Colonel will have no potential conflict-of-interest incidents while Governor. According to some reports, however, Sanders will retain certain elements connected to the company that do not inhibit his upcoming administration, though the specifics of these elements are currently unknown. The move will likely not negatively affect the company’s soaring popularity, especially if the young Harley Sanders keeps true to his promise of “running the same tight ship” his father did. Stock is not an issue here, as KFC is a privately owned franchise company...

– The Wall Street Journal, 12/16/1955


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders at the beginning of the gubernatorial inaugural parade of 12/13/1955

…The Soon-to-be-Governor rides from his home in Corbin to a hotel room here in the state capital for final preparations. …The inaugural parade is kept simple under Colonel Sanders’ request. Still, large stands are built for the audience and the media, assembling their cameras and microphones and other equipment for the event. …Everything is ready for the big day. …The special guests are escorted to the platform. Colonel Sanders is congratulated by the outgoing Governor Clements. It should be noted that, while former Governors Clements, Willis, Johnson, Sampson and Stanley are in attendance, it appears that former Governor A. B. "Happy" Chandler, whom Sanders bested in this year’s election for Governor, is not. …Sanders takes the oath of office. …Sanders now addresses the audience…

– Transcript of dialogue of archived footage of the 1955 Kentucky Gubernatorial Inauguration, University of Kentucky Video Archives, 1955

“Ladies and gentlemen, words cannot express how humbled I am right now, but I will try to find the best words to use anyway. I guess that’s like politics. You never know what you’ll get unless you try. That is exactly why I am here and why you are all here. Because in Kentucky, we try things – we work, we explore, we create. We push the barriers that may try to hold us back. And as governor I will follow in this ethic. I promise to work for the people of this state. Because now is the time to work. Now is the time for action, to ensure for prosperity, stability, and greatness, for the people of Kentucky now and years from now. Together, we will make great accomplishments for this state – better roads, better education, and more jobs. What will make all the difference what will make these accomplishments happen, is combining of the efforts and ideas of conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor, black and white, city folks and country folks, to make our state even greater than it already is. It will be a lot of work to clean up our problems, but in Kentucky, a problem is just a challenge that hasn’t been defeated yet. So let’s quit all this lollygaggin’ and let’s go to workin’!”

– Colonel Sanders, Inauguration speech, 12/13/1955

[1] IOTL and ITLL, this was the state’s highest court until the Kentucky Supreme Court was created in 1975:
[2] The date of this OTL incident and description of its location were found here:
[3] This quote is directly taken from the Wiki page for History of Kentucky and based on the 111th Reference
[4] These election details were based on info on the OTL race, which can be found here: The voter turnout is 5.5% higher than IOTL. The Prohibition Party’s nominee received less votes than OTL due to the Colonel’s teetotalism luring in those voters.
[5] Quote from here: (page 19)
[6] He’d “always hire” them; yes, really:
Post 3
Post 3: Chapter 4-to-Chapter 6
Chapter 4: January 1956 – December 1956

“I recognize the Republican Party as the sheet anchor of the colored man’s political hopes, and the ark of his safety.”

– Frederick Douglass

…"If the Colonel could make it, then so can I!" Contrary to popular belief, Ray Kroc was not inspired by Colonel Sanders’ success in the early 1950s to franchise McDonald’s, but by Kroc’s own experience in various industries since the Great Depression. Kroc instead drew inspiration from the KFC success story, and aimed to turn the then-small McDonald's franchise into "the KFC of the burger world" [after first discovering the original San Bernardino diner in 1954, one year after its first franchise opened] …Weary of Kroc’s increasing presence and influence in what was still their company, the McDonald brothers began 1956 by selling the licensed franchise rights for Cook County, Illinois, to the Frejlach Ice Cream Company. Within a few months, however, Kroc had purchased the rights back from that company. Kroc’s successful reclamation seems to have only increased the brothers’ concern over Kroc’s increasing control over their creation. “They were the only ones that seemed to regret letting me into their lives,” he would later comment in a 1977 interview…

– John F. Love’s McDonald’s: Behind the Arches, Bantam Books, 1986

When we finally relocated Kentucky Fried Chicken to Florence, KY, in January 1956, Pops dropped by to check out the place. He reminisced, “I remember when we first came to Corbin. There was no electricity yet, and it was a rough area. But, as painful as it may be at times, there’s no changing the fact that times change. Places change. …People change… And sometimes you just got to go and accept it, especially when it is for the better.” I think he was talking more about moving to the governor’s seat than the company moving out of Corbin, but he soon warmed up to both changes. All he had to do was find the right angle to look at it all in the best possible light.

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ biography, My Father The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000

“No more running off or around making deliveries and cleaning up messes for you, Claudia,” the boss told his lady, “no more cleaning out pots and packaging spices for train deliveries in the middle of the night [1]. From now on, the only grease touching your hands is the fancy kind they use in message parlors!” When Lady Claudia moved in to the governor’s mansion she was mightily impressed. After her first gaze upon the main foyer left her awestruck for a bit, Lady Claudia ran around the first floor and then up and down the stairs, canvassing the place like a youngin’ seeing a newly-opened candy store. She loved its rich history, its impressive size, and its ornate architectural style. She later told me that when it was their first time sleeping in the house, she awoke feeling like a queen, but it soon dawned on her the scale of her hosting duties, and later still, the need to develop a hobby for when there weren’t no guests around. She found her spot in women jobs programs and promoting us women having our thoughts and opinions heard; but don’t misunderstand – Claudia was an old-fashioned hostess who disapproved of skirts cut above the knee, once saying “Uncovered knees won’t land you a job.” She had no tolerance for such clothing being worn by any members of the staff when on duty, either, though she became a little more lenient with those rules as time wore on. With cooking and packing spices no longer a top priority, it shouldn’t have been such a big surprise when she took an interest in the lives of the staff. She wanted to really know us, and she was very friendly and kind with the staff members. Lady Claudia was like the main character in My Fair Lady – fancy, but never forgetting her humble origins. She paid us very well, and while hotheaded at times, just like her husband, she was truly a delight to have as a boss!

– Former personal assistant to State First Lady Claudia Sanders, former employer, 1997 interview


[ ]
– The Kentucky Governor’s Mansion

When I first started working as governor [in December 1955], I learned quickly how much the state congressmen weren’t my subordinates. They were more like my chicken fryers – if you pressured them too much, they would explode on you. I soon figured I’d get nothing done if I shouted and made enemies with everyone, so I focused on praise and support instead. I shied away from blame and pushed for what I guess modern folks would call a “positive work environment’ or so.

– Colonel Sanders’ autobiography, Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974


...In a detailed speech, the new Governor laid out an ambitious legislative agenda focused on reversing the flow of workers leaving the state to seek out better employment opportunities elsewhere...

The Louisville Times, 1/24/1956

Governor Sanders received an expense account of $10,000 a year (the modern equivalent of roughly $90,000 a year). Living frugally, he rarely used his "incredibly generous" expense account for himself, apart from custom all-white clothing. …Initially, Lieutenant Governor Ed Denney was reportedly highly upset over his low salary of only $3,000 a year (especially after learning that the state Agriculture Commissioner’s salary made more than double that, at $7,500 a year). Denney made less than a third of Sanders’ salary, but received $30 for every day in which he presided over the state senate. As a result, Denney soon came to support long, extended, and special sessions because they added to his paycheck. [2]

– Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

First thing on the agenda was the budget, which had to be set before the end of the summer and would be for everything until the end of 1957. I told the state congress, “I raised three children with little money, but despite the amount they needed I always had a little stashed way somewhere. After doing all that and starting a business, this should be should be easy.” Turns it, it wasn’t!

Working with the state legislators made me realize how little revenue was being brought into the state treasury on account of workers moving to Michigan in light of economic issues. Nobody could hire, and nobody was willing to spend. Some Democratic legislators wanted to raise taxes in order to pay for (and possibly even improve) the popular existing services that had been set up under Clements and Wetherby. Keeping to my campaign promises, though, the only taxes I would agree to (and would ever agree to) were taxes on vices (smokes, drinks, dirty pictures, and the like). As a result of these exceptions, a major 10% tax hike was proposed for alcoholic beverages. State legislator Karl D. Malone [3], proposed a better plan – a bond issue, which would allow for a hefty budget for the states’ education centers and highway maintenance system. Now the only way to get a bond issue would be from a wealthy investor, but thankfully we found some among the new businesses moving to Kentucky thanks to the new highway systems.

Unfortunately for the concept of pragmatism, talks slowed over some of the more ornery congressmen wanting to raise taxes instead, believing the bond issue may not be paid back. One in particular was J. B. Breckinridge, one of the more liberal state house Democrats, a lawmaker whose pokin’ of any idea I shot out fueled my nasty temper. Fortunately for him, the arguing never ended with any bruised faces, just hurt pride.

– Colonel Sanders’ autobiography, Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

On February 9, after weeks of discussions, Governor Colonel Sanders created a “Penny Crow” Fund so the state could build up a rainy-day fund. At first completely empty, the fund increased alongside the state’s revenue. The project was named after a pet crow The Colonel once kept during the Great Depression named Jim, whom, as the story goes, could form an impressive trick at Sander’s motel. The author Alan Bellows writes that “guests could drop a penny in their pant cuff and stroll around the yard, and Jim would hop behind them, pecking a probing until he got the penny out, much to the amusement of onlookers. Nobody knew what Jim did with the pennies until some years later, when Sanders was renovating the hotel. He tore out a staircase and it paid off like a penny slot.” [4]

– Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

Ma'am, two days ago the Sanders’ Court and Café cut its business hours down by three hours. Do you have anything to say about the ironic fact that road development has ruined the business of the birthplace of KFC?

I wouldn't say ruined, because we still appeal to local tastes, so I think impacted, or maybe, inhibited, would be the better word for our financial situation at the moment. But to answer your question, I don’t oppose road development, far from it. I want more roads, uh, roads connecting everyone and everything to everybody everywhere, so nobody is left out, dashed to the curb in the name of progress. As for the Court and Café and irony, well, my father has told reporters before that he is longer has any financial connections to the place’s management and that is true. The Court and Café and the KFC franchise organizing are under the new management of myself and my brother Harley, and before you are, we are not firing workers from the Court and Café, we are relocating them to new locations.

So just to clarify, the original KFC is not going to shut down?

We're not going to close the outlet. The roads might influence where some customers go, but not all customers.

– Exchange between a reporter and Mildred Sanders, 2/14/1956


Frankfort, KY – In the capital today, Governor Col. Sanders signed a series of executive orders outlawing racial discrimination in public facilities, interstate commerce facilities, public workplaces, public housing, public education, and most contentiously, at all voting stations. …the executive order even outlaws refusing to serve a customer based solely on their skin color. …These executive orders prove the Colonel is a man of more than just rhetoric, but a man who is keeping to his promises to uphold the freedoms promised to all in the Kentucky and United States Constitutions…

– The Colored Kentuckian, African-American newspaper (now defunct), 2/24/1956


[ ]
– Activists protesting against (left) and activists supporting (right) the city of Louisville’s politicians’ reluctance to integrate the city’s schools, c. March 1956


...Governor Sanders will appoint someone to the former Vice President's now-vacant US Senate seat to serve until a special election is held in November ...The Democratic and Republican parties’ "Chiefs" will select the candidates for this impromptu autumn race, with the leaders of both state parties citing the lack of time left in the year to host primary election contests...

The Courier-Journal, Kentucky newspaper, 5/1/1956

Finally, we reached an agreement. The two-year budget featured a bond issue and a 5% across-the-board tax on all vices; I called it a “Sin Tax” until some rich snobs started making puns about it. I’m still not sure was the joke was, but regardless, the plan aimed to reduce unnecessary and wasteful spending in order to break even at the least. To improve the economy, we gave companies tax incentives to move to Kentucky, boosting the state’s markets and expanding the state’s tax revenues.

I ended up opposing many of my fellow Republicans, though, when I sided with some of the Democrats in refusing to cut public sector investments. “A strong economy always makes it easier to cut spending,” they argued. But I figured that it could badly impact economic growth to makes cuts in that particular place, and that would defeat the very purpose that we were setting out to achieve. I also refused to cut pension spending, as it would mean forcing people to work longer. Now, as I’ve made clear in the previous chapters on this here book, I highly value hard work, but I think people should be inspired to work hard for success – not forced to work hard to get by!

The moderate in the state congress added the finishing touches – lower interest rates to boost spending, et cetera – and after going over it again and again just to make sure I knew exactly what I was approving, it was done and done.

Of course, there were still problems to address, the biggest one at that moment being who I would appoint to the US Senate in the wake of Senator Barkley passing away. But before that moment came, I was treated to an old gubernatorial custom, a lighthearted venture I considered a short-enough break from the stuffy rooms of the capital.

– Colonel Sanders’ autobiography, Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974


[ ]
– Governor Sanders congratulating the winner of the Kentucky Derby (an annual tradition/unofficial duty of the job), while holding a nonalcoholic beverage, 5/5/1956


Frankfort, KY – “The Colonel Governor,” Harland D. Sanders, today announced his appointee to the state’s vacant US Senate seat will be James Stephen Golden. A lifelong Republican, Golden, 65, represented Kentucky in the US House of Representatives from 1949 to 1955, and is currently a senior member of the state government’s Highway Commission. Golden, whom appeared alongside Governor Sanders at the announcement, stated that he “will not contest the upcoming special election,” and will instead serve as a placeholder until a special election in November determines whom will serve the remainder of the late Senator Alben W. Barkley’s term…

The State Journal, Frankfort-based Kentucky newspaper, 5/15/1956

COL. SANDERS’ JOBS PROGRAMS SEE EARLY RESULTS: State Welcomes New Investors, Workers

The Courier-Journal, 6/23/1956

The Colonel was bossy because he was a perpetually restless man. When he was Governor, he apparently met with congresspersons like crazy, and would often get red in the face over the slow legislation process. So three months into office, he realized he might be able to get more done at a grassroots level, so he began meeting more local politicians like mayors, um, commissioners and the like, and began, you know, pushing them to do more for their communities.

– Billie Jean Johnson, Colonel Sander’s stepdaughter, in a rare interview, 1999

After setting the budget, the Colonel moved to reign in an aspect of the state government that had gone unmanaged under the past Democratic Governors. The state’s commissions were organized and hired by the Governor as a way around the state constitution’s ambiguous language regarding the extent of the executive branch’s powers. While Governors Ruby Laffoon and Happy Chandler had simplified the number of commissions, agencies and boards from 69 in 1934 to 10 by 1937, unchecked expansion afterwards had led to several dozen commission boards and departments by the start of 1956. Sanders, urged by Lieutenant Governor Denney, called for a special session of the state congress for the passing of the Administration Reorganization Act, which reduced the number of commissions to 11 (the Colonel swore “that number was just a coincidence” several times afterwards). To cut down on the unruly and disorganized departments, Governor Sanders merged many of the similar ones together into eleven statutory departments: Finance and Revenue, Transportation, Health and Housing, Justice, Industry and Development, Business, Environment, Education and the Arts, Mining, Agriculture, and Technology. Administration “overlap” concerning topics concerning more than one department lead to Sanders establishing a clear set of instructions to ensure “the buck was not passed from one place to the next” and encourage the departments to “work together on shared causes” and “keep each other in line.” The results were mixed, but Sanders’ “bucking-stopping rules” paved the way for future Governors when it came to streamlining the administration’s topic-reviewing process.

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015


…Violet A. Dunlevy of Scottsboro, Scott County, Indiana, passed away yesterday at the age of 76. She was the daughter of Richard and Catherine Clegg Dunlevy of Henryville, Clark County, Indiana. For twenty years, Dunlevy operated a millinery shop (a store selling women’s hats and other garments and apparel) in Shoals, Indiana. She was the last one of a large family of Indianans, and having no husband or children of her own, her only survivors are several nieces and nephews. Kentucky Governor Harland “Colonel” Sanders is the son of Dunlevy’s oldest sister, Margaret Ann Dunlevy Sanders, who passed away in 1935 at the age of 69.

Speaking of the passing of the last of a generation of Dunlevys, Governor Sanders said, “Aunt Violet lived not too far away from us. When she could help, when she was not too busy working, and helping out other relatives, she would come over to help our family, especially after my father passed away. Aunt Violet was much younger than my mother by roughly 15 years, so she was only, I want to say, a bit more than ten years older than me, but that was the kind of person she was – she cared about her family members and she helped out when she could. I’m really going to miss her.”

The Reverend M. R. Wertenberger, the pastor of the Scottsboro Christian Church in Indiana, will conduct the funeral services on the 30th at the Bollix Funeral Home in Henryville, Indiana. The burial will occur at the Scottsboro Cemetery in Scottsboro, Indiana. According to the Governor, the terms of her will have dictated that her millinery shop and her house will be left to the Scottsboro Presbyterian Church and dedicated to the memory of her brother James C. Dunlevy and his wife. The Governor explains, “Aunt Violet lived with the two of them in their final years. They were very sick, and she went and helped them out the best she could, like always.”

The Advocate-Messenger, Kentucky newspaper, side article, 6/28/1956

Claudia ultimately decided to open up the mansion to the public in early July – just in time for an Independence Day fireworks spectacular – letting the people see it in order to get more people interested in government and interior decorating. She went even further by opening up the grounds for public use, which required the hiring of additional grounds workers. “I’m often inclined to make any home one proud to live in,” she told me. Indeed, the mansion went through much renovation and modernization during her time living in that mansion, or “grand home,” as she called it.

– Former personal assistant to State First Lady Claudia Sanders, former employer, 1997 interview

In July 1956, Governor Sanders raised the salaries of teachers by raising the amounts allowed from state aid and from state revenue [5]. At the start of the 1956-1957 school year, the Colonel visited dozens of schools to urge students to stay in school: “Not seeing high school through to the end cost me job opportunity after job opportunity for decades. I struggled to pay the bills, and at one point, times were so bad that my wife almost left me. I don’t think anyone should ever find themselves in that sort of position, where they are doing the best they can, but because of a foolish mistake they made in their youth, it just isn’t enough. Save yourselves from the headache and heartache, and see high school ’til the end.” Analysts believe that the Governor’s financial backing of schools in the state during his term cut down the state’s lost earning capacity from high-school dropouts between 1956 and 1958, “significantly lower from the 1954-1956 period.”

– Lowell Harrison and James Klotter’s A History of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1997

NLRB commends KFC

Washington, DC – The National Labor Relations Board approved of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s expansion of labor union representation in KFC’s managerial decisions, lauding the move as supporting “an open canal through which the workers can better participate in the KFC business and have their voices and ideas be heard in decision-making process that affects them.” The NLRB, a federal agency, approved the move as part of their review of the company’s latest collective bargaining agreement between management and unions for their truckers, cooks, waiters, and numerous other workers. Kentucky Fried Chicken has nearly 400 franchise locations in the United States and Canada…

The Wall Street Journal, 7/29/1956

In 1956, I decided to stop by KFC’s new headquarters to see how my sister was doing, seeing as how we hadn’t seen much of each other since Dad’s inauguration. After passing through that tall lobby, nowadays covered with giant banners of the founder’s face, I finally met with Millie in her giant office. “I have to say, I really like what you’ve done with the place,” I told her. It was so orderly and pristine. “You are very professional when Harley and Pete [Harman] are away,” I joked.

“Yeah, the two of them are handling business in Utah this weekend,” sis explained their absence. Unfortunately, she couldn’t stay and chat. She had to meet with a group of people, “our core customers,” she told me, and hear their comments and suggestions. Nowadays, I guess one would call it a “focus group.”

Not ready to leave and a little bit curious, I urged, “Oh, let me sit in! I promise, I won’t cause a scene.” After some hesitation, she obliged.

I was surprised by the demographics – the entire room was full of women. Judging by their appearances, all them were either mothers or new wives. Each of them were clamoring to have their comments heard, even though they were practically all the same. The fans thanked the company for easing their time at home, taking dinner off their list of things to do. Only some had anything useful to share – some called for additional items to be offered alongside the chicken, and suggested expansion into the neglected states of their in-laws. Other comments were less helpful, such as one spinster who criticized the growing “bucket-o-chicken” idea because, basically, she thought it was undignified to purchase dinner in a “glorified milking pail.” I was happy to see that nobody in the room seemed to have her back on that.

After the meeting was over and these dedicated fans were given a tour of the building before being shown the exit, Millie and I returned to her office. “Well,” she sat down, somewhat boasting her handling of the group, “What did you think of all that?”

In all honesty, I was proud of her. I thought she’d really come a long ways from being just an annoying younger sister; she had matured into a competent businesswoman in just a few short years of both schoolin' and experience. “Eh, it could’ve gone worse” and a kind smirk was my reply.

– Margaret Sanders’ biography, The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and A Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

Approaching the end of the summer, I returned to Corbin, where the original restaurant was almost as vacant of human life as a ghost town. According to Millie, customers dropped by 70% as more accessible franchise locations thrived elsewhere. I had what I guess you could call mixed emotions; a part of me wanted to do something, as, just because I couldn’t have ties to businesses, didn’t mean that I couldn’t care. After that trip, I started drop by KFC spots more often to inspect franchise quality under the guise of having a simple lunch or dinner. Despite some liberal Democrats looking for a fight, nothing seemed to come about concerning these visits. I think it was because politicians know when to back off, and respect what their opponents hold sacred – well, state politicians, at least!

– Colonel Sanders’ autobiography, Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

“Hello?” [footsteps] (faintly) “Oh my, what a house. It’s terrible what they’ve done with it.”

“Millie, that you? Hey, I wanted to ask you about – …Josephine! What are you doing here?”

“Can’t a mother drop off a birthday present for her own daughter?”

“Millie’s party is later, Jo.” [sounds of present being moved, placed somewhere]. “I’ll tell her you dropped by.”

“Hm. I honestly didn’t expect you to be here, Harland. I figured you’d be busy playing governor.”

“It ain’t no playful thing, Josephine, I have a stack of papers on my desk this high.”

“Oh? Making confetti for yourself? The chicken-selling clown needs some pizzazz, huh?”

“You ain’t gonna insult me in my own house, Jo. You’ve got no right!”

“Oh, quit acting so high-and-mighty, Harland, we both know you wouldn’t even have this house if it weren’t for me.”

“What?! You’re crazier than usual!”

“It was my encouragement that led to you being a lawyer and being interested in politics all those years ago. Face it, you’d be nothing without my encouragements. You’d still be toiling away on the railroads if it weren’t for me!”

“Nagging isn’t encouragement.”

“I never nag. I just encourage aggressively.”

“You’d belittle me every chance you got! I was already trying to do right by you, to have the job to have the money to give you what you wanted.”

“I wanted you, you idiot!”

“Well you had a weird way of showing it, packing up the kids and leaving like that.”

“Oh, Harland – “

“Don’t deny it. I get a job shoveling coal into a firetruck engine, and I write letters that you don’t answer. And don’t dare try to say that what you did was in the heat of the moment – you packed up all the kids, and gave away all the furniture an’ stuff, too! …That hurt me more than you’ll ever know, Josephine... When I found out where you all were I was so angry that – well, I’m just glad your father was there to calm me down.” [6]

“You cared more about yourself than us, Harland. And I can never stay where I’m not wanted.”

“Then why are you still here?! Git!”

[footsteps] “Just remember, Harland, that I was a part of your life for almost 40 years. I made you who you are today.” [sound of door closing]

[long pause] “Nah, Jo. You made me who I was for 40 years. Claudia made me who I am today.”

– Audio recorded by equipment meant to record Millie’s birthday celebration that evening (recorded 8/15/1956), discovered in 1997 and released to the public in 2010 under the parameters of the Freedom of Information Act of 2009

1956 Republican National Convention
Date(s): August 20-23, 1956
City: San Francisco, CA
Venue: Cow Palace
Presidential nominee: Dwight D. Eisenhower of Kansas
Vice Presidential nominee: Richard M. Nixon of California
Results (President):
Dwight Eisenhower (KS) – 1,323 (100%)
Results (Vice President):
Richard M. Nixon (CA) – 1,323 (100%)
Robert B. Anderson (TX) – 23 (4%)
Harland D. Sanders (KY) – 3 (1%)



Tri-City News, Kentucky newspaper, 9/1/1956

In 1954, the US Supreme Court voted unanimously in the Brown v The Board of Education of Topeka case, declaring that segregated schools were unconstitutional. By 1956, though, schools nationwide were still struggling to implement integration into the classrooms. On September 4, 1956, the conflict came to a head in the Colonel’s Kentucky. Nine African-American students attempted to enter the all-white Sturgis High School in Sturgis, KY, but were blocked by roughly 500 opponents [7].

Early into his administration, Governor Sanders had signed an executive order demanding school districts comply with federal regulation concerning ensuring “every citizen’s access and freedom to exercise their constitutional rights.” It allowed blacks to access previously prohibited aspects of society. Areas found even in their own towns were now suddenly open to African-American Kentuckians. Some white communities still resisted, though, with the most famous incident soon occurring in the eastern Kentucky town of Sturgis.

Colonel Sanders quickly decided to travel to the school to defend the integration, telling the superintendent that he would refuse to leave until he had resolved the conflict; with hubris, he boasted “I ain’t going to rest until I have changed their minds. I’m a salesman; I’ll sell them integration.” According to multiple sources, including then-state representative John B. Breckenridge, right before leaving to address the crowd, the Colonel contacted the local business leaders and state representatives to threaten to cut off funds to their businesses and campaigns if they in any way supported the protesters.

Upon arriving at Sturgis High, Sanders climbed aboard to the back of a pickup truck to speak to the seemingly-adamant crowd. “...Blacks are the same as whites. They both want the same things – safety for their families, decent education, security and opportunity, and to be fairly rewarded for the hard work they do. These are the very promises of America that make us a destination for millions of immigrating people and a beacon of hope and admiration to the world. Now I understand that change is hard to adjust to. You get used to something, you expect it to stay that way. But this is not the beginning of something dangerous. This is the beginning of something great. ...In December, I swore that every voice is heard in Kentucky, and I am seeing to it right now, that every voice, white or black, is heard.”

Sanders was booed by many, but even when some threw things at him, the Colonel refused to leave until the children were allowed in. Soon, Sanders failed to convince them that the violence made them look bad, a made a major gaffe with the offending line “Nobody wants to pet a growling dog!”

As the hours passed, the need for people to return to their jobs and families (along with pressure from their employers in connection to Sanders' earlier "talks") gradually shrunk the crowd’s size. Slowly, the crowd became the less hostile. In the P.M. hours, local police monitored the school grounds, and the Colonel, while retaining his vigil on the pickup truck, sent his aides off to round up as many white counter-protesters as they could under the cover of darkness.

The next day, the segregationists that remained were becoming disheartened. The African-American children returned, joined now by five more, totaling 14. Again, the Colonel verbally debated the jeering crowd, which slightly swelled in size. The segregationists were surprised, however, by the even larger forming band of counter-protesters. After much intense shouting, police officers managed to clear a path for the children into the school building. Inside, the students were heckled and harassed, but to the people outside – upon realizing what had happened – their fight had ended in defeat. The Colonel tried one more time to disperse the upset crowd through the power of persuasion. The incident was leading to more and more media scrutiny of the protesters, whom were becoming more and more reluctant to fight. “If you truly love your state, if you truly love your family, if you truly love the peace and democratic way that America stands for, y’all will calm down and allow for the innocent – the children – to do something that is peaceful and innocent. Let them learn, and they will love this country as much as you do.”

After a sum total nearly 50 hours of intermittent shouting, from the beginning of the confrontation to the end of it, the crowd reluctantly dispersed in defeat, and the Governor, hoarse and exhausted, took a quick nap on the back of the truck.

– food writer Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

Colonel Sanders was praised across the northern states for his stand – even making the cover of Time Magazine – and was criticized in the South by Dixiecratic politicians...

…Lester Maddox, at the time a segregationist businessman in Georgia, failed to lead a call for the Governor’s impeachment. He would later cite the Sturgis Standoff as a catalyst for his involvement with the Ku Klux Klan and other groups and organizations...

…Weeks later, local reports described an example of the more peaceful implementations of school integration in Kentucky by covering Graves County, which saw African-American students begin their classes at Mayfield High School, in Mayfield…

…Police routinely monitored school grounds as adults and students adjusted to the new social structure. An incident in Dunbar concerning a female junior student’s poodle skirt being set on fire led to an implementation of not only additional police officers, but also new fire safety features at schools…

– Lowell Harrison and James Klotter’s A History of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1997

...Another Gallup Poll showed Governor Sander’s approval rating reaching a new high of 60% in October. On October 20, [Martin Luther] King commended Sanders in a phone call for his handling of school integration, and would later cite the Sturgis Standoff as an example of how a Republican can maintain law and order through communication, not police brutality...

– Taylor Branch, Parting the Water: America in the King Years 1954-1963, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders privately dining at Dr. King’s house in Atlanta, GA, 10/3/1956

“The Sturgis Standoff? I guess that’s a good name for it… I understood where those angry people were coming from – I didn’t like change when I was younger – I think you know about how I feel about algebra – but when you are suddenly in the place of being responsible for how something plays out, you see what is really important. And at that moment what adults thought was not as important as what the children needed. And they needed to see from the adults around them when you must fight others and when you must listen to others. That’s why I held back my temper that day. Usually, when people upset me, I give ’em a tongue-lashin’ they never forget, but I knew that if I started I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from shakin’ my cane and cussin’ like a madman. And I knew that I couldn’t have none of that because there were children there, and the Governor of any state has got to set an example for the young people of their state.”

– Colonel Sanders to a reporter while attending a fundraiser for Eisenhower/Nixon ’56, 10/20/1956


Washington, DC – President Eisenhower won a second term last night by a wide popular and electoral amount over Democratic challenger Adlai Stevenson in a rematch of the 1952 Presidential Election… Kentucky voted for Eisenhower by a nearly 10-point margin, with 55.2% of the vote going to Ike, and 44.3% going to Adlai. …In the regularly-scheduled Senate race, former Congressman Thruston Morton (R) defeated incumbent Senator Earle Clements (D) by a very narrow margin (50.5% v 49.4%)… Morton was likely helped by Governor Sanders’ high popularity. …In the special Senate election, former Senator John Sherman Cooper (R) was elected back to his old seat, defeating his opponent, former Governor Lawrence Wetherby (D) by a narrow margin (52.1% v 47.8%)…

The Paintsville Herald, Kentucky newspaper, 11/7/1956

On the national political level, the Colonel was conflicted over the candidates for the November 6, 1956 special election to finish the US Senate seat left vacant by Senator Alben W. Barkley’s death. Sanders partially owed his success to Wetherby for giving him the catering job that gave the Colonel the confidence to franchise his chicken, and felt campaigning for his Republican opponent would be “rotten of him.” On the other hand, openly supporting Wetherby would make him appear “treasonous to the party” by the state Republicans. Ultimately, the Colonel sat that election out after complimenting both candidates and suggesting that voters “vote for whom you think is best for the job.” In the end, Wetherby lost to Cooper by a narrow margin. Sanders reportedly apologized by Wetherby for not endorsing him, as Wetherby had crossed party lines to endorse Sander's gubernatorial candidate just a year prior. However, Wetherby alleged in a 1976 interview that he held no grudge against the Colonel “whatsoever,” which makes sense when one considers both the differences between the 1955 and 1956 races and the state of Wetherby’s career by the time of that interview…

– journalist John Ed Pearce’s Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1959, A University Press of Kentucky, 1987

[1] Noted here:
[2] The newspaper article uncovered here: (8/4/1951 The Courier-Journal, Louisville KY, page 13) reads that “the 1950 Legislature enacted a new salary law for elective and appointive offices. It put in motion by statue the $12,000 constitutional salary ceiling adopted in 1949. But the law does not become effective for legislators and elective state officers until their new terms start next January. The next Governor… will draw $10,000 a year and will have a $10,000 expense account. This is the present compensation arrangement for the Governor’s office. The 1950 Legislature didn’t change it. …the next lieutenant governor will be the first one to draw a salary [of] $3,000 a year. He also will get $30 a day during sessions of the Legislature while he presides over the Senate… the commissioner of agriculture will get $7,500…” According to, the value of $10,000 in 1955 equals $92,331.09 in 2018, and $10,000 in 1959 equals $85,302.42 in 2018.
[3] A state legislator mentioned in the 8/4/1951 newspaper article discovered here:
[4] Quote found here: (page 18 when printed out)
[5] Teacher Salary Link: (“‘The Public Papers of Governor Bert T. Combs: 1959-1963,’ by Bert T Combs,” found by Googling “salary of governor of Kentucky in 1951”). The source reads “Kentucky lost a minimum of $824395000 [?] in earning capacity through students who dropped out of high school in a single class” between 1954 and 1959.
[6] Story and even further details (and OTL discrepencies) located here:
[7] This happened IOTL, but in OTL Governor Chandler handled it differently:

Chapter 5: January 1957 – December 1957

“It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.”

– Stephen King (OTL)

KFC IN MEXICO: What to Expect

Mexico City, Mexico – On Thursday, January 3, KFC began the new year with a new milestone. The first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Mexico opened its doors in that nation's capital city today, welcoming in locals to the company’s 408th outlet overall. The franchise's newest outlet means that the company's offerings can now be found at locations spread across three countries: Canada, US, and now Mexico.

Businessweek, weekly newspaper, 1/5/1957

Things seemed to be going well for Kentucky. The Governor was slowly convincing companies to invest in the state, roadwork was chipping away at unemployment, and the winter harvest was great! I guess it was all the calm before the storm – er, flood, uh, you know what I mean.

– 1957 Flood Survivor from Wooton, KY, recorded for NBC anniversary report, 1/28/1958

“The first three weeks of January 1957 were drier than normal across eastern Kentucky. However, …one to two inches of rain fell on the 22nd and 23rd, saturating the ground and bringing streams up to normal levels. [When] a frontal [storm] boundary… moved into the state… a weak area of low pressure tracked along the front producing additional light rain across southeast Kentucky. …The heaviest rain occurred…on January 28th and 29th, when a general two to six inches of rain fell over southeast Kentucky.”

The rain beating down on the Governor’s mansion was not nearly as fierce as it was on the other side of the state. The rainstorm roared against buildings, threatening to uproot anything it could, and halting people’s movement with inches upon inches of water, overwhelming the storm drains. It was rougher than a pulp wood truck in a cotton patch. Several phones covered my desk, and none of them were keepin’ quiet. Local officials were anxious, and local utilities were stretched thin. Luckily, the early warning systems seemed to be working fine. Still, I knew I had to do something. Within hours, I was on the airwaves, calling on everyone to follow the safety guidelines the experts handed to me. I urged folks to stay calm, protect their kin and neighbors, then their property. Emergency workers were assembled for whatever we would face.

– Colonel Sanders’ autobiography, Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

Advanced warning systems assembled under the Sanders administration enabled hundreds of families in Paintsville and surrounding towns to successfully evacuate before the river moved in to their homes. Even still, the rivers overflowed so quickly in some places “that many residents had to evacuate without their belongings. Communications were disrupted and food shortages developed as the result of damage to stores. Water supplies were contaminated in some locations and there was no gas for cooking. Reports indicated that 30 state and federal highways were blocked by flood waters or mudslides and most secondary roads were impassable due to heavy rains.”

The towns along the Cumberland River, which meanders around the border of Kentucky and Tennessee, were hit hardest. Even Corbin experienced flooding, as the town is just 15 miles away from the Laurel River, which is attached to the Cumberland. 400 homes, nearly a hundred businesses (new and old), and several churches and schools were flooded. As much as 10 feet of water rose up in some parts of town, which was higher than at any other time in the past 50 years according the older local residents, even greater than the last two times the region suffered a major flood (1939 and 1946).

There were so many places hit: Barbourville in Knox County, Jeremiah in Lecher County, London in Laurel County, Baxter in Harlan County, and Hazard in Perry County. Buckhorn, Hayden, Wooton, Manchester got hit, too. 80 percent of the small town of Oneida, in Manchester County, got covered in up to 9 feet of water – 80%!

But the city that got hit the worst was Pikeville, at the eastern tip of the state. Experts later told me that at the flood’s height, almost the entire city was submerged, engulfed by the river and rain. One of the experts told me it was “the first time [this has] happened since 1862.” Over 250 homes were destroyed and roughly with 2,400 were damaged in the area overall, along with, reportedly, over 400 cars!

The scenes were incredible; nearly apocalyptic. Now, I had experienced flooding before, but not to this extent. It was awesome in the bad sense of the word.

Immediately, I got my folks to get me a truck, a boat on its back, and some boots on my feet. Parts of the federal highway were submerged, making strips of the gravel into giant urban swimming pools. Despite the pleas from my aides, I set out with policemen and firemen to the affected areas.

I personally visiting the sites hit to ensure services were being provided and to built faith and hope among those whom had lost the most. When I visited Prestonburg, where over half the city was city underwater, roughly a thousand men, women and children had been forced to abandon their homes, and now were cold, hungry, and in need of help. Ordered the local officials – police officers, firemen, priests, anyone in a position to lead – to set up supplies uphill. Sleeping bags, canned food, makeshift tents hugged the waterside. I helped hand out blankets and sat down with the people. Many needed a ear to speak into or a shoulder to cry on, and I saw no reason not to oblige. At one point, a crowd of displaced locals, emboldened by my presence, called for me to make them some KFC. After some hesitance, I used the truck’s military-grade radio to order in over 200 buckets of fresh chicken. At a time of disaster, KFC brought people together and raised their spirit. Then the people waited, desperately but patiently, for the next few days, until the waters receded, and they could return to inspect what was left of their homes.

– Colonel Sanders’ autobiography, Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders meeting with public officials in Pikesville, 2/3/1957

While there were no deaths in the Kentucky Flood of 1957, several people were hospitalized for injuries. Damage “exceeded $15 million in Pike County alone.” Commercial damage was the focus on the post-flood cleanup. An airport was completely wiped out, and hundreds of homes and commercial space was damaged. For instance, “Twenty-five residences and thirty-four commercial properties were inundated in Manchester.” Fortunately, the state government viewed the flood as a blessing in disguise, as it allowed for the creation of more jobs, which lowered unemployment. Electricians repaired the phone and power lines, janitors cleaned the repairable places and demolition and construction companies went in to replace the irreparable.

On February 28, after Sanders called for a special session of the General Assembly, state legislators passed a set of laws concerning the zoning requirements and levee levels for new buildings constructed in Watershed Regions, along with an allocation of funds to the state’s flood relief efforts.

– journalist John Ed Pearce’s Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1959, A University Press of Kentucky, 1987


[ ]

I had to run around the state all over again to convince businesses to invest in Kentucky. Many companies refused to bite on the idea of founding anything in the southern parts of the state, so for them I convinced them to look at the northern parts of the state. Those areas were, after all, closer to the industry hubs of Chicago, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, anyway! Still, the flood had cost the state a significant amount of funds, and some of my experts feared we’d be unable to return to the pre-flood levels of revenue until 1961. Fortunately, we had the Penny Crow Fund, which was meant exactly for situations like this – to hold us over until the short-term met up with the long-term. There wasn’t much in it because we had only put under a year’s worth of funds into it, but the flood vindicated the idea of keeping the fund around. Later Governors would adopt it to, though its name was changed in 1971 to the Emergency Relief Fund, or the “Rainy-Day” Fund as some call it.

– Colonel Sanders’ autobiography, Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

After the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 1957, Harland began travelling the state again to get some more ideas on what to introduce in the next session and, more generally, check on how things were coming along throughout the state. Of course, Harland also took the opportunity to check on the KFC franchisees here and there. He was only human, after all. He was curious as to just how loyal franchisees were remaining in his absence. The lack in quality declination showed that Millie and Harley were faithfully keeping an eye on things, and that filled Harland with pride for his children.

– Claudia Price Sanders, TNB (Trinity National Broacasting) interview, 1979

The more I tried to participate in the operations at KFC, the more male pigheadedness showed its ugly head. Many male workers resented their boss being a woman, and the more influential of them that stayed on quietly opposed my increasing influence in the workings-on in the company. At the time, of course, such feelings were natural to find, but the thing was, I was too proud to admit to Harley or Dad that it did indeed bother me a bit.

One time, I dropped by when Harley was in a meeting with this truckers’ union, and none of them gave me the respect that I deserved. Sure, they courteously stood up when I came and left, but all of them nearly completely ignored me. When I’d ask one of them a question, they would answer to Harley instead of to me. Shucks, even Millie got more respect, it seemed. The treatment was much worse with some of the more elderly and old-fashioned franchisees, men who, ironically, didn’t exactly take kindly to a woman telling them how to run their kitchen. That’s how some men are. They hear you’re only in charge of sales and they figure it’s fine to disregard you, no matter how close you are to the bosses. But instead of telling my father or brother or even my sister about it, I took the matter into my own hands – I looked up and met with their wives, their sisters, and their mothers to see how I could win them over. I held public picnics for their families where the men would arrive expecting to meet the Colonel or Harley, and instead would have to deal with dealing with me.

Unfortunately, the colorful rhetoric in the bathrooms, the elevators, the hallways, behind closed doors and by the water coolers continued on. So finally, in the early summer days of 1957, I talked to Millie. As the number-two at the company, her experience wasn’t as bad as mine. Even still, her handling of the sexist pigs was easy – if a worker, or a candidate for a job or a franchise outlet, turned out to not like working for a woman, she’d simply let them go. And yes, it was tricky, because if you rile up a man too much, they will get violent on you and get other pigheaded men to get violent on you too. So during much of the year 1956 or so, there were confrontations. Franchisees threatening to drop our chicken from their menu despite the revenue they’d lose from it. Employees threatening to strike, or getting their friends to intimidate others into boycotting our food. Finally, Millie contacted the International Federation of Business and Professional Women; their officials really helped clear the air by initiating more open communication between the sexes and other tactics. The company’s collective bargaining agreements were soon updated with stronger wording to protect not just minority workers from workplace harassment, but now female workers as well. Tensions seemed to cool down.

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997


[pic: ]

– A vintage KFC bucket, circa June 1957

While he was swamped with work in the middle of a scorcher of a July, I surprised my father one day by applying for the job of Assistant to the Governor. The underrated vizier. Like Father and Mags, I was restless at the company, and had decided to split my time.

Father put me through the same interview grilling he gave all the other applicants. After that, we split some pop – or coke, or soda, whichever you prefer [1] – to celebrate my hiring. I started out helping father with appointments on weekends, and overseeing business at KFC on weekdays. Naturally, many didn’t appreciate it at both workplaces, especially in light of Maggie’s confrontation with a trucker’s union causing some trouble, but Frankfort’s political folks were actually the more hostile ones. Many considered me unqualified for the job despite my business degree, and several liberal Democrats even went so far as to accuse my father of nepotism, despite the aforementioned hiring process. In the end, however, the remarks were entirely ineffective, as I continued to divide my time between KFC, my father, and my younger children, for the remainder of Father’s time as Governor.

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr.’s In the Thick of It: The Story of the Colonel and his Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1993


…Kenneth P. Vinsel, executive Vice President of the Louisville Chamber of Commerce, will meet with representatives of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers to discuss the "local workers situation" for the new testing facility that is planned to be built just south of the city…

The Courier-Journal, Kentucky newspaper, 8/8/1957

U.S. PARATROOPS TAKE SCHOOL: Guard Federalized, City Told to Obey the Law

Ike Tells Why Army Sent to Little Rock

– The San Francisco Chronicle, 9/24/1957

Privately, Colonel Sanders disapproved of Eisenhower’s handling of Little Rock incident, believing that the President should have been quicker to respond to the crisis. Comparing the crisis in Arkansas with the Sturgis Standoff, the Colonel was, allegedly, also disappointed by how seemingly disconnected the President was from the issue, as he did not personally visit the school in question. This criticism seems to have been forgiven or ignored, however, as the President invited Colonel Sanders to the White House later in the year for a discussion on highway-side eateries. Both figures considered the talk “pleasant” and "productive," with the President later remarking that The Colonel was "an impressive man."

– David Pietrusza’s The Epic Campaigns of the 1960s, 2008

KENTUCKY GOVERNOR AT ODDS WITH WALL STREET: Publicly States “I’ve Never Trusted The Stock Market.”

…Kentucky economists fear Sanders’ rhetoric yesterday could hurt consumer confidence in the state, at a time when the Governor is still trying to overcome financial hurdles. The state’s finances took a hit in February when heavy rainfall caused the Cumberland River to flood, ultimately costing the state “several dozens of millions” of dollars in damage. Nevertheless, the boisterous governor cited his hesitance to “be dependent on Wall Street” for his success as governor over the past two years, and suggested that people “invest in gold” and raw elements, and focus more on banks and “the kind of money you can actually hold in your hand” than on stocks. However, Sanders did concede that “banks are a lot more trusting nowadays, especially after FDR took care of them. But still, you should never keep all of your eggs in one basket. And that way of thinking works not just when it comes to eggs, but when it comes to banking, too!”

– Wall Street Journal, 8/12/1957

…The state Treasury department today announced that they expect the state budget to make a full recovery from its current shortfall within the next three months. January’s flood bit a sizeable chunk out of the state’s funds, but it did lead to efficient cleanup work that was, uh, actually hailed by the, uh, Governor Clement of Tennessee, for quickly mobilizing across the affected region…

– WKCT 930 AM (Bowling Green, KY) radio broadcast, 9/16/1957

...Midterms are always a means for gauging the people’s approval or disapproval of the incumbent leaders, and Kentucky’s 1957 midterms were no exception. Throughout the fall campaign, Sanders campaigned heavily for GOP candidates, relishing in his bipartisan popularity and the economy's steadily increasing health.

Meanwhile, I was just starting out as the new regional manager for the dozens of KFC franchisee locations set up in the Midwest at this time. While not affecting me directly, I was aware that for the neighboring state of Kentucky, KFC franchisees were explicitly instructed to not have any political banners on the premises in order to avoid arguments between Republican and Democratic customers. The Colonel was a Republican, but under Millie and Harley’s watch, KFC was strictly nonpartisan, and his folks in Kentucky made sure of that. but in the Midwestern states like Ohio and Indiana, franchisees had no reservations about promoting the chain founder through word of mouth...

– Dave Thomas’ Under the Colonel’s Wing, Mosaic Publishing, 1982

HOST 1: So, uh, last night was election night for the elections for the state General Assembly, and today we finally have the full picture. The GOP gained two seats in the state senate and they gained seven seats in the state House of Representations.

HOST 2: Yeah, these results are an, um, an indication that the voters really approve of the Colonel Governor, and I think having more Republicans to work with should make it easier for him to get legislation through over the next two years of his term.

– WHIR 1230 AM (Danville, KY) radio broadcast, 11/6/1957 [2]


White Sulphur Springs, WV – A three-hour caucus of Republican state governors attended this resort haven for a three-days-long National Governors Association conference, beginning on Friday. Gov. Harland “Colonel” Sanders (R-KY), Vice-Chairman of the caucus, oversaw the proceedings as Acting Chairman. Multiple state governors convened to discuss multi-state matters, in particular President Eisenhower’s Federal Highway Act, public desegregation, and business regulation. In a prepared speech, Sanders called for better coordination among the state governments to better businesses and trade across state lines. The speech reportedly received a standing ovation…

The Los Angeles Times, 12/16/1957

By the half-way point in my term, I had learned to fully capitalize on whatever opportunity I got to meet and converse with my fellow governors. For example, it was at a meeting of the N.G.A. that I got to talk to several fellow governors. I got along very well with the Civil Rights supporter Teddy McKeldin, the moderate governor of Maryland, who praised me for my handling of the Sturgis Standoff. I chatted with the young but dry-behind-the-ears Cecil Underwood, who did a remarkable job implementing desegregation in West Virginia – not a single riotous incident happened there! I had met with Harold Handley of Kentucky’s neighbor to the north several times before, but this time we chatted at length about his unpopular gas tax (which we disagreed on, but stopped ourselves short of arguing about it again), workers’ unions, and highway development in both our states; I would later endorse him during his US Senate bid. However, the Governor that I had the longest talk with was George Clyde. A Utahan, like Pete [Harman], Clyde was closer to my age, was more understanding of my aversion to alcohol, was mightily concerned about education, and was doing an impressive job overseeing highway construction in his state. I enjoyed working closely with him on domestic issues in the years that came later. But it wasn’t just the Republicans that I spoke to. Soapy Williams of Michigan was a young Democrat there who seemed to be more cantankerous towards the Dixiecrats than the GOP. …I learned, albeit a little too late in some areas, that the best way to understand someone is to actually meet with them. Through the NGA, I better understand the political positions that were dividing communities and legislators across the American landscape. And by golly, would that knowledge come in handy soon enough!

– Colonel Sanders’ autobiography, Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974


[ ]
– A Kentucky Fried Chicken poster, c. December 1957

[1] Corbin is located around the border between the “pop” and “coke” regions of the US, according to the map found here:
[2] General elections in Kentucky occur on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November

BTW: The next chapter will very likely be posted next week; thanks for reading!

EDIT: fixed desegregation typo. Good eye @nbcman ! Thanks!

Chapter 6: January 1958 – December 1958

“If you’re going to do anything new or innovative, you have to be willing to be misunderstood”

– Jeffrey Preston Bezos (OTL)

List of Foghorn Leghorn Episodes:
Ep. 21: “May Your Man Be Mayor” (1958)
Premise: Leghorn runs for mayor of the chicken coop to impress his new beau!
Running time: 11 minutes, 5 seconds
Fun Facts:
Fun Fact No. 1: This episode makes several subtle references to Colonel Sanders, whom in 1958 was famous for going from selling chicken to becoming Governor of Kentucky in 1955!
Fun Fact No. 2: Contrary to popular belief, Foghorn Leghorn was actually not based on Colonel Sanders, as the cartoon character was created and first appeared in Looney Tunes shorts in 1946, before Colonel Sanders was even famous!


Since the Colonel’s departure, the company had seen little innovation apart from expanding the range and number of franchisees. In early 1958, fearing local competitors would siphon away customers with more exciting options, Pete Harman and Millie Sanders began to micromanage their roles in the company, becoming bolder in offering new ideas without neglecting the company’s roots. While eating KFC one evening with Harley Sanders’ family, Harman commented on how the younger children would loudly lick “all ten fingers after diving into a plate of the birds,” leading to one of the children replying with “they’re finger-lickin’ good,” a reply that in turn lead to Harman trademarking “Finger-lickin’ Good” and eventually making it the company’s most famous tagline [1]. Additionally, Harman created a business model that allowed management teams to own significant interests in the restaurants where they worked in, in order to better share in the profits [2]. A second major change was to better utilize the idea of packaging complete meals for families on the go; Millie would privately work with Claudia Sanders on selecting the specific meal dish options. Millie Sanders also took her mother’s experience with the delivery aspect of the fast-food world to streamline the pick-up process, and increased the number of takeout (or “take home”)-only locations found in the United States (starting in 1958) and Canada (starting in 1960, after Harley’s 1959 review of international law greenlit the move).

– Bob Darden’s Secret Recipe: Why KFC Is Still Cookin’ After 50 Years, Tapestry Publishers, 2002


[ ]
– A KFC Take-Home Only locale, Tallahassee, FL, c. Summer 1958

…and if you’re driving on U.S. Route 23, please note the reduced speeds there are still in effect, as construction work in the area is still going on. The Riverside Resort on the Levisa Fork, uh, which is set to open in April...

– Ernest Sparkman, WSGS radio broadcast, 2/28/1958 [3]

“[Toronto-based] Scott’s Restaurants had offered Sanders’s chicken in its four downtown diners since the late 1950s. When it opened a Scott’s Chicken Villa at Lawrence and Victoria Park, it was strictly takeout. This model offered convenience for suburban families wanting to eat at home without turning the stove on, and higher profits, thanks to its lower overhead. Within five years, Scott’s opened 20 stores and their giant roadside buckets plastered with the Colonel’s face across Metro Toronto, while franchisees elsewhere converted to the takeout format.”

Up until the 1950s, many American women felt as if life was nothing more than a never-ending series of chores. KFC, and its iconic take-home Dinner Buckets, introduced nationwide in 1958 after just three months of regional success, eliminated the chore of dinner-making, freeing up enough time for women to realize that they were people with their own ambitions. Women here in the UK went through the same realization when KFC came over here a few years later. In a way, or at least in a small way, the Kentucky Fried Chicken company helped in the propulsion of the world’s feminist movements of the Twentieth Century.

– Conservative feminist writer and politician Louise Burfitt-Dons, while speaking at a rally, 2004


[ ]
– Two KFC advertisements, using “stock” photographs of the Colonel that were originally shot in late 1955, c. Summer 1958

During the new legislative session [of Spring 1958], John B. Breckinridge locked horns with me once again. This time, though, he was weakened by the midterms replacing many of the Chandler Democrats with Republicans willing and ready to continue my agenda – primarily, expansion of healthcare options, allowing people to have a say in who was their doctors, and allowing doctors to have a say in who were their patients. This would cover folks who needed the help their bosses wouldn’t give ’em, as forcing employers to follow government orders is far too Red for both Kentuckians and me.

However, once out of the House, there was much opposition to the bill in the Senate. To get it passed, I agreed to back the Term Specifics Revision bill, a piece of legislation that would allowing incumbent governors to run for a second consecutive term. See, both Democrats and Republicans had been wantin’ to pass such a bill since the 1850s, but no incumbent was willing to exempt themselves from the bill to placate the opposing party [4].

But I was the exception – I was elected understanding I’d only get one term, and I had planned out my time as governor accordingly; “Fine, I was planning on a one-term stint anyway!” I told the state senate leader when he sprung the proviso on me.

With the passage of these two laws, Kentucky, a state of nearly three million people at the time, got better healthcare and the choice of longer-serving governors.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

By March 1958, the end of the state’s active legislation period was approaching, and Colonel Sanders was pecking at a massive omnibus spending package proposed by the state Democrats meant to expand education funding. The Governor negotiated to only add more funds to colleges if the package also included a vocational programs and apprenticeship programs offered by state businesses. Two sides came to an agreement, and Sanders supported and passed the bill into law in April.

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015

While the Recession of 1958 officially began in August 1957 and officially ended in April 1958, its effects were still felt across the economy as 1958 continued, although they were helped by the June 1958 legislation pushed through in Washington, D.C. …of the states less affected, Kentucky receive much attention. Due to their Governor at the time not trusting the stock market (KFC was still not on the market at this time), [5] then-Governor Harland D. Sanders managed to lead his state through the fiscal year without much damage... April was the height of the recession, as unemployment peaked at 20% in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Sanders responded to this economic crisis by encouraging laid off workers to move to Kentucky, as it was one of the few places better off. This was possible thanks to Sanders’ distrust of the stock market’s “unpredictable nature” leading to him investing in Earth minerals at the beginning of his term. …The long-term effects were a mixed bag. On one hand, long-term, with Sanders adding at least roughly 2,000 new families to the state of Kentucky while also troubling some financial sectors. …The industries hit the hardest by the recession, apart from Ford due to the humiliating flop that was the Edsel car coming out that same year, were the lumber, mining and textile industries; the drop in orders due to drop in demand cost over five millions workers their jobs. Many of these workers, especially those from Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia, found greener pastures in Kentucky’s uninterrupted infrastructure development projects, including irrigation and rural electrification projects begun in the aftermath of flooding in southern Kentucky in early 1957…

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015

On April 21, Governor Sanders called the General Assembly into session to address healthcare and wages.

– journalist John Ed Pearce’s Divide and Dissent: Kentucky Politics 1930-1959, A University Press of Kentucky, 1987

When I started Kentucky Fried Chicken, I paid my employees good salaries. I paid my office staff $7,000 a year ($58,000 in 2016 dollars). Country-bred stenographers and bookkeepers who had been working for $45 ($370 in 2016 dollars) a week in their neighborhood went to work for me at $7,000 a year. I didn’t do that just because I felt like it. I’ve always believed that everybody likes to have a good wage. I got credit for paying them good wages and at the time if Uncle Sam came along and took it away from them in taxes, it wasn’t my fault. [6] I couldn’t do anything about it. But then I became governor. And I figured that I might as well take the opportunity to try to get feds out of the pockets of the states. I’d use the old phrase “states’ rights” but, again, not in any racial way. States have the right to lessen their reliance on the federal government. When you break a limb, you use a cast, but when its healed, you don’t keep the cast! The Penny Crow fund was doing well, but I refused to accept the feds imposing new taxes that were higher than my state’s taxes. The rebellion, albeit unsuccessful, was popular among fiscal conservatives nationwide. By gum, I must have received well over 1000 letters applauding me for standing up for the rights of states. Again, not in any racial way, though.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

After days of negotiations, Sanders got the state congress to raise the state minimum wage by 25 cents, which was a lot back then, about two dollars in today’s money.
With the biannual budget finally set, state congress left for summer break, allowing Harland to take a break from politics. He and I decided to travel, visiting relatives around the state and over in Indiana. I felt like catching up on my siblings after our mother passed away [7]. Harland’s brother and sister, Clarence and Violet, were mighty proud of their older brother [8]. But even during such times of leisure, Harland felt compelled to work, jotting down ideas for executive orders and how to better utilize the committees at his disposal, or taking a break from eating a family dinner to make a call to his advisors to see if an idea of his was feasible or whatnot. One time, during one supper with my relatives in Alabama, Harland left to use the phone three times in half as many hours. After the fourth call, I had a few words with him.
“You’re going to kill yourself if you don’t take a break now and again!” I once screamed at him.
“What do you think sleep is?” was his response.

Was restlessness ever not an issue?

Well, it was manageable. I found as the years wore on that one thing he would slow down his pace for was his grandchildren, and, soon enough, great-grandchildren. He loved them so, and enjoyed his time with them. So we’d visit them many times over the summer breaks during this time. It helped take his mind off the more frustrating parts of politics that he would return to in the fall.

– Claudia Price Sanders, TNB (Trinity National Broadcasting) interview, 1979


New Reports Show The Flow Of People Moving From Kentucky To Michigan Is Reversing: What Exactly Is Causing Kentucky’s Reversal Of Fortune?

Frankfort, KY – Governor Sanders puts on a show for potential investors, treating them to personally-made meals at the Governor’s mansion and a comprehensive sales pitch. The product? His state. …The new construction of highways throughout Kentucky’s varied realms are presenting stateside businesses with access to the rest of the country, and solid virgin real estate comes alongside these new gravel vessels. …The state was already on the decades-long trend of shifting from becoming more urban than rural, but the Colonel is careful not to neglect agricultural and rural-based businesses. Staying true to his mountain roots, farmers are also seeing relief, as more people stay to work in the fields on new equipment, which is becoming more available to the average farmhand thanks to the revenue coming in from new businesses. Russell Kirk made positive comments on these developments in a New Yorker op-ed last month… Some Michigan politicians worry, though, that this could spell trouble for the people of this Midwestern state…

National Review, conservative editorial, 8/23/1958

“No, there was no rivalry between Colonel Sanders and I. The ’50s were beneficial to both of our states. …the ’60s? Well those were complicated times…”

– Democratic politician Soapy Williams (Governor of Michigan 1949-1961), NBC interview, 1975

The late 1950s saw the golden years of small-family chicken farming come to a close, as the decade saw a steady drop in egg prices nationwide, allowing for larger chicken operators to enter the markets. At this time, Kentucky Fried Chicken got its meat and other products from local farmers in order to ensure freshness. It’s no surprise that KFC franchises easily sprouted up in the south, most notably in Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and Mississippi – the nation’s highest chicken-producing states, both then and now. In August 1958, Millie and Harley Sanders, the effective co-presidents of KFC during this time, signed an agreement with several chicken small farming organizations in North Carolina in opposition of a local mega-farm attempting to buy out local farmers. [9] “When the small business owner flourishes, the town flourishes. When the town flourishes, the people flourish,” Millie wrote to her father. Millie also understood that larger corporations were much more difficult with whom to do business; “Smalltime farmers won’t try to take us over, and we depend on them too much to ever deny them their needs. Respect and cooperation makes the relationships work. Coordination with the many local organizations (shipping, handling, workers, et cetera), though, still has to be streamlined.”

– Bob Darden’s Secret Recipe: Why KFC Is Still Cookin’ After 50 Years, Tapestry Publishers, 2002


– The Kentucky Kernel (newspaper for the University of Lexington, KY), 9/10/1958


…today announced that the iconic sports stadium on the south side of campus will be renamed the Colonel Sanders Lexington University Stadium, in order to honor the late political and fast-food icon… “for his contributions to higher education” and social achievements during his time in office as… Already, students have dubbed it “Colonel’s Stadium,” though “KFC Stadium” is also being used by many…

–, 2/27/2006 update-note

Overview Of Latest Sales Report: KFC Quality Rates Steady – Sales Still Gradually Rising At Steady Pace.
Additional: New Franchisees In Tucson, AZ And Walla Walla, WA Opening Doors This Upcoming Wednesday And Friday, Respectively.

– KFC internal memo, 9/21/1958

On September 22, 1958, a U.S. Army veteran was working at a KFC franchise in Georgia when a pressure fryer exploded. The veteran received second-degree burns to his chest and right arm, and less severe burns to his face and hands. As the veteran was covered by the G.I. Bill, the U.S. Veterans Administration investigated the incident to determine the incident.

– Eric Schlosser’s Fast-Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001


– The Paintsville Herald, 10/2/1958

At first we thought it was some exaggeration, but then Millie and I flew down to the hospital Atlanta, and we saw the man looked mangled. I felt terrible about it. Millie was the one to phone her father about it, so I’m not certain what his initial reaction was to it. This was the worst accident concerning the fryers we had ever had. It was a real wake-up call. We apparently could have been doing a much better job preparing the workers for their wild-bull-like behavior.

Was The Georgia Employee wearing any protective clothing?

The phrase if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen comes from the fact that restaurants kitchens are often boiling environments, especially in this franchisee in question. Most of the workers there wore short-sleeve shirts to stand the heat. But that all changed after this incident. A few weeks afterwards, we ordered all locations to maintain reasonable workplace temperatures. Open windows, fans working – or, in cold places, heaters – we wanted the kind of kitchen were the workers would be able to tolerate wearing long sleeves and long gloves nears the fryer.

Was anything else done concerning the incident?

Yes, one big thing. I later called the Colonel, and I also talked to Harley about this, and despite the Colonel opposing it, Harley agreed with me, that the design of the Colonel’s pressure fryers had to be revisited. We had several professionals on our payroll to look over the machinery, and they slowly began tinkering with the Colonel’s design, being very careful to not affect the way the chicken ended up tasting.

And that was difficult?

Oh, yes, we spent many weeks if not months testing and tasting, but, like anything you do with perseverance, it got done.

– Pete Harman and interviewer, 60 Minutes, early 1992


[pic: ]

– Governor Colonel Harland David Sanders (R-KY) giving a speech before a crowd to endorse and rally support for a Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress (standing on his right), 10/26/1958


…the Republican party suffered several losses in senatorial, congressional, and gubernatorial elections in the western, midwestern, and northeastern states. Psephologists, also known as people who study elections and their historic trends for a living, observe that the losses can be contributed to both “incumbency fatigue” and the economy. “The swelling of northern Democrats notably to the left of their party’s southern counterparts could prove to be a highly significant development,” reports Howard K. Smith of ABC.

Losses for the Republican Party were greater than expected due to the effects of this year’s recession, though Smith claims the victories of Democrats in the Midwest and Northeast is due to President Eisenhower’s position on right-to-work issues galvanizing labor unions, a majority of which support the Democratic Party.

In last night’s Senate races, Democrats gained 15 seats, which may be a new record for the number of Senate seats changing party hands in a midterm election. Alaska, which will be admitted as a state on January 3rd, elected two Democrats, while members of the party of Jackson gained seats in the typically Republican-leaning states of New Jersey, Connecticut and Maine.

In the House, Democrats gained 49 seats across the country, from California to Maine, in the races for governor, Democrats gained a net total of 6. Due to local and state politics playing a prominent role in how voters chose their leaders at the gubernatorial level, Republicans managed to gain the governorships in four states (Oregon, Arizona, New York and Rhode Island) but lost control of 10 other governor’s seats.

“Republicans should look back on tonight,” says Smith, “And learn from these results to determine how to better address the wants and needs of the American people going forward into the 1959 and 1960 elections.”

– The New York Times, 11/5/1958

VETERANS AFFAIRS ENDS KFC INVESTIGATION: Georgia Franchisee Fined For Negligence, KFC For Ignorance

Washington, D.C. – …The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that KFC can operate its current pressure fryers as long as workers are properly trained to handle them …Additionally, KFC has agreed to raise safety procedures such as protective gloves and goggles, and to implement safety training courses for new employees and franchisees. A spokesman for the multinational corporation also stated that “if a superior, safer pressure fryer design or method is discovered, Kentucky Fried Chicken will look into the possibility to using them, and working with authorities to ensure safe work environments are maintained in KFC franchise locations in the years to come.”

– The Kentucky Post, 12/23/1958


[ ]
– An early model of the Colonel’s KFC pressure fryer

[1] The sentence “Harman also contributed…the motto ‘It’s finger-lickin’ good.’ Harman went on to operate more than 200 KFC locations in four states.” Is found here: . The slogan “Finger lickin’ good” was actually created in 1956:
[2] The article reads “[Harman’s] idea to package complete meals for families on the go to a business model that allowed management teams to own significant interests in the restaurants where they worked in order to share in the profits.”
[3] Without Colonel Sanders being in the governor's seat to instigate business development, this is what happened on this date in OTL:,_Kentucky,_bus_disaster.
[4] This information was found here:
[5] I swear to both my God and yours that I thought I saw the Colonel’s aversion to the stock market due to his experience living through the Great Depression mentioned in either his autobiography or in one of the sources in Chapter 1 (maybe the damninteresting article, or the buzzfeed article?). A thousand apologies for being unable to be more specific at this current point in time.
[6] These italicized sections were pulled from Sanders’ 1966 autobiography "Col. Harland Sanders: The Autobiography Original Celebrity Chef," and are also quoted here:
[7] More information can be found here:
[8] Information pulled from here:
[9] This information can be found here:

The E.T.A. of the next Chapter - November 1; thanks for reading!
Post 4
Post 4: Chapter 7-to-Chapter 9

Chapter 7: January 1959 – December 1959

“Don’t let your dreams be dreams”

– Jack Johnson (OTL)

I first met John Y. Brown Jr. in 1963; I never trusted him. Granted, the man started out innocently enough. The son of an unsuccessful politician, Brown was just a young entrepreneur fresh out of college in 1959, working at his father’s law firm while concurrently serving in the US Army Reserve and starting a family of his own. But his ambitions for wealth and fame were his top priorities. In 1959, I was paying close attention to KFC’s rising competitors, the biggest of them being McDonald’s and the man behind its meteoric rise, Ray Kroc. A man who took someone else’s idea and made it their own, pushing the founders to the background and minimizing their influence. As the decade came to a close, I kept my eyes on the effects of this treachery, and so, apparently, did John Y. Brown Jr.

– Dave Thomas’ Under the Colonel’s Wing, Mosaic Publishing, 1982

The late ’50s saw a boom in fast-food mega-chains as businessmen across the country tried to replicate the Colonel’s success. Pizza Hut, IHOP, and Delhelen Meats were born in 1958, with Little Caesar’s and Double-H coming into creation in 1959. And more would come in the 1960s – Domino’s Pizza, Hardee’s, Arby’s, Fridaytime, Dr. Sub’s – all beloved landmarks of Americana now, but at the time just struggling upstart companies working to defeat their competitors. I knew KFC, The Colonel’s brainchild, was going to face competition sooner or later, and within a few years I tried to help protect his franchise as best as I could.

– John Y. Brown Jr.’s autobiography John Y. Brown Jr.: A Lifetime of (Intermittent) Success, Brownhouse Publishing, 2003


…Fulgencio Batista has resigned from the Presidency of the rebel-torn island nation of Cuba, and has fled to exile in the Dominican Republic, as Cuban rebel forces led by Fidel Castro moved swiftly to seize power throughout the island at the start the new year early today. …The rebel leader's militant forces entered the nation’s capital of Havana only a few hours after seizing the city of Santiago de Cuba late yesterday and taking over the Moncado army post without firing a shot; roughly 5,000 soldiers there surrendered during the capturing of the area. At the same time of night, truckloads of revel soldiers moved toward Havana, in conjunction with Castro's “26th of July” militia movement, who proceeded to begin "patrolling" streets while armed with machine guns and rifles...

…The rebel forces are forging ahead across the island, spreading out from Santa Clara, capital of Las Villas Province, which they had seized Wednesday, to other regions beyond Havana, such as Camaguey...

…The fleeing of General Batista has sparked an exodus from Cuba of at least 400 persons, who are fleeing by ship and plane to the United States and the Dominican Republic. Among these persons are some of Cuba’s most key political and military leaders and their respective families…

– The Daily News, 1/2/1959

On February 3, 1959, the United Daughters of the Confederacy awarded the Cross of Military Service to Margaret Sanders. The move was reportedly controversial, as, while Margaret, or “Maggie” to friends and “Mags” to her siblings, had often donated to numerous donations, including the UDC and the US armed forces, she had never served in the US military. However, according to the UDC, Margaret, along with her brother and sister, are eligible for the Cross due to their mother, Josephine King, having Alabaman roots dating back to before the American Civil War. Furthermore, Margaret was an active member of their social circles, and was deemed worthy by the organization’s voting committee for the award. Ironically, Colonel Sanders’ parents were born and raised in Indiana, and their ancestors hailed from the “union” states as well [1].

– Lowell Harrison and James Klotter’s A History of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1997

Unsure how to spend his lack-duck time, the Colonel would often meet with former governors for advice, but often disagreed with most of them, whom told him to "just take it easy," as one of them put it. “You’re supposed take it easy when out of office, not in it!” Sanders reportedly remarked. Rejecting the "laziness" of his fellow governors, The Colonel decided to travel around the state and meet with people, essentially launching an unofficial “tour” of the commonwealth.

– journalist John Ed Pearce’s The Colonel: The Captivating Biography of the Dynamic Founder of a Fast-Food Empire, Pageturner Publishers, 2017


[ ]
– The Colonel eating a Jelly Donut while meeting with locals, near Munfordville, KY, c. 1959

Update: Sales Recovering From Georgia Incident

– KFC internal memo, 3/21/1959

With the party’s gubernatorial primary only two months away, Kentucky’s Democratic state leaders began backing away from allying with Chandler, believing he would try to influence the outcome through the same negative tactics that cost them the governorship just four years prior. As a result, the race between county judge Bert T. Combs (who ran for the nomination in 1955) and Chandler ally Henry Waterfield (who ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1955) became more even-sided. Meanwhile, Republicans were hopeful that Sanders’ popularity could possibly lead to a second straight win. When Lieutenant Governor Edwin Denney announced his bid, he proceeded to the May primary virtually unopposed.

– Lowell H. Harrison and James C. Klotter’s A New History of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1997


Harland David Sanders III and “Candy” Sanders announce the birth of their second child, a healthy baby boy and the couple's first son. Harland David Sanders IV arrived on April 2 at the Louisville City Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Weighing in at 8 pounds 11 ounces, the newborn is the first great-grandchild of Kentucky Governor Colonel Harland David Sanders, …

– The Courier-Journal, Celebrations section, 4/2/1959

One day in April of that year [1959], I was dictating to my head secretary, Deborah, when Margaret dropped by with some news.

“My daughter finally got into college.”

“Oh, um…”


"Oh, uh…"

“The troubled one.”

“Oh! Good for her!”

“Yeah, she likes Florida, so it looks like she’s staying there for the next four years. So, with the nest empty, I’m heading off to search for Atlantis off the coast of Morocco.”


“So if you can collect my mail –”

“Whoa, hold up there, Maggie, starting an eye bank is one thing, but travelling across the globe?”

“Well I couldn’t find the Lost City in the Bahamas.”

“Margaret, it could be dangerous, like that time you worked at that gun factory.”

“I never shot anything…that couldn’t be covered up until after I had quit.”

“Oh, Margaret, that’s my point! You’re always picking up and moving away like a tumbleweed, going from one crazy thing to the next.”

“You say crazy, I say bold. And what can I say? I get antsy when I’m stuck in one place.”

“So true,” I replied; by this time, Margaret had already held several various jobs in Utah, Florida, Bimini, Lexington, Louisville, and New York City. “Just…just be careful, ya hear?”

“Ain’t I always? And besides, I understand the Theory of Relativity, Millie. Ya really think I can’t figure out how to use diving equipment?”

My sister truly had one of those “far-out minds,” as her daughter Josephine would often put it. She viewed things not as established fact but as unrecognized challenges. Mysteries were just queries left blank on a test – their answers were out there somewhere, but only few cared enough to find them once the test was over.

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000


[ ]
– Governor Sanders reviewing a draft of a speech proposing a Farming Deregulation Bill, c. April 1959

…Another big story today comes from Frankfort, the state capital, where Governor Sanders has called for a special session for one last issue, um, since he’s leaving office this December. The issue that will be discussed, *clears throat*, is the deregulating of the state government’s demands on agriculture. The Colonel today announced, quote, “let farmers be farmers,” unquote, and that he will, uh, quote, “seek to curb the increasing bureaucratic hindrance on the family farms in favor of major farm companies, supporting the sacrificing of local family farms in the name of monopolistic government control and oppression. Let businesses run honest operations and run clean competition without the government taking the side of oppression,” unquote. Some strong words, for sure, but in politics, the pen can often beat the tongue…

– WKYT-TV, Kentucky radio station, 4/10/1959 broadcast

Soon after, J. B. Breckinridge met with several of his fellow legislators whom believed that Sanders’ proposal for a farm reform bill would be detrimental or even dangerous to state agriculture if it passed. “These government demands are a necessary evil, as small farms would fail without them,” Breckinridge allegedly told an undecided state congressman during his campaign to win over enough votes to block the passing of such a bill.

– James C. Klotter’s Our Kentucky: A Study of the Bluegrass State, University Press of Kentucky, 1997

On the day of the vote, Breckinridge managed to defeat the proposed bill, 56-44. Father threw a fit over the results, but after a short accepted it, saying "What's done is done." He decided to keep moving forward with the rest of his agenda for the remainder of the year, beginning with redirecting his focus to executive orders and travelling around. “I did the very best I could do with what I had working for me and working against me,” he later told me. Personally, I think towards the end of his term, he was relieved that he only had a few months left of his time in office. At one point, he even said to me, "If all goes well, Breckinridge will soon enough become Denney’s problem. Maybe he'll do a better job dealing with him."

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

“Turning now to politics, Bert Combs has won the Democratic nomination for Governor in a tight race against Henry Waterfield. ...Bert Combs, born Bertram Thomas Combs in 1911, rose from poverty to earn a law degree from Kentucky University before serving as a private in the US Army during World War II. In 1951, Governor Wetherby appointed him to a seat on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and Mr. Combs held that seat until resigning earlier this year to run for governor …Across the aisle, Lieutenant Governor Edwin Denney tonight won the Republican nomination for Governor with roughly 89% of the vote, with the remaining share of the votes being split among several minor candidates...”

– Nicholas J. "Nick" Clooney, news anchor for WKYT-TV in Lexington KY (1959-1964), 5/25/1959 broadcast

“Something can happen to open the door of opportunity for you, but it’s your own job to keep that door open and to step through it!”

– Governor Sanders at Murray State University, 5/30/1959


– The College Heights Herald (newspaper for Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green), 6/3/1959

NEW BUILDINGS ON HARLAND QUAD DEDICATED TO THE COLONEL: Staff, Alumni Celebrates 50 Year Anniversary Of U’s Business Programs

– The College Heights Herald (newspaper for Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green), 6/3/2009

…And now we turn to the continuing nationwide steelworker strike… After negotiations with management the steelworkers’ union broke down, their contract expired on July 15, causing 500,000 labors to vacate their jobs, affecting almost every steel mill in the nation... The Department of Defense has grown concerned that the halt in steel production could cost the nation dearly if a crisis were to occur… as of this moment, both sides appear to be at an impasse…

– Face the Nation, 8/29/1959 broadcast

All of Kentucky’s steel plants were shut down by the strike, cutting into Father’s goal of leaving office with low employment under his belt. Father met with the governors and business leaders of other states to try to coordinate any way to end the standoff, even offering to sit down with the union leaders and management to find some common ground. Richard Nixon, whom was Vice President at the time, warned that the workers’ refusal to return to work could trigger a recession, and that would make them lose support in both political parties heading into 1960. Both Father and I disagreed with the notion that several businesspersons had of looking to steel production overseas, with father angrily telling them to “stay in America; don’t scurry away like cowards, and betray your kin the moment they cause some trouble.” Despite my father’s opposition, businesses did turn to foreign production during the strike. The venture lead to them discovering that it was actually cheaper to import steel from places such as Japan and South Korea, a revelation that forever changed the US steel industry.

A few years later, father would address this domestic employment crisis from a much more powerful vantage point. But that’s for another chapter.

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

In early September, Governor Sanders criticized several members of the Southern Governors Association at one of their meetings. At said meeting, the members in question had openly voiced opposing integration and supporting the steel industry’s anti-worker actions during that year’s nationwide steelworkers strike. The Colonel argued that he knew firsthand that management had a responsibility to their workers: “the work they put in, even when not on the clock, stuffs the pockets of me and my fellow businessmen, and because of that, we owe them the kind of wages that they can make a livin’ on.” The Colonel was not invited to the Association’s next meeting, in December, the official explanation being that it was scheduled to be held merely one week before the Colonel left office.

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015


[pic: ]

– Colonel Sanders, Claudia Sanders, and Harley Sanders greeting guests at the Governor’s mansion, c. mid-September 1959

“Denney vows to uphold Sanders’ legacy while having none of his own to stand on. The worst county fair in the state has better platforms than Ed Denney.”

– Bert T. Combs, 9/30/1959

Col. Sanders Says “Try Out Denney’s Ideas!”

...The Colonel is trying to improve his Lieutenant's standing in the polls amid claims the Edwin Denney is "weaker duplicate" of Governor Sanders...

The Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/2/1959

In 1959, when I was 20 years old, my first politics gig was passing out pamphlets for the Eddie Denney campaign. That fall, Colonel Sanders campaigned for his first mate with earnest, presenting a Denney term as a second Sanders term, as the lieutenant governor was also a businessman by trade, albeit one much friendlier to big donors than Sanders ever was. The biggest problem was with the candidate himself – Denney himself was just a bad campaigner, often needing to rely on cue cards during speeches, a crutch that his opponent, Bert Combs, had cured himself of since his first bid for the governorship four years earlier. And the thing was, the bigger the crowd, the more embarrassing it was for him, and the more embarrassing it was for his campaign. It seemed that not even the Colonel himself - a man who built up a major fast-food chain by being a salesman - could help Eddie improve his "sales pitch." Both men simply could not make people overlook Denney’s inferior public speaking qualities. I couldn’t either. After the election, I finished school, and moved to Washington, D.C., where the professional politicians worked.

– Ronald Louis Ziegler, 1989 interview

Today marks the two-year anniversary of Cam’s narrow escape from death’s clutches. Tonight he recounted the harrowing event, when his small plane malfunctioned over the waters of the Florida Straits. By a miracle from God, Cam succeeded in bringing the plane down for a non-fatal crash into the dark waters below.

The plane shattered into pieces. All hope seemed lost until Cam caught sight of a capitalist bucket of KFC chicken sticking out of some of the wreckage. KFC chicken, which Cam often would pick up when clandestinely staying in Miami, was a guilty pleasure of Cam’s that he always omitted when telling this story to the public, switching it out for just a regular logo-less white bucket.

But regardless, the fact remains that in the darkness of those freezing night waters, a white bucket, bobbing like a beacon of salvage, waded in the waters on a piece of buoyant wreckage. Cam swam to the bucket, and managed to hold on tight to some of the plane’s more floatable remains as he became adrift upon the waves. Cam swore there was a plane following him, but if there was, its occupants must have thought he’d perished. But actually, brave Cam battled the stomach-churning waters for hours.

The strait carried him to Florida, where upon he landing on one of America's beaches undetected. He then stole a boat without detection or hesitance, and immediately returned to Cuba. It was, without a doubt, a very brave and courageous feat, KFC or no KFC.

Finishing the story, Cam toasted to the glory of the revolution. We cheered, and Cam ordered me to pour some more rounds, and I happily obliged, for the opportunity to fight under the command of Cam is a high honor. Tomorrow, when we return to battle, I promise that I will not let him or my country down!

– 28 October 1961 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996

…Well, more reports are coming in, and I’ve got to say, it sure don’t look good for the Republican Party right about now. With the Democrats showing a more united front this time around, Judge Combs is still maintaining a slight lead over Lieutenant Governor Edwin Denney. This may be because, with the national steel strike still going strong, Governor Colonel Sanders’ popularity is dropping, and it looks like Denney’s polling numbers are being dragged down with it…

– WPSD-TV, Paducah, KY, 11/1/1959 radio broadcast


Frankfort, KY – The people of Kentucky elected Bert T. Combs to be their next governor… Combs is a decorated WWII veteran who served on the State Court of Appeals from 1951 to 1959… Despite Governor Sanders endorsing and actively campaigning for Lt. Governor Denney, Combs ran a more active campaign, narrowly defeating his Democratic primary opponents on a campaign focused on “open honesty” in the capitol.

…Possible contributions to Denney’s defeat are the national sense of voter fatigue, and this year’s Steel Strike upsetting statewide business and employment. ...Other election analysts, however, are pointing to Combs running a platform calling for a 3-percent sales tax to pay a bonus to military veterans, and provide greater funding for education and parks, while Denney ran on the less-inspiring platform of fiscal restraint. Interestingly, racial segregation was not a topic of debate during this race, as both candidates support racial integration... Upon being sworn into office next month, Combs will become the first veteran of World War II to hold said office...

– The Kentucky Post, 11/3/1959


[ ]

Kentucky Gubernatorial General Election Results, 11/3/1959:
Bert T. Combs (Democratic) – 443,310 (51.97%)
Edwin R. Denney (Republican) – 409,702 (48.03%)
Total votes cast: 853,014
Turnout: 28.97% Total Population

– [2]

Oh, yes, it was sad saying goodbye to the mansion and even sadder saying goodbye to the staff. By the end, I knew them all on a first-name basis. But at least I stayed in contact with some of them, and even hired some of them a few years later… After some last executive orders and pardons, Harland took what was apparently an unusual step, of packing up early instead of staying involved in political circles in the final few days of the Governorship. I wasn’t surprised. He was very anxious to get out. Hmm. My Harland never did like being a lame-duck… Um, on November 18, I believe, Ben-Hur premiered. Harland had heard good things about it, and eventually we both went and saw it. Harland was very impressed by it, and when he later got to meet Charlton Heston in person - in, I want to say, 1964 or 1965 - Harland was star-struck, absolutely flabbergasted, despite the serious context of the meeting. And, you know, I think that that viewing was the first time that Harland really got interested in the Middle East…

– Claudia Price Sanders, TNB (Trinity National Broadcasting) interview, 1979


…he continued many Wetherby/Clements policies, particularly in transportation, focusing on road construction and development to improve trade and communication venues. These policies made him popular among Democratic donors and voters, and that helped him to work with some Democrats in the state legislature… The Colonel held true to his principles and fulfilled his campaign promises as best he could give the parameters and circumstances of his time in office… His dual presence on the national stage as a political figure and as a fast-food media icon posed the challenge of separating business from government, yet the Colonel suffered no relating scandals as one may have expected from such a bizarre combination of colorful and overlapping careers… …However, his conservative ideology and fiscal responsibility must be called into question for contradictory actions. For example, The Colonel decreased government involvement in some areas but increased it in others, and even though he opposed taxation in principle, he did champion and impose a "sin tax"… Despite GOP allegiance, he was known on the commonwealth’s Capitol Hill for being a somewhat independent-minded leader, picking and choosing administrative focus based on personal preference and how well he got along with state lawmakers and other state officeholders... However, in the end he was actually a very responsible leader, a “master of disaster” as one Frankfort colleague proclaimed. Indeed, Governor Sanders sailed his ship through major maelstroms in each year of his governorship – a Civil Rights confrontation, a flood that consumed half the state, an economic recession, and the still-occurring steel strike. Through each one, he persevered, and in the end, The Colonel leaves office with the state that despite the disasters has a budget surplus and an economy much healthier than many other states - and certainly much healthier than the one it had four years ago... Ultimately, we give Colonel Sanders an “A” rating for both his pragmatic results and his quixotic governing ideology that, while somewhat broad in definition, was consistent, honest, and reliable.

Harvard Business Review, Dec. 1959 issue

“Don’t thank me, folks, no, don’t applaud me. It was y’all, the people of Kentucky, who made these past four years so wonderful. It all happened by y’all believing in me, and trusting me to not become another politician and break the promises I made. When I say something, I always mean it, and the past four years prove that! …Before I leave, though, let me address the younger viewers. The young boys and gals of the commonwealth should know something – you can’t deny that there’s a connection between effort and success. You can’t have one without the other. If there’s one thing to take away from my time as Governor’s it’s that anything is possible if you just add effort to it. …So, in conclusion, what I’m trying to get at here, folks, is that you should never just wait for destiny to fall into your lap. If you have a vision, a dream, a calling, go for it! And make it happen! Why put it off or only care slightly for it? A light switch has only two settings – on and off. Turn your lights on. Put all your effort into your dream; that’s how you get it!”

– Sanders’ farewell address, WFPK-TV (Louisville, KT National Education Television affiliate) radio broadcast, 12/7/1959

“Actually, I just had time to spare that day. It was just how things turned out, is all. See, it was an early radio broadcast, and, well, see, a lot of radio stations and the media and whatnot were focusing on his speech because the Colonel has essentially become a national celebrity despite not living over in California. The media can’t get enough of him. So, on that day, I decided to listen to the Colonel’s speech while in the bathroom, um, shaving and stuff. I thought the Colonel was a funny character – harmless, really – but still, his meteoric rise from Nowheresville is very admirable. Colonel Sanders’ words, his pragmatic, almost pushy kind of speech, I don’t know. It – it inspired me, I have to say, to make me make a run for the Presidency that was a lot more active than the run I was doing at the time. Right after the speech, in the heat of the moment, I called my friend James Rowe, and I told him, ‘Jim, I’m going for it. Full swing, all the way.’”

– Lyndon B. Johnson to Homer Thornberry, 1961 recording, released 1981

For New Year’s Eve, 1959, we gathered around the TV set at the old Corbin homestead.

“By gum, what a decade. So much happened in it!” Dad remarked.

I lamented, “The death of Einstein.”

Harley observed, “AFL merged with CIO.”

Millie said, “That Elvis fella.”

Dad cleared his throat intentionally loudly.

“Oh yeah,” I jovially exclaimed, “And Dad landed that government job.”

“But it was only for four years,” Millie added to the gag.

“Yeah, high turnover rate over there,” Harley noted with a serious tone but a smirk growing on the left side of his face.

“Alright, alright,” Dad continued, “My point is, I went from being local eatery runner to a national celebrity in this decade. So just imagine where I’ll be at the end of the next decade!”

Dad had a consuming drive to conquer all the adversities that occurred in his life [3]. But his life and its collection of adversities were still far from being over.

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

[1] According to this:
[2] The election turnout and total votes cast (almost the same from OTL), and the base-map (that’s what it’s called, right?), are from here:
[3] Italicized passage is from Margaret’s book, The Colonel’s Secret, and found here:

Chapter 8: December 1959 – July 1960

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

– Stephen King (OTL)

The Colonel’s rags-to-riches story inspired Martha Layne Hall to major in Political Science, and to forego attending a Baptist Camp in 1957 to instead intern at the state capital. Having spent much of the autumn campaigning for the Colonel alongside her activist parents, the then 23-year-old Martha attended the 1959 inauguration of Democratic Governor Bert T. Combs. It was there that she quite literally bumped into a timid college student, whom had also traveled far to see Combs be sworn in. The young man’s name was Paul Edward Osborne…

– biographer Margaret Carlson’s Martha Layne Osborne: Her Floorplan for a Better Future, University of Kentucky Press, 1982

“Welcome back, Pops!” my three children said in unison as I entered the company headquarters. A banner read “many happy returns,” and a large cake sat at the table in the center of the room. It felt so freeing to return to KFC, to work with the employees in the kitchen and supervise and show ’em how to make the birds just right.

Upon leaving the governorship, I returned to KFC immediately, with Harley handing over full control on December 25. “Think of it as a Christmas gift,” he said. But I told him, “Don’t be pullin’ away from the station just yet, son. I want you and Millie to stay on as Executive VPs – after applying for the job like everyone else, that is.” I was happy to see that even Margaret was willing to continue serving as head of our training and maintenance department. It’s always good to know that when things are down you can always rely on the people you love to help you get back up.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974


…However, as Kennedy is a Catholic, his bid may be an uphill battle in the weeks and months ahead… Kennedy joins a wide field that includes fellow Senators Stuart Symington of Missouri, Wayne Morse of Oregon, Lyndon Johnson of Texas, and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. According to most polling and political analysts, Humphrey is the frontrunner for the nomination at this point in time…

– The Chicago Tribune, 1/2/1960

NEW STEEL CONTRACT SIGNED, ENDING NATIONAL STRIKE: Settlement Raises Worker Pay, Better Pension, Health Benefits

– The New York Times, 1/12/1960

NIXON ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL BID: Pledges to Continue “Ike’s Greatness”

– The Washington Post, 1/14/1960


– The Boston Globe, 3/8/1960

After showing me these new machines, Millie walked me back to my new office to show me my brand-new state-of-the-art personal security vault. It was taller and wider than me, its walls were over a foot thick, and it was made of out cast iron and steel. The combination and the whole locking system was more complex than a Hatfield dating a McCoy, and looked fancier than a Southern Belle on her wedding day.

“So what do you think, Dad?”

“I think if any robbers see this, there’s no way they wouldn’t go ‘Oh, there’s definitely somethin’ valuable in there!’ And then try to find out what that somethin’ is.”

“Good thing it’s the most secure kind of safe on the market right now. Margaret got it for us. She found it while travelling abroad,” Millie explained.

“That girl never tells me anything. When did she travel abroad?”

“Oh, a short while ago, but now she’s doing some site-scouting.”

“Site scoutin’?”

“She’s thinking that the British might like our chicken, seeing as how Kentucky vittles can rarely be found in Europe. We think it could work.”

After pondering it over, I replied, “Huh, good idea.”

The efforts that Millie had made to protect the Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices were also highly impressive. Even after all these years, it still boggles my mind just to think of all the procedures and precautions the company takes to protect my recipe, especially when I think how Claudia and I used to operate. She was my packing girl, my warehouse supervisor, my delivery person — you name it. Our garage was the warehouse. [1]


One beautiful morning in the spring of 1960, I was driving up I-75 from Mobile, AL to Florence, KY when I noticed a peculiar repetition. I kept seeing the same thing – these big yellow arches – signs, big Ms on sticks erected higher than the trees. Even the buildings they belonged to, they themselves had big sun-colored Missouri Icons slapped onto their sides.

A day or so later, I brought up in talks at headquarters, “It seems McDonald’s spots are startin’ to show up everywhere.” In the meeting, Harley brought up what he deemed was Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “weak spot.” “The only standard look is the giant bucket with Father’s face on it. The buildings themselves are all different in design and color. But the McDonald’s are completely under that company’s control, and so they’re more uniform in look. As a result, they’re more recognizable that our franchisees’ places. I think we need to set up some ‘look’ of our own, something iconic and easy to spot from far aways.” Ultimately, Pete [Harman] and Harley came up with the idea of simply having all our franchisees paint their buildings in red and white, the unofficial colors of K.F.C. since 1953 or so. This would make the company be a more than a menu added to someone’s eatery, but a menu that was part of a certain, iconic type of eatery.

“We could also have a certain roof style,” [KFC regional director] Kent Prestwich suggested.

“I liked the barn look of that stage prop store we used in that commercial we shot a few weeks ago,” I said.

“I dunno, Colonel,” Pete replied, “that might be too hokey for our suburban-based franchisees to stomach.”

Millie offered her two cents of “I think we could cut it at the paint job, because redesigning a new roof, a whole new design for established locations would be a huge undertaking. So many architecture problems,” she emphasized, “and some franchisees – like that nice elderly couple in Peoria – would sooner sell their store then change it into something different from what they spent years building themselves.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” I commented. Harley concurred.

“How about this?” Pete compromised, “old franchisees only need a new paint job, but if there’s ever a chance to build a location up from scratch, we go with a new, Colonelesque design for the building.”

“Sounds like a plan!” I agreed, “But I think it still needs something more.”

After we all chicken-scratched out some designs on some paper, we eventually decided to add a Cupola with a weathervane to the tops of willing franchisees. The weathervane shows that you can find an outlet – and your next meal – in any direction – north, south, east, and west. [2]

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974


[ ]
– A Colonel Sanders weathervane atop a KFC outlet, c. 1961

“After coming back from some trip to Morocco or wherever, Margaret went with some of our surveyors to the U.K., and the survey results revealed a lot of untapped potential. Fried chicken was not exactly a staple of the British diet back then, so, just like how it had been in Utah, the people there were very likely to see the Colonel’s birds as this exotic import! But before we could branch out to Europe, we had to understand what we’d be getting ourselves into. Selling overseas, as we soon discovered, required several crucial steps. First, get the people to develop an appetite. Scout out a single location to do a test run; London during the spring gave us high hopes moving forward. Step Two, adapt to the locals’ wants and needs; it is important to understand those. Thirdly, we found that native competition was much less severe when we focused on the more touristy, more urban parts of the UK. Doing that cut down on any alleged ‘damage’ to the local culture, or to the general ‘look’ of an area. The British love to keep their quaint neighborhoods quaint, and as prospective investors, we respected that. Native competition was a more delicate manner we had to really dance around a bit to figure out what the best spots were. For instance, near Manchester, there was this one village that had poor employment rates despite good access to the major roads. We set up a franchise there, the people had jobs, and the town grew a bit from it. Which just goes to show just how good the Colonel’s chicken is - it often boosts local economies!”

– Pete Harman, 60 Minutes interview, early 1992

I wanted the Colonel to be in more commercials. I helped him get on TV, and helped organize much of the behind-the-scenes work. To be honest, I’m much better behind camera; I’ve never been comfortable in front of it. At 27, I was still one of the Colonel’s youngest higher-ups, so I believe the Colonel figured that if anybody at the company knew how to connect with younger customers in the growing era of television advertising, it would be me. I told him, ‘Your face is iconic, but the people need to see the rest of you. What you sound like. Your demeanor, your contagiously positive personality.’ …I also worked on other aspects of the company’s post-governorship expansion. When management was divided between expanding the menu or focusing on the main signature dish, the Colonel and I favored the latter, but Harley and Millie convinced us otherwise, that both variety and high quality were key to staying ahead of the growing national competition.

– Dave Thomas’ Under the Colonel’s Wing, Mosaic Publishing, 1982

When I first started Kentucky Fried Chicken, I never liked the idea of using my photograph on things…I had always referred to my face as my mug. But I did have a line drawing made for use in advertising, and when I saw it on the boxes containing my food I nearly fainted. [3] But now things had changed, and I was getting used to people looking at my mug every time they went for dinner. I was becoming increasingly comfortable with having the sin of pride on my conscience, especially since I was doing a whole lot of good with it. When they saw my face, they knew they were getting a good meal for a good price. I could live with that sin on my heart, and I still do.

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

[ video: wt9VctrBOZY ]
– KFC commercial, c. April 1960


...The results improve Kennedy's odds of winning the nomination. At the same time, they also put the viability of the Humphrey campaign into question...

– The Milwaukee Journal, Wisconsin newspaper, 4/5/1960

“Tonight, Senator Lyndon Johnson secured victory in the third Democratic primary of the year, beating fellow Senator Jack Kennedy by a 4-point margin here in Illinois.”

“…do you think Mayor Daley helped Johnson tonight?”

“There’s no doubt about it, pal. Daley strongly backed the Texas Senator, and that made Daley’s backers back Johnson.”

– Exchange between a local anchor and correspondent, NBC’s WMAQ-TV, Chicago, IL, 4/12/1960


By George Gallup

The Los Angeles Times, 4/15/1960


...popular incumbent Governor Robert B. Meyner of New Jersey's endorsement of the Texas Senator may have influenced the primary voters of the Garden State tonight...

– The Star-Ledger, New Jersey newspaper, 4/19/1960

Last night, the states of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania held their respective Democratic and Republican primary elections for President of the United States, and the final tallies have just come in. On the Democratic side, in Massachusetts, Senator John F. Kennedy won with almost 90% of the vote, with Senator Johnson coming in second place with less than 5% of the vote. While that contest was a landslide - which was not surprising, given that it is Senator Kennedy's home state - in Pennsylvania, Kennedy defeated Johnson by a mere 4% margin – Kennedy won with 48%, and Johnson came in second with 44%, with the remaining 8% going to all the other candidates still in the race - Senator Humphrey, Senator Morse, and some minor candidates. These results give Kennedy a substantial lead in primary season, totaling his primary victories to 4, compared to Johnson’s sole primary victory in Illinois. However, Johnson is close behind Kennedy in the delegate count. For the GOP, Vice-President Nixon won both of tonight's Republican Presidential primary elections in landslides…

– The Huntley-Brinkley Report, 4/26/1960 TV broadcast


…At the ceremony, Sanders also replied, “If more folks knew it was this easy to get a degree, more folks would run for Governor!”

The Kentucky Kernel, college newspaper, 5/1/1960

[ video: Wk4Eq8IcQMk ]
– Colonel Sanders appearing on “What’s My Line?” (at the time when his company controlling the K.F.C. locations was briefly named “Southern Fried Chicken” in a quickly-aborted attempt to appeal to investors beyond just Kentucky), 5/3/1960

…And here’s the composition: Indiana – Johnson; Ohio – Governor Michael DiSalle, a surrogate candidate for Johnson; Washington, D.C. – Senator Hubert Humphrey, who touted his Civil Rights activities across the capitol this week and has been desperate for a win as his campaign continues to run low on both funds and delegate pledges. The two wins for Senate leader Johnson come after the two-term Texan increased his intermittent campaign activity, after losing the Pennsylvania primary contest to Senator Kennedy on the 26th of April. Meanwhile, Senator Kennedy failed to pick up a single primary despite superior funding, possibly due to a lack in active campaigning on his part, as he is currently under the weather, according to a campaign spokesman…

– TODAY, 5/3/1960 broadcast

According to Bobby Baker, “Johnson had decided to not wait until the convention because of the belief that Kennedy would use his daddy’s connections to win the nomination and, being a Catholic, would assure Nixon the White House.”

After weeks of negotiations, the first televised debate between Kennedy, Johnson and Humphrey was scheduled for May 5, just five days before the West Virginia primary (Morse was excluded for uncertain reasons). Johnson contemplated bringing up Kennedy’s weak health outright, but instead simply criticized Kennedy for being absent from voting on the Civil Rights bill of 1954. Kennedy replied by saying he had missed the vote because he had needed back surgery. According to Baker, Johnson held back the urge to attack Kennedy on his health; “Exactly how unhealthy are you, Jack?” was the phrase on his mind. He claims Lyndon believed voters would see Jack's charm as shallow, and see his own abrasive demeanor as being that of "a tough fighter for democracy on the world stage."

Walter Jenkins, however, offered a cruder retelling shortly before his death in 1985: “Johnson was holding back an urge to mercilessly rip into Jack [Kennedy], and criticize not only his health record but his family's affluent lifestyle as well. But I convinced him that doing so would lead to the Kennedys using their money and influence to bring him down in any way they could.”

Johnson ultimately chose not to “rip into” his opponent. According to Jenkins, the Senate leader understood that he could not afford the jab – he was aware that he himself was vulnerable to attacks: the 1936 congressional race, the nickname “Landslide Lyndon” scratching at the back of his mind; the 1941 Senate race; his paranoid suspicion that the Kennedys knew of his visits to a certain Madame’s abode in Texas. Johnson determined that he couldn’t afford to have the entire Kennedy clan – or any bitter Catholic voters – working against him in the general election. So he let the moment pass. Analysts believe Kennedy won the debate, with Johnson coming in a close second and Humphrey a distant third.

Soon after, the Johnson campaign decided to “fight fire with fire,” as Baker sought to start mimicking the campaign coordination techniques used by the Kennedys, such as getting family and friends to vouch for the candidate. “Johnson really dove into his rolodex,” Baker explained, “and we soon had endorsements from half the Senate Democrats.” Ladybird Johnson and daughters Lucy and Lynda met with female voters in two-thirds of West Virginia's counties, building up the image of Johnson as an understanding leader…

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Pursuit of Power, A. A. Knopf Inc. New York, 2012


– The Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia newspaper, endorsing Senator Johnson, 5/7/1960

LBJ BEATS JFK IN CRUCIAL WV PRIMARY; Nebraska Also Goes to Johnson

…The Kennedy family, especially the candidates’ five energetic siblings, tirelessly canvassed the state, but Johnson still won by connecting to poor and rural voters via displaying his roots, discussing his early years growing up in a farmhouse in impoverished rural Texas. Senator Humphrey’s presence on the ballot may have also siphoned more votes away from Kennedy than Johnson due to Kennedy and Humphrey having closer political views, and splitting local union voters. However, to Kennedy’s credit, the margin of victory was only 5.7%, meaning Kennedy fared much better than pundits initially believed any Catholic candidate could in a state as heavily Protestant as West Virginia…

– Associated Press, 5/10/1960

The Black Friday HUAAC Protests, also known as the Staircase Protests and for a while known as the Black Friday Riots, was the largest mass student demonstration in decades. It was the diving board for a generational movement. It was, at least to me, the true start of the ’60s.

I know it was a pivotal moment in our country because I was there. I was a 23-year-old college student, and I participated in the peaceful protests outside of HUAAC hearings in San Francisco City Hall, held at the building’s second-story chamber. We protested outside the chamber, close to the top of the building’s interior marble staircase. On May 12, the second day of the protests and the second day of the hearings, city police fire-hosed us. With there being roughly 40 steps behind us when we were hit by the water, many were hurt. More students were injured further when the police dragged them down those marble steps, many of them hitting their heads on each hard, uncarpeted step. Dozens of us were arrested.

We had been protesting the harassment of decent Americans – professors, teachers, journalists – for expressing their right to free speech. And we in turn were attacked for expressing that same right.

– Becky Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, interview, 2010

When Pops saw the riots on TV, the media called it a riot and blamed the whole thing on the protesters. He fell right for that crock. “They should be getting jobs for themselves instead of causin’ trouble,” he told me at one breakfast when I was visiting.

“Dad,” I exclaimed, “I’m surprised at you! You ain’t exactly docile whenever you see something you know ain’t right. That’s what these kids were doing – objecting to something that’s wrong.”

His defense was, “Your splittin’ hairs, Margaret. I get ticked off by people trying to harm my life’s work, or judging others on skin color alone. But the HUAC fellas want to protect our country. These youngins, though, they seem to be ornery ’cause they’ve got nothin’ better ta do. When I was their age I was working all sorts of jobs and startin’ a family. I was too busy to stir up a ruckus over somethin’ that wasn’t even a problem.”

“Ruckus? They were peacefully signing the national anthem.”

“I heard some of them tried to roughhouse the officers there. Kick ’em and spit on ’em and such.”

Soon, Hoover claimed the rioters were Communist infiltrators, professionals hired and trained to disrupt government work. The HUAC even made a one-sided propaganda piece called 'Operation Abolition' to support their narrative. Pops watched it and believed every bit of it. At the time, he had no reason not to. He still believed in the propaganda that blind faith the federal government's 'national defense' actions was the American Way. That the federal government, when it came to business regulation, was evil, but when it came to its more militaristic tendencies, could do no wrong.

A few days later, Pops wrote a letter to J. Edgar Hoover commending him for his “handling of the San Francisco Riots… I’m confident in your unwavering work defending America, despite what my acquaintance Richard Nixon has said about your lengthy time in office. Some folks say you should retire, but in my opinion, you shouldn’t ever throw out what isn’t broken. Keep on at it, The Colonel.” [4]

Now, I’m not trying to apologize for how my dad thought back in 1960; he was misinformed, but it’s everyone’s individual responsibility to hear both sides of a story so as to know which side is the true side. Now Pops often did that when it came to business, family, people, with everything – except for when it came to what “the defenders from Communism” were saying. At this point in his life journey, his naiveté – his belief that when it came to “national defense” and “the protection of our American way of life,” the Feds always did the right thing – was still unbroken.

Besides, I never said my father was perfect.

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997


…Johnson claims to have a better understanding of the problems facing Negro voters due to his “humble origins as the son of a farmhand” …In the speech, Johnson also derided his primary opponent, Senator Kennedy, eluding to his family’s wealth with the phrase “nobody, not even some millionaire's son from Massachusetts, can buy his way into the Presidency!”

While Kennedy has called Johnson "a man of unusually high character," Johnson has criticized Kennedy for his mixed record on rural concerns and his performance during debates over the 1957 Civil Rights Bill. "I was present for all 95 calls," Johnson boasted at a campaign stop last night, "While Jack missed around 35 of them. A car won't work without all four wheels - you need a President who will do all of his job, not just some of it!" [5]

The Baltimore Sun, 5/15/1960


...despite the Senator from Massachusetts's best efforts, the state historically known for serving as a "haven" for Catholic settlers gave no such mercy to the Kennedy campaign...

– NY Herald Tribune side article, 5/17/1960

…Kennedy did not make the ballot in Oregon, but Wayne Morse, the state’s progressive Senator, did qualify for the ballot the day before they were printed. As a result, many supporters of Kennedy and Humphrey viewed Morse as an alternative to their respective preferred candidate, especially as some pundits began to argue more firmly that Kennedy and Humphrey were no longer viable candidates capable of denying Johnson the nomination. On May 20, Oregon's sudden "favorite son" candidate came in second place with 42.7% of the vote, which was considered a surprisingly good showing for a "favorite son" campaign only a few days old. In the long run, however, Morse’s Oregon delegates did little to slow Johnson’s momentum.

– historian Jeff Greenfield’s How Everything Changed: The Effects of 1960, Centurion Publishers, 2011

…we are getting an update… it appears that Florida has chosen Senator George Smathers, the state’s favorite son for Senator Johnson, in tonight’s primary election. Now, what makes this race interesting is the fact that Senator Smathers has made it known of his personal friendship with Senator Kennedy, and made it clear that if the situation was different and Johnson was not the clear frontrunner, he would be supporting Kennedy's candidacy tonight…

– ABC World News Tonight, 5/24/1960


…In the Democratic primaries, the voters of California opted for "favorite son" candidate Governor Pat Brown, while Hubert Humphrey won the party contest held in his birth state of South Dakota. On the other side of the political aisle, Richard Nixon won the Republican primary in his home state of California with ease...

Associated Press, side article, 6/8/1960

“Going in to this convention, despite his active campaigning winning him the largest number of primary victories, Johnson was still short of the number of delegates needed to win outright, with Senator Kennedy in second place, Governor Brown in third place, and Senator Humphrey in fourth place, uh, in regards to delegate count. How exactly did Johnson win the nomination tonight when the odds seemed to be against him winning it so quickly?”

“As Senate leader, he has clout. He had several favorite sons. As a Texan, he had western and, more importantly, Southern Democrat support.”

“…do you think Daley helped Johnson in primary states such as Illinois?”

“There’s no doubt about it. The fact that Johnson publicly offered Humphrey the second spot on the ticket is most likely what caused Humphrey to drop out and endorse Johnson tonight.”

– Exchange between anchor and correspondent, 7/13/1960

The July 4 festivities of 1960 featured a lot of sales promotion. Early reports linked the increase in KFC commercials featuring the Colonel to an increase in sales. On the day after celebrating our nation’s birthday, though, I learned of a, um, development. Several days later, at around the time of that year’s D.N.C., I believe, I had finally confirmed what was happening, and I broke the news to the Colonel. I cut right to the chase with, “Colonel, something’s come up.”

The Colonel inquired “What has?”

So I told him: “Many franchises have been requesting going public, and we’ve been declining just like you wanted…”


“…Well now one our more loyal franchisees has informed us several of the rest of them have organized and are looking into possible legal action.”

“That’s incredible!” He was immediately angry because felt betrayed. “I’ve always treated our franchisees like family. How could they go behind my back?” Eventually, after, I’d say, about two full minutes of slander, he asked “They’re really challenging us on this aren’t they?”

“They think it’ll bring in more revenue.”

At this, the Colonel was quick to defend his policy. “But at the cost of priorities! Every time a company goes public, they eventually care more about stockholders than workers. And also, public means being part of the stock market – and if you may recall my distrust of the market paid off very well a few years back,” referring to the 1958 recession.

“Yes, but the fact remains that we need to address this troublemaking – the sooner, the better.”

– Pete Harman, 60 Minutes interview, early 1992

…Humphrey is expected to win the Number Two spot on the ticket by acclamation shortly. …Reports that members of the LBJ campaign met with Humphrey, then Senator Morse, and then the Kennedy campaign, shortly before he won the nomination yesterday makes this reporter wonder what is being discussed behind closed doors here in Los Angeles…

– NBC news reporter, 7/14/1960


[ ] (note: candidates ordered/arranged by delegate count)

1960 Democratic National Convention
Date(s): July 11-15, 1960
City: Los Angeles, CA
Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
Keynote Speaker: Gov. Robert B. Meyner of New Jersey
Presidential nominee: Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas
Vice Presidential nominee: Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota
Other candidates: Jack Kennedy of Massachusetts
Results (President): 1,524 Total, 762 majority
Lyndon B. Johnson (TX) – 767 (50.39%)
John F. Kennedy (MA) – 485 (31.83%)
Stuart Symington (MO) – 76 (5.05%)
Adlai Stevenson (IL) – 68 (4.53%)
Pat Brown (CA) – 36 (2.36%)
Robert B. Meyner (NJ) – 35 (2.30%)
Hubert Humphrey (MN) – 31 (2.05%)
George Smathers (FL) – 20 (1.32%)
Wayne Morse (OR) – 2 (0.13%)
Ross Barnett, Herschel C. Loveless, Orval Faubus, and Albert Dean Rosellini: each 1 vote (0.06% each)
Results (Vice President):
Hubert H. Humphrey (MN) – acclamation



[ ]
– Lyndon Johnson accepting the Democratic nomination for President at the party’s convention, 7/15/1960

With Jack out of the race, Ted and I finally returned our focus to our dream of moving west somewhere, away from the overwhelming melee of Massachusetts politics. Soon after the DNC, we flew to Colorado, then to California, where Ted had seen little outside of the convention and the airport. The snowy caps of the Rockies were pleasant, but it was the fresh winds of the Pacific coast, and the breathtaking work of Mother Nature that made me enthusiastic for the state. …Overlooking the gentle ocean waves below, Ted turn to me and said, “Joan, this is the place for us.” We made plans for a new beginning for our family in The Golden State immediately.

– Joan Bennett Kennedy’s There Are Always Two Tomorrows: My Life in an American Dynasty, Centurion Publishers, 1999

“I love Massachusetts; I’ll always love it. For decades, it was my home. But in 1960, I really wanted just get out and make a name for myself. Even if that meant moving to the other side of the country, I had to try. But thankfully, it turned out that moving to California was the best decision I ever made.”

– Ted Kennedy, 60 Minutes interview, 1977

[1] The italicized passage is a real-life quote from the Colonel, found here:
[2] Italicized bits found here:
[3] The italicized bits are from this article:
[4] The Colonel really did fall for the HUAC’s narrative:
[5] Taken from their OTL debate described here:

Chapter 9: July 1960 – November 1960

“Keep up your morning exercises, because every politician must be able to keep both feet on the fence with his ear to the ground.”

– Gracie Allen, 1940

“I’ve worked at KFC since I was old enough. I always knew my grandfather the Colonel as a fretting man. “I used to run seven pots at a time when working at one of his restaurants, and I once saw him nearly holler the ears right off a fellow employee – not exactly the new guy, but not a veteran, either – who didn’t make the gravy just right… The old man just wanted to sell the best quality food he could…He was likely to take his cane to anyone he caught not doing everything right.” [1]

– Trigg Adams Jr., Colonel Sander’s grandson, 2009 interview

Richard Nixon reviewed dozens of potential running mates, and I was part of the team that looked into their backgrounds. Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut was the dirtiest of them all, so he was taken off list very quickly. Nixon thought that picking Senate leader Everett Dirksen or House minority leader Charles Halleck could win over the party establishment; I asked him “do the votes of 300 bigshots outweigh the votes of several thousand workers?” and he soon dropped the idea; neither came from a vital swing state, anyway. Representative Jerry Ford’s name was hovered as he was friends with Nixon. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona could have won over conservatives, but not in any electorally rich areas except for the south, where it’d be facing off against the regional appeal that LBJ seemingly had down there; some of us also thought that the Dixie Sneaks would put a spin on Goldwater’s Jewish ancestry. Plus, Barry seemed too ambitious; Nixon felt the Arizonan - whose presence on the ticket would have made it geographically lopsided, by the way - would try to undermine a Nixon campaign to promote his own Presidential campaign later on. For these reasons, regardless of whether they came from a place of logic or paranoia, Nixon took Goldwater off the list.

Defense Secretary Neil McElroy and Red Cross head Alfred Gruenther could have won over the military vote, but that would have been more helpful if there was a conflict hotter than the Cold War going on at the time. Senator Lodge of Massachusetts also fit the foreign policy bill, but had lost his last election, and did not stand out above the other candidates; had Senator Kennedy been the nominee, Lodge may have been given more thought. Conservatives on the hill – congressman Walter Judd, Senators Thruston Morton and Hugh Scott – and Secretary Fred Seaton and Governor Stratton were next to be vetted when Nixon had a “eureka” moment.

Nixon came up with the idea of getting Colonel Sanders to serve as running mate. He was seriously thinking at the time of adopting this strategy of sorts to win over the southern states, and at the time the Colonel was one of the very few Republican politicians that was – incredibly, given his known stance on Civil Rights – a fairly popular man both in and out of the South. Tricky Dick also figured his extensive business connections could help out the campaign’s financing, an idea that caused me to immediately seek out The Colonel.

– Bob Halderman’s The Haldeman Diaries: Three Decades of Tough Decisions and Tricky Dick, Barnes & Noble Press, 1994

The Colonel was attending the Republican National Convention but had declined to give a speech, which should have been my first hint at the extent of his political interests at the time. Nevertheless, I invited him up to my suite. Our chat was light at the beginning, with me commending him for his company’s unparalleled success. I added, “You know, my brother had a fast-food restaurant of his own for a few years over in Whittier. It was a drive-in place. He called it ‘Nixon’s.’”

Then we got down to discussing more serious business. “Colonel, if you served as my running mate, and as my Vice President, we Republicans could finally wrestle the South away from the Democrats.” I told him about how he could win over more conservative voters and help me unite the country behind my candidacy. “And with your business acumen, we can assure that any American with a dream and the will to work hard for that dream can make it a reality. You’ve found your success, Colonel. Let’s help others find theirs.”

The message was right, but the timing of things was off. When the Colonel declined, I remember him saying the following to me: “Nixon, I’m currently dealing with a dispute with some of my franchisees that want KFC to go public on account of the stock market and everything. I’ve got this Ray Kroc fella tryin’ to fool customers away from me, and the feds and their labor officials are still houndin’ me to build a better, safer pressure fryer. My company is at the moment in a real mess that I just can’t walk away from. Now if I can’t keep chicken in order, how can I expect to keep congress in order?” He suggested that I talk to Senator Thurston instead. I did, but he declined to serve as my running mate as well, suggesting that he would be of more help to me in the Senate.

After hours of reviewing my remaining options, I caved to my advisor’s ideas of abandoning the South to Lyndon. Without a commanding Southerner to take the number-two spot, I doubted the effectiveness of appealing to the region. As such, I instead focused on winning over the more northern states…

– Richard Nixon’s Six Crises, Doubleday Publishing, 1962

NIXON PICKS JUDD AS RUNNING MATE; Civil Rights Plank Revised by GOP Platform Committee


Chicago, IL – Tonight, in the second night of the Republic National Convention, U.S.. Congressman Walter Judd was confirmed to be Nixon’s running mate by acclamation. Judd, 61, has represented Minnesota’s 5th U.S. Congressional district since 1943, has repeatedly been re-elected to said seat with ease ever since his first election the seat in 1942, and is known for his exceptional foreign policy work. Judd is a strong supporter of Formosa and America’s foreign aid programs to many struggling nations overseas… Judd hails from the same state as Senator Johnson’s own running mate, Hubert H. Humphrey…

– The Times Recorder, 7/27/1960

1960 Republican National Convention

Date(s): July 25-28, 1960
City: Chicago, IL
Venue: International Amphitheatre

Presidential nominee: Richard M. Nixon of California
Vice Presidential nominee: Walter H. Judd of Minnesota

Results (President):
Richard M. Nixon (CA) – 1,321 (99.25%)
Barry M. Goldwater (AZ) – 10 (0.75%)
Results (Vice President):
Walter H. Judd (MN) – acclamation


Nixon ultimately chose Judd, a conservative congressman from Minnesota with foreign policy expertise, to neutralize LBJ’s pick of Humphrey and any possible claims that Nixon was deficient in foreign policy experience, despite his performance in the Kitchen Debate back in ’59. Nixon and Judd got along well enough, but most of the time, they campaigned separately in order to cover more ground. ...Lyndon had influence in a plethora of high places, and did everything short of physically twisting arms to get as many wealthy donors to back his Presidential run over Nixon’s. It wasn’t enough for him that he had an army of surrogate speakers and a superior funding/financing scheme. LBJ made sure Nixon faced a rough, almost uphill, race for Ike’s job.

– John Ehrlichman’s Witness: What Went on Behind Closed Doors, Folkways Books, 1998


The Miami Herald, 8/6/1960

It is important to remember that the first political debate between two major-party nominees did not occur until 1968. Before then, candidates had several weeks to campaign before the election, and would find other ways to reach out to voters. In 1960, Nixon made the bold step of pledging to visit every state in the union, a decision many considered a mistake, both then and now. The trips to politically irreverent states such as Alaska took a toll on Nixon’s health, causing him to look sluggish, disheveled and physically unfit for office, some said. Meanwhile, Johnson went with an old-fashioned surrogate campaign, making official speeches from time to time while his supporters went about organizing support and mobilizing prospective voters. This benefited Johnson greatly as it minimized the number of gaffes he could make – and as history would show, Johnson was many things, including an impatient and temperamental man of many gaffes. Contrarily, the 50-state campaign exhausted Nixon, making him often look tired, unfocused, distant, and unprofessional, whereas Johnson remained collected and calm in the eyes of the attentive voter.

– David Pietrusza’s The Epic Campaigns of the 1960s, Basic Books, 2008


The New York Times, 8/19/1960

“Mr. President, I was just wondering if you could give us an example of a major idea of his [Nixon] that you have adopted in the role of the decider, and um…?”

“If you give me a week, I might think of one; I don’t remember!” [2]

– Exchange between President Eisenhower and a New York Times reporter, 8/25/1960


...Florida is beginning to experience the storm's destructive force, which flooded and devastated Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean earlier this week...

The Boston Globe, 9/1/1960

“Johnson is courting conservative voters in the south while Humphrey campaigns in the more liberal north. Do you think this is creating a conflicting campaign message?”

“No, Ned, they’re appealing to a broader base – going for a wider range – to show that they will be leaders of all Americans, liberals and conservatives, Republican and Democrats, and not leaders of one specific ideology.”

“At the convention, Senator Kennedy said he would work with the campaign; has he?”

“Well, he’s been making calls for us, rounding up donors and endorsements from the east coast, and he’s even made some speeches for Lyndon. Uh, a few days ago he held a rally in Boston. …I’m confident that if anyone can deliver us the northeast, it’s Senator Kennedy.”

– Host and interviewer Ned Brooks and political strategist for the Lyndon Johnson campaign James Rowe, Face the Nation, 9/2/1960

…After two days of negotiations between management and labor representatives, the Pennsylvania Railroad has resumed operations, concluding a railroad workers strike that had effectively shut down the company’s operations for the first time in said company’s history…

– CBS Evening News, 9/3/1960 broadcast

SUMMER OLYMPICS: Cassius Clay Wins The Gold In Boxing

The Louisville Courier, sports section, 9/5/1960

Lyndon was worried that the bitterness of denying Kennedy, a Catholic, the nomination would lead to Catholic Democrat voters staying at home on Election Day, or even voting for Nixon just to spite him. Lyndon feared that would tip some key states into Nixon’s column. He was also worried that Jack’s loss would dampen the turnout of any younger, first-time Democrat voters. He had to do something, so very soon after the convention, Lyndon sat down with Kennedy to see what he could offer Jack in return for Jack’s support via funding and campaigning for him in the northern states. It was not a proud moment for Lyndon, but it was one that he, and to a greater extent Walter and Jimmy, had to do in order to assure victory in November.

– Mildred Stegall (1908-2014, 105), longtime personal aide to Lyndon Johnson, 1978 interview

SUMMER OLYMPICS: Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila Sets Marathon World Record Barefoot!

...the athlete ran the entire 26 miles and 385 yards in 2 hours and 16.2 seconds while completely barefoot, making him the first person from Sub-Saharan Africa to win an Olympic Gold Medal...

The New York Times, sports section, 9/10/1960

“DONNA’S LATE, BUT MIAMI’S STILL BEING HIT”: Gulf Beaches Evacuated As Donna Slams Florida

…the storm is bringing powerful rain and strong winds onto the mainland United States in a demonstration of Mother Nature’s destructive capabilities…

The Evening Independent, 9/11/1960

“The Hurricane that just ravaged Florida and several other states just goes to show why we need responsible government. When disasters like that happen, you need responsible leadership who will give you the helping hand you need to get up, get brushed off, and recover.”

– Hubert Humphrey, stumping in Sacramento, California (a swing state in this election), 9/22/1960

“I remember going through the cafeteria line and telling every kid that Nixon was in favor of school on Saturdays… It was my first political trick.” [3]

– Roger Stone, 2007 interview


...The Texan says "America needs a strong leader at the helm. The kind of leader brave enough to stand up to any and all individuals and institutions that seek to deprive any people of freedom and liberty"...

– The Houston Chronicle, 9/29/1960


...President Eisenhower today became the oldest President of the United States in history, surpassing the record set by Andrew Jackson on March 4, 1837. Eisenhower will set the new record at 70 years and 98 days upon leaving office on January 20, 1961...

– The Oakland Tribune, 10/3/1960

…On October 9, 1960, Dr. King was arrested at a sit-in in Atlanta. Contrary to popular belief, it was Republican leaders that responded first. KFC President Colonel Sanders took a break from internal company issues to personally travel to Atlanta to protest the incident, and gave free pieces of Kentucky Fried Chicken to the crowd of activists outside the jailhouse [4]. “They serve Sunday dinner everywhere and anywhere – even on the frontlines,” quipped Hosea Williams. Nixon followed next, by asking Eisenhower to pardon Dr. King. President Eisenhower refused, believing it was “an overreach of executive power” onto state and local affairs, a move he feared “would set a dangerous precedent.” Nixon made no further action.

Almost immediately after this, Kennedy approached Johnson with the idea of Johnson using his southern connections and “treatment” to get the Democratic Governor of Georgia, Ernest Vandiver, to release the Dr. King. Kennedy reportedly believed that without the support of Civil Rights supporters, the Democrats were doomed to repeat the election results of 1952 and 1956. Johnson, however, “thought it would cost him the election to defy the whites in charge,” according to Whitney M. Young Jr., “so instead of forcing the governor’s hand or working out some kind of deal with him, Lyndon went on TV and demanded Dr. King to be released.” Johnson’s October 12 speech focused on Dr. King’s “unfair and unequal treatment,” and called for “local improvement” when it came to how laws were carried out and how order was maintained and upheld, before branching off to discuss the strength of what Johnson famously dubbed “the American Community.” The speech was popular, but not without criticism.

“El BJ wanted to make it seem like he was fighting for us without actually doing anything for us. He denounced the doctor’s imprisonment, but at the end of the day, the doctor was still behind bars,” Malcolm X wrote in 1967, “And that’s just how his southern backers liked it then.”

In 1977, Johnson’s political strategist James Rowe defended this perceived inactivity. “It was always Lyndon’s plan to get Dr. King out of jail after winning the election, when Eastland, Thurmond, Russell, and the other Dixiecrat leaders would be in a weaker position to reprimand him for it.”

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Pursuit of Power, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018


– Colonel Sanders with a group of Civil Rights activists, c. October, 1960

…And in the world of sports, the Pittsburgh Pirates today defeated the New York Yankees in the seventh game of the Major League Baseball World Series…

– ABC News, 10/13/1960 broadcast

“I have to say that in this election, the issues overlap party boundaries. And the candidates are divided on multiple issues that affect the American people, not – or at least not just – the American political parties. Furthermore, you can see the supporters of the campaigns – and I’m not talking about the donors, I’m talking about the voters, the average Americans attending events and listening to the speeches and becoming active in the campaigns – they are forming and taking sides based on the candidates themselves, too. Their different lives, their different personalities. So what we are seeing here is a contest of personalities, not just of politics...

– US Senator Wayne Morse (D-OR), NBC’s Meet the Press, 10/14/1960 broadcast


The Bronx, NY – Adam Clayton Powell Jr., a Negro-American representing New York’s 16th U.S. Congressional District in Washington D.C., told a crowd at the Abyssinian Baptist Church to vote for Senator Johnson in November’s presidential election.

Powell declared, “Any Negro who automatically dismisses Lyndon Johnson because of the accident of birth automatically qualifies himself as an immature captive Negro, and a captive of his own prejudices. …This is a test of your own Christianity and if you rise to the heights you will be putting the reactionary segregationists of the South squarely on the spot so that all Americans, Northerners and southerners, will know that they alone are the immature people. Let us not be captives of our own prejudices.” [5]

The Congressman’s endorsement comes after Senator Johnson came out in support of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. being released from prison.

The latest polls show Johnson and Nixon neck-and-neck nationally, but in our state, Johnson is leading the Vice President by roughly 4%, according to an L.A. Times report by pollster George Gallup...

The Charlotte Observer, North Carolina newspaper, 10/17/1960

COL. SANDERS STUMPS FOR NIXON IN THE SOUTH; Touts VP As “Good Ol’ Boy,” “The Man We Need.”

– The Tampa Bay Times, 10/19/1960

“I’ve been in the Senate for twelve years. Nixon only spent two years in there. When Vice President Garner said that the Vice-Presidency is not worth a bucket of warm piss, he meant it! …I am clearly the more experienced candidate in this race. Just ask anybody, even anyone in D.C. - even the President! They'll tell you the truth of the matter and the bare truth of this race...”

– Lyndon B. Johnson, stumping in Springfield, IL, 10/25/1960

…to recap for viewers just tuning in, tonight’s election began with Johnson taking a large lead in states along eastern seaboard. In New England, the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are leaning toward the Republican column, while the more electorally rich states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are favoring the Democratic ticket. Senator Johnson is also leading in the southern states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. However, as the traditionally Republican states out west report in, the race is narrowing down, and Johnson’s victory is now no longer being considered a shoo-in. …California is already projecting to go to Nixon, while the states of Illinois and Pennsylvania, both too close to call, may determine who becomes our next President. … This just in: New Jersey, originally favoring Senator Nixon, is now being deemed too close to call as well. This is turning out to be a very close Presidential contest, and it is this reporter’s opinion that the winner will not be determined for quite a while…

– Chet Huntley, NBC News, 11/8/1960


– Richard Nixon and Colonel Sanders watching the 1960 election results on TV in Sacramento, 11/8/1960; Harley Sanders can be seen in the background

[1] The italicized part of this quote are from this article:
[2] OTL exchange, heard in this OTL JFK commercial:
[3] Quote is from OTL. It’s found on his Wikipedia article; this is the source they cite: “Segal, David (25 August 2007). "Mover, Shaker, And Cranky Caller? A GOP Consultant Who Doesn't Mince Words Has Some Explaining to Do". Washington Post. p. C1.”
[4] Thanks for this idea, @TheImperialTheorist !
[5] This quote was pulled from here and from here
Post 5
Post 5: Chapter 10-to-Chapter 12

Chapter 10: November 1960 – January 1961

“Never let man imagine that he can pursue a good end by evil means without sinning against his own soul. The evil effect on himself is certain.”

– Bob Southey (OTL)


The Valley Independent, 11/8/1960


[ pic: ]

…Richard Nixon conceded to Johnson at 9:00 PM on Thursday the tenth,[56] after developing "great concern" that recount efforts in New Jersey "strongly hinted" that it was "highly unlikely" that counting the remaining un-recounted votes would deliver the state to the Republican column.[57] …Lyndon Johnson retained the New Deal Coalition by keeping the South (relatively) solid once more while also picking up several key northern states. Low voter turnout nationwide also possibly suggested that at least some voters were tiring of the north-south ticket balancing.[citation needed] …The Democratic victory followed the “six-year itch” pattern of two years earlier, in which voters, tired of the incumbent party staying in power for another four years, voted against incumbent Senate and House Republicans nationwide.[61]

…In many ways, Nixon damaged his own campaign.[62][63][64] Sticking to the 50-state campaign pledge he made at the 1960 Republican National Convention allowed Johnson to focus on winning over several crucial swing states instead of solidly Democratic and solidly Republican states, and the extensive campaign schedule took its toll on Nixon’s health and physical appearance at campaign events. Ted White described his appearance at an October 27 event in Seattle, Washington, IL as being “tense…haggard-looking to the point of sickness…his eyes exaggerated hollows of blackness, his jaws, jowls, and face drooping with strain”[65] [1]. An offhand remark from President Eisenhower, which seemed to suggest that Nixon had not played a significant or helpful role in the Eisenhower administration, was another possible factor, as the Johnson campaign extensively broadcasted the moment on TV and radio stations across the country.[66] Johnson calling for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be released from prison was a third significant factor, as it helped to galvanize liberal/anti-segregation voters in pivotal states such as Pennsylvania.[67] A fourth possible factor, one that was outside of Nixon’s control, was the 1960 Recession, which lasted from April of that year to February 1961. While less impactful and, in the long term, less memorable that the recession that preceded the 1958 midterm elections, Johnson successfully tied the economic troubles to the economic policies of both Eisenhower and Nixon…

…Johnson was declared the winner the day after the election, with 274 votes to Nixon’s 260 votes, and with Hawaii still being too close to call. As December approached, the Electoral College saw several electors in the south threaten to deadlock the college to protest Johnson’s support of the Civil Rights movement.[75] Two weeks before the Electoral College convened, Johnson was declared the winner of Hawaii, swelling his electoral vote total to 277. With this, and national and statewide Democratic Party leaders (such as former President Truman[76]) applying pressure to anti-Johnson southern politicians supporting the rebellious electors (such as Governor James M. Patterson of Alabama[77]), only six electors successfully defected on December 22 – three votes short of deadlocking the College.



[ pic: ]
– Lyndon Johnson, soon after Nixon’s concession speech, 11/10/1960

United States Senate election results, 1960
Date: November 8, 1960
Seats: 35 of 100
Seats needed for majority: 51
Senate majority leader: Lyndon B. Johnson (D-TX)
Senate minority leader: Everett Dirksen (R-IL)
Seats before election: 66 (D), 34 (R)
Seats after election: 64 (D), 36 (R)
Seat change: D v 2, R ^ 2

...despite Republicans losing the Presidential race, they were able to pick up two seats in the US Senate, chipping away at the commanding majority that the Democrats maintained in that chamber. In Delaware, moderate Republican J. Caleb Boggs unseated the Democratic incumbent, J. Allen Frear, by a margin of roughly 2%. The margin of victory was noticeably larger in Wyoming, where Republican Edwin Keith Thomson defeated Democrat Raymond B. Whitaker by a margin of roughly 14% for an open seat being vacated by the retiring long-time incumbent Democratic US Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney...


United States House of Representatives election results, 1960
Date: November 8, 1960
Seats: All 437
Seats needed for majority: 219
Senate majority leader: Sam Rayburn (D-TX)
Senate minority leader: Charles Halleck (R-IN)
Last election: 283 (D), 153 (R)
Seats won: 256 (D), 181 (R)
Seat change: D v 27, R ^ 28 [2]


United States Governor election results, 1960
Date: November 8, 1960
State governorships: 27
Last election: 35 (D), 15 (R)
Seats before 33 (D), 16 (R)
Seat changes: D ^ 1, R v 1 [3]


“You can forget about U-2 and the missile gap and the economy. Civil Rights was the single most important factor in this election. That’s what brought the Democrats to victory in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, and almost won them Missouri as well. And the sooner the national Grand Old Party recognizes that, the better.”

– U.S. Senator Thruston Morton (R-KY) to Governor Nelson Rockefeller (R-NY), 11/11/1960

“Johnson didn’t win it – Nixon lost it!”

– U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), 11/11/1960

“I don’t care what the history books tell you, LBJ stole that election from Nixon. Of course some people point to the Daley political machine in Illinois, but another important state was New Jersey, which at the time was a usual swing state. Just look at the numbers in New Jersey! Look at the absentee ballots – they didn’t announce that state’s official results until November 17, over a week after the election – that’s plenty of time to commit some good old-fashioned voter fraud to ‘confirm’ the false victory announced by the Kennedy family’s media insiders. And in a place as corrupt as 1960 New Jersey, who’d even be surprised by that? My point is, though, is that Johnson won that state by only 2,800 votes. And Hawaii? The incredibly narrow margin of 71 votes. 71!”

“Yes, it was incredibly narrow. In the end, it ended up being the narrowest election since, uh, 1880. All that separated the two men was 40,763 votes, or a margin of 0.06%. That’s less votes than the number that separated Adams and Jackson in the 1824 Presidential election, and a smaller margin than the 0.09% that separated Garfield and Hancock in the 1880 Presidential election. Here, thanks for those cards.”

“I am 100% certain that some Democrats somewhere made sure Johnson won.”

“Well, if the election was rigged, why didn’t Nixon challenge it?”

“I’ll tell you why, because Richard Nixon is a man of integrity. He knew trying to prove the election was rigged would not only tear the country apart, but also make America look bad abroad. The Russkies would be able to say ‘Oh, and you say we are corrupt and undemocratic?’ No, the Nixon of 1960 couldn’t do that to his country. Nixon is an honest man.”

“Well, for Illinois, like you just mentioned, it has been suggested many times that Senator Kennedy’s father attempted voter fraud in Chicago so LBJ would lose that state and in turn the election, allowing Jack Kennedy to run in 1964. What do you think of that?”

“I think it explains the recount the state needed that November. It was a really close count – just 280-some votes, I believe. On the other hand, it was Illinois, which at the time was considered a swing state, so it makes sense that it would have been narrow even without any ballot tampering. I’ve been to Illinois, and let me tell you, it’s a very diverse place – racists in the south, gangsters in the north, and only-God-knows-who-the-f@#ks living in the middle.”

– Roger Stone and Robert Towne, 1975 interview

The liberal Democrats of the north were ebullient over Hubert’s ascension, with celebrations continuing on into the night. The Land of 10,000 Lakes’ early winter morning was illuminated by party lights and fireworks. At the Kennedy compound, the mood was bittersweet. Bobby was especially at war with himself, wary of Lyndon’s true intentions regarding Civil Rights. In California, Nixon was external gracious but internally beside himself; he would call to congratulate Johnson at 11:00 AM, his time, the next day. In Stonewall [Texas], Lyndon and his backers poured the Champaign and danced the house’s favorite tunes, including his new favorite, “Hail to the Chief.” Across the nation, Lyndon voters were overjoyed. Many took the day off work or school to celebrate the victory, while Nixon voters did same to mourn their loss. While Republicans reverted into suspicion, questioning where they went wrong, the nation’s Democratic politicians were thrilled to be getting a President of their own for the first time in eight years, and many of them were looking forward to proving that going for Johnson/Humphrey was the right choice for America.

– Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President: 1960, Atheneum Publishers, 1961


...the mixed marriage began in a private ceremony...

The Hollywood Reporter, celebrations section, 11/13/1960


The New York Times, 11/14/1960


[pic: ]

– Colonel Sanders handing over the keys of a new KFC outlet to its manager, c. mid-to-late November 1960

…President Eisenhower today authorized the use of over $1million for federal programs that will seek to help with ongoing state-level efforts to house and employ thousands of Cuban refugees in the US, who have been fleeing from that island nation's new government and are arriving via Florida at a rate of roughly one thousand people per week…

– CBS Evening News, 12/2/1960 broadcast

6 December 1960: On this day in history, America’s Secretary of the Interior, Fred A. Seaton, issued Public Land Order 2214, which reserved 9,500,000 acres (38,000 km2) of land in Alaska, creating the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


SENATOR-ELECT DIES FROM HEART ATTACK, AGE 41 of only two Republicans set to enter the US Senate on January 3rd, 1961, Keith Thomson had been serving in the U.S. Representatives, representing Wyoming's At-Large District. since January 3rd, 1955. ...Thomson's passing is shocking and sad for all of his friends, family members, and supporters across his home state...

The Washington Post, 12/9/1960


...Democratic Governor John J. Hickey has announced his decision to appoint himself to the seat that US Rep. Keith Thomson won, but died before he could be sworn into, and will schedule a special election for 1962 to determine who should complete Thomson's six-year (1961-1967) US Senate term...

– The Rock Springs Daily Rocket-Miner, Wyoming newspaper, 12/14/1960


St. Paul, MN – Governor Freeman today appointed U.S. Congressman Roy William Wier to Vice-President-elect Hubert Humphrey’s vacated US Senate seat. Humphrey resigned yesterday to give congressional seniority to his successor. Wier, age 72, has served in the US House of Representatives since 1949, and lost a bid for re-election earlier this year...

– MN newspaper, 12/25/1960


...In the weeks leading up to his inauguration, President-Elect Johnson is gradually assembling his candidates for his Presidential Cabinet. The rumored post pick receiving the most attention is the supposed nomination of U.S. Senator Jack Kennedy of Massachusetts for U.S. Secretary of State. While there is also speculation that Johnson will pick Stuart Symington, Scoop Jackson, or party favorite Adlai Stevenson for the diplomatic position, the Massachusetts politician has visited Johnson at his home in Texas five times in the past month, more times than any other alleged contender. If true, the selection of Kennedy to lead the federal government’s chief foreign affairs office will likely increase already-existing rumors of a “backroom deal” being made at the convention explaining why Kennedy strongly supported Johnson in the autumn campaign season despite the fairly negative campaign between the two candidates during the Democratic primary season...

– US News and World Report, 12/30/1960

The Five Best and Five Worst Aspects of the Eisenhower Presidency

The Best Aspects

1 The Civil Rights Act of 1957 – Ike sponsored it and signed it into law; initially a major law, it was soon cut up by Congress into being ineffective piece of legislation. However, Eisenhower also appointed many liberal judges to several southern federal courts, such as Frank Minis Johnson and others; Eisenhower also backed the passage of the National Defense Education Act, which, upon him signing it into law, provided school funds at all education levels.

2 The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 – a personal passion project of Eisenhower to better connect population centers to one another and encourage domestic trips and commerce, the act and the highway construction projects that came from it left a lasting effect on the nation and its people’s way of life, allowing for easier travel that encouraged long-distance trade nationwide; it also proved to be beneficial to the American fast-food industry, and other industries as well.

3 The Budget Was Balanced Three Times – Ike refused to cut taxes and refused to raise defense spending; his fiscal conservatism and social liberalism has led to some claims that Ike ran a near-libertarian administration

4 The End of the Korean War – Ike negotiated an agreement that brought our boys home from what would not be America’s last stalemate

5 Maintained Peace and Prosperity – America in the 1950’s had an almost two-faced personality, alternating between fauxtopia and fear: despite the almost-yearly close calls – Korea, Vietnam, Formosa, Suez, Hungary, Berlin, U-2 – cooler heads always prevailed and Americans maintained a sense of pride in the face of rising consumerism meant to make buyers happy; additionally, the calls for African-American equality was finally being heard louder and louder each year.

The Worst Aspects

1 Farmers Continued to Suffer – Despite some efforts, Ike overall failed to get Big Government out of agriculture and strengthen the family farmer

2 Left the CIA and FBI Unchecked – Eisenhower feared butting heads with J. Edgar Hoover over his monitoring of Dr. Martin Luther King, and greenlit many CIA endeavors, most notably letting the CIA and MI6 stage false border conflicts in order to invade Syria’s neighbors in 1957

3 Silence on Civil Rights – Ike failed to speak out against racial violence in the south, most noticeably his unenthusiastic response to 1954’s Brown v BOE, though he did do better in his second term via Little Rock and the aforementioned 1957 Civil Rights Act.

4 McCarthyism – Eisenhower turned a blind eye to McCarthyism, fearing that to oppose the controversial US Senator from Wisconsin would lead to the attention-wanting Joe McCarthy gaining more publicity.

5 The Cold War Continued – Ike kept the US safe, for sure, but he also did not make any significant strides to end hostilities between the US and USSR. Eisenhower took no action in light of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and failed to make significant communication with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. While Ike did deploy troops to Lebanon in 1958, it was the January 1960 U-2 incident that ended the President’s plans for a US-USSR peace conference to be held in the spring of that year.

Overall: Eisenhower is considered by scholars to be a slightly average president, though the public often ranks him higher, often placing him in the top tier of US Presidents, most likely due to public nostalgia for a decade and era often characterized as one that was stable and prosperous for many American citizens.

– The Eisenhower National Historic Site website [4]


[ pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders (left) declining Ray Kroc (right)'s offer of a burger from McDonald’s during a sales promotion event, c. December 1960

We had no franchise fee because we weren’t concerned about the marketable asset of selling the franchises [5]. We didn’t want to burden interested restaurateurs with such a demand. It wasn’t about the money to Dad; to him, Kentucky Fried Chicken was about the Kentucky-fried chicken. That is the main reason why my father and Ray Kroc never saw eye-to-eye.

The 70-year-old Colonel Sanders and the 58-year-old Ray Kroc possibly could have gotten along well. Maybe, they could have even been friends. The two businessmen shared plenty of things – both distrusted banks (the Krocs lost everything in the Stock Market Crash of ’29), both lied about their ages to try and serve their country but never saw any fighting (Dad tended to work mules for the Navy; Kroc was trained alongside Walt Disney how to drive an ambulance during WWI), both found fame after turning 50, and both spent their pre-fame lives working a wide variety of jobs across the country (Kroc spent some time as a pianist, a real estate agent, a paper cup salesman, and a milkshake machine salesman). Both also donated to various charities and humanitarian causes that they truly believed in.

But as it turned out, the comparisons ended there. Kroc, who entered the fast-food business due to opportunism, not passion, saw nothing wrong in taking over a company like what he was doing with McDonald’s. Dad and Kroc, or “the Kroc,” as Harley called him, had met each other before at a National Restaurateurs Association meeting, and had even run into each other outside a McDonald's a few days earlier, but at the association’s December 1960 convention, the two giants of the industry finally got to sit down and talk to each other face-to-face. I was standing nearby, and heard much of their conversation.

“Colonel Sanders, I presume?” was what the Kroc said as he sat down. He then offered Dad some wine; the Colonel told him he was a teetotaler. Already, the meeting was awkward, so Kroc sought to compliment Dad. “I just want you to know that I think you did a wonderful job stumping for Nixon.” He then talked about how, as a lifelong Republican, Kroc believed firmly in self-reliance. “I’ve always been staunchly opposed to government welfare, even back when the New Deal came out. America was founded on good work, and it will only collapse if we let everyone become lazy government-moochers.” [6]

“I take it then that you pay your workers well enough for them to not have to tip?”

“Well, the tips indicate which customers work harder. The better you wait, the better you get paid.”

“But the customers ain’t their bosses, you’re the boss. They work to fill the customers’ stomachs, yeah, but that work also fills your wallet. That makes you more obliged to cut out the middle man and all the complicated tax issues and just pay them what they’re due.”

“Then where’s the motivation for them to be the best at their jobs, Colonel?”

“Try the fact that you can still fire them if they get lazy on you.”

“With all due respect, Colonel, businesses aren’t charities.”

“But governments shouldn’t be charities, either. Their already responsible for defense, trade, commerce and national emergencies. You really think nobody should be lookin’ out for the kind of men we used to be?”

“What are you talking about? We got by just fine! If someone can’t make it in this world, then they didn’t have what it takes to begin with! Why should I spend my energy doing something that I never let anyone do for me? Let people pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.”

“And what if they can’t?”

“You mean ‘what if they don’t,’ Colonel.”

“Ray, I’m getting’ the notion that if you came across a foundling on your doorstep one morning, you’d walk right over it while tellin’ it to get a job.”

I was called away from the area at around this time. By the time I returned, the two were tensely gritting their teeth like two alley dogs ready to tumble over whose alley it was. Dad, tightly gripping the handle on his cane, said “Krocer, I appreciate, hehe, the sweet-talkin’, but I’ve got to tell you, sir, that not everything I’ve heard about you has been nice. And now I know why; I’ve wrestled with raccoons with more empathy to people than you have!”

At that moment, one of Kroc’s associates pulled him away from the table to talk shop with some other burger executives.

Father ranted on the train ride back to Florence. “Can you believe that Kroc man actually charges franchisees to sell his burgers?! What a stupid system! How the f@#k is he still in business. McDonald’s must be hemorrhaging money worse than a fine china store without insurance gettin’ struck by an earthquake. What a slimy low-life son of a b!#ch! And you know what he said, Mildred? He said, ‘everyone has the right to how they do business; to each his own.’ But he’s not alone. I’ve inspected his restaurants. He’s got, what, hundreds if not thousands of employees clear across this country? Millions of customers? His business ethics affect all of them!”

“Then, Dad, you must be very happy that your chicken is one hundred time better than the stuff he dishes out.”

Dad, after a brief pause, chuckled, “You’re certainly right about that, Millie!”

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000


Washington, DC – Today in the nation’s capital, President Eisenhower announced the suspension of all diplomatic relations wit the government of Cuba. The announcement comes less than a day after Cuba’s Fidel Castro demanded that the U.S. Embassy in Havana “immediately” reduce its staff from 87 workers to no more than 11 workers on the grounds of “maintaining security measures” in the island nation’s capital…

The Miami Herald, 1/1/1961


The Milwaukee Sentinel, 1/2/1961


…an explosion at the U.S. National Reactor Testing Station near Idaho Falls, ID, has experienced a malfunction of some sorts, according to a military technician at the facility, who also confirmed reports of a fatal incident at the location’s “atomic reactor SL-1” earlier today…

– The Spokane Daily Chronicle, 1/3/1961 extra


The Washington Post, 1/6/1961


…the referendum, which was supported by French President Charles de Gaulle, served as a mandate on de Gaulle’s policies on independence for Algeria, as a clear majority of votes cast (roughly 75%, at roughly 17 million to 5 million) in favor of self-rule for the African region…

The Milwaukee Sentinel, 1/8/1961


…Five days after a federal judge order, the University of Georgia has reluctantly ended its racial segregation policy and has admitted African-American students for the first time in the university’s history…

The Washington Post, 1/11/1961


[pic: ]

– Colonel Sanders with a trophy and a live chicken, c. January 1961


…the United States federal government banned travel by its citizens to Cuba earlier today, except in cases where some kind of “special endorsement” is included on the passport. The move comes as US-Cuban relations continue to disintegrate…

The Milwaukee Sentinel, 1/16/1961

“We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex...We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”

– Dwight Eisenhower, nationally televised speech, 1/17/1961 [7]

[1] Taken from the forward of this text:
[2] Because Lyndon B. Johnson as a campaigner is not as popular or effective as JFK was IOTL, less voter turnout affects some politicians down ballot. While there are no changes in the Senate (yet), there are some minor House changes. Congressman Harris B. McDowell Jr. (D-DE) lost re-election to James T. McKinstry (R-DE), 50.5% to 49.5% (an exact reverse of the OTL figures). Incumbent Hamer H. Budge (R-ID) narrowly won re-election. Incumbent J. Edward Roush (D-IN) lost re-election to George O. Chambers (the election was 50.0%-to-50.0%, according to Wikipedia). In Kentucky, Frank Chelf (D) lost to former Lt. Gov. Ed Denney (R), while Frank Burke (D) loses re-election to Henry Heyburn (R). However, Humphrey being on the November ballot allowed the pro-farmers Coya Knuston (D-MN) to get elected back to the House over Odin Langen (R); Humphrey on the ticket also helped Governor Orville Freeman win re-election as well, albeit by a margin even smaller than the one he lost to IOTL. Incumbent Morgan Moulder (D-MO) lost re-election to Robert Bartel (R) (OTL result: 50.%-to-49.9%), Hugh L. Carey still won, albeit by 50.1%-to-49.9% instead of OTL’s 50.4%-to49.6%. Finally, in Utah, A. Walter Stevenson (R) won a recount over M. Blaine Peterson (D). That’s six more seats for the Republican column than in OTL.
[3] Besides Minnesota’s Freeman, as mentioned above, the only other change in the gubernatorial elections was Indiana’s Matthew Welsh (D), whom lost to Lt. Gov. Crawford F. Parker (R), who won (albeit by a narrow margin) thanks to endorsements from Governor Harold Handley and Colonel Harland Sanders.
[4] This list is more or less based on the ones found here:
[5] The bit here that is in italics was actually said by Maggie IOTL, according to this source:
[6] This italicized bit and Kroc’s opinions taken directly from here:
[7] This is a famous quote from OTL

Thanks for reading, everyone! Expect the next update soon (like, November 29 or so)!

Chapter 11: January 1961 – April 1961

“When dissent turns to violence, it invites tragedy”

– Richard Nixon, 1970 (OTL)


Vice President: US Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota
Secretary of State: US Senator Jack Kennedy of Massachusetts
Secretary of the Treasury: former Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization Henry H. Fowler of Virginia
Secretary of Defense: Lieutenant General Homer Litzenburg of Pennsylvania
Attorney General: former Deputy Attorney General Rosser Lynn Malone Jr . of New Mexico
Deputy Attorney General: lawyer Ramsey Clark of Texas
Postmaster General: businessman J. Edward Day of Illinois
Secretary of the Interior: US Representative Stewart Lee Udall of Arizona
Deputy Secretary of the Interior: Lieutenant Governor Rex Bell of Nevada
Secretary of Agriculture: former Governor Jim Folsom of Alabama
Secretary of Commerce: Governor Luther H. Hodges of North Carolina
Secretary of Labor: former US Undersecretary of Labor Keen Johnson of Kentucky
Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare: Chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Panel on Education John William Gardner of California

Cabinet-Level Positions:
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): incumbent Director Allen W. Dulles of New York
Director of the Federal Bureau of Information (FBI): incumbent Director J. Edgar Hoover of Washington, D.C.
US Trade Representative: former US Secretary of Defense Robert A. Lovett of Texas

The President’s Executive Office:
White House Chief of Staff: Walter Jenkins of Texas
Deputy White House Chief of Staff: Bobby Baker of South Carolina
White House Counsel: US Representative Homer Thornberry of Texas
National Security Advisor: former White House Counsel Clark Clifford of Missouri
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Paul C. Fisher of Illinois
Other Counselors and Advisors to the President: personal secretary Mildred Stegall, strategist James Rowe, spin doctor Fred Dutton, others
White House Communications Director: MPAA President Jack Valenti of Texas
White House Appointments Secretary: W. Marvin Watson of Texas
White House Press Secretary: George Reedy of Indiana
Administrator of the Small Business Administration: businessman Malcolm Forbes of New Jersey

Other Notable Members:
Solicitor General: former Montana Supreme Court Justice Leif Erickson of Montana

Notable US Ambassadors (in alphabetical order):
To Argentina: incumbent diplomat Roy Richard “Dick” Rubottom Jr. of Texas
To Brazil: former Governor Colgate Whitehead Darden of Virginia
To Cambodia: former Ambassador Donald R. Heath of Kansas
To Canada: Governor G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams of Michigan
To Chile: United Press correspondent Edward Malcolm Korry of New York
To France: US Secretary of State Christian Archibald Herter of Massachusetts
To India: US Congressman Dalip Singh Saund of California
To Japan: Professor S. I. Hayakawa of California
To Laos: incumbent diplomat Winthrop Gilman Brown of New York
To Mexico: New Orleans Mayor deLesseps Story “Chep” Morrison Sr. of Louisiana
To Saudi Arabia: former US Representative Wingate Hezekiah Lucas of Texas
To South Africa: Ambassador to Pakistan William M. Rountree Jr. of Georgia
To South Vietnam: diplomat William Healy Sullivan of Rhode Island
To Taiwan: diplomat Everett F. Drumright of OK
To the U.K.: former Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois
To the U.N.: Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri
To the U.S.S.R.: incumbent diplomat Llewellyn E. “Tommy” Thompson Jr. of Colorado
To West Germany: Governor Herschel Cellel Loveless of Iowa
To Yugoslavia: former Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. George Frost Kennan of


The selection of John F. Kennedy came as a surprise to only some, as Johnson and Kennedy seemed to have buried the hatchet going into the general election... At least from the public’s perspective, Johnson was enthusiastic about working with congress to get several social programs funded, as part of the Grand Society envisioned in his inaugural speech. Kennedy would enjoy a voice in foreign policy as Johnson initially focused almost entirely on domestic issues...

– Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President: 1964, Atheneum Publishers, 1965

Wanting to placate Kennedy, Johnson picked Luther Terry for U.S. Surgeon General to replace the retiring Leroy Edgar Burney, over his own choice, a pediatrician/epidemiologist named William H. Stewart. Johnson also allowed Joseph Kennedy Sr. to ensure his son didn’t go to the State Department alone…

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Pursuit of Power, A. A. Knopf Inc. New York, 2012

I was initially reluctant to accept by brother’s offer to serve as the next Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. My background was in law, and I was aiming at the time to enter private practice in order to spend more time with Ethel and the kids. But Jack convinced me that I could do more for my country and our families if I took the job. The leap from law to defense politics was awkward, but with all challenges I persevered and benefitted from the experience.

– Robert F. Kennedy’s The Definitive Decades, Tangent Writer’s House, 1999

“My fellow Americans, the beginning of this administration marks the beginning of a new and better era for America and the world.”

“As President, I promise to defend all friends and oppose all foes to these United States. I want every nation, group and individual who opposes the basic foundation of our very way of life to know that this nation and its people will defy any despot or dictator that wishes to destroy the spirit of freedom and democracy anywhere in the world.”

“With your courage and with your compassion and your desire, we will build a Great Society, a society where no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled. [1] And liberty will shine as bright as the sun does shine right here and now. Thank you.”

– Quotes from President Lyndon Johnson’s inaugural address, 1/20/1961


Lyndon Johnson, US President #35


Washington, DC – In today’s State of the Union speech, President Johnson detailed his domestic agenda for the year, starting with calls for an expansion in spending on education and medical care programs…

New York Daily News, 1/30/1961

“We must not allow America to dictator our future. We believe that they want war. And we need to take whatever measures are necessary to end any plans for aggression against the free people of Cuba.” Camilo, or “Cam” as he let me call him, was fiery and passionate. ...Fidel criticized the Soviet Union for keeping the poor out of government-level decisions. I pressed him to demonstrate a solution to this, and he offered the notion of national referendums, saying he would implement such votes into Cuba “eventually.” …Fidel had a noticeably higher-pitched voice [2], and while he showed determination, the slight quiver in his speech was more noticeable when beside Cam. Regardless of pitch, their words were undoubtedly inspiring, and more importantly, were effective in raising morale and trust in the young Communist government.

– Journalist Lisa Howard recollecting her “private” February 1961 interviews with Fidel Castro and Camilo Cienfuegos, 1982 publication

The Colonel thought carefully about what to others was not a dilemma at all. He contemplated the composition of his company – In a franchise, ideas flow from the parent company down, but they also come from the bottom up or laterally: People who own franchises often have great ideas – for new menu items, for ways of doing business more efficiently, & for branding – that are taken up by the parent company [3].

Turning to me, the Colonel noted “The business I developed [here is] a personal one. I [know] most all of the franchisees by their first names, and many of them [have] slept in my beds and [eaten] breakfast at my table. …We was just one big family.” [4]

“And you have to keep your family together,” I replied.


After several months of deliberations, The Colonel finally managed to gather all the franchisees who wanted to take KFC public together to sit down with them in Florence, KY, in early February. Before going in, he vented his frustration: “These are mom-and-pop operations. Strugglers that I’ve treated kindly and done plenty right by them. Hell, my product has made millionaires out of some of them” [5]. Swinging his cane, he muttered on. “The original plan was to allow the franchisees to do whatever they wanted as long as it did not violate their original handshake agreement, but this thing here is much too different from all that.”

An idea of creating a sort of subsidiary of KFC called Kentucky Fried Chicken of the South was floated. But the idea was quickly cut down, as too many of us feared it would lead to a balkanizing affect, decentralizing corporate responsibility and in the long run dooming the entire company. No, we had to stick together like a family, and when it comes to family, sacrifices and compromises always have to be made.

As such, after much reluctance, Sanders finally agreed to the move. “On two conditions: every move made concerning the stock, all the manipulatin’ and hullabalooin’ that goes on in the stock market, all of it goes through me. And we are going to find some mighty fine experts we can trust for all this, too!” We shook the hands of every man and woman in the room, making the agreement a personal vow for each individual. It would mean much change for the company, and Sanders was finally ready to let it happen, but he was wise to know to not go in guns a-blazing without some sort of plan.

– Dave Thomas’ Under the Colonel’s Wing, Mosaic Publishing, 1982


– Wall Street Journal, side article, 2/5/1961

Johnson knew exactly where each Senator new and old stood on the issues. Whenever it became necessary, he’d send a Senator or congressman off on some trip to NATO or wherever to keep them from voting. The man realized, from years of working with the bunch, that if he pushed for anything meaningful concerning Civil Rights, the Dixiecrats would make all of his other proposals come to a standstill. But if he had already passed the small potatoes first – medicine, education reform, tax cuts – there’d be far less items for the Dixiecrats to hold hostage in the Rules Committee…

– Bobby Baker, RNN interview, 1979

As we took to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, I could see the Colonel was uneasy. “You’re doing the right thing,” I reassured him.

“It’s not that,” the Colonel shouted over the cacophonous room full of mechanical clicking bells and whistles and suited cronies shouting and running, “it’s too chaotic and noisy here; it’s like being stuck in a twister made out of youngins playing rock-and-roll!”

Quickly we moved to the celebration area, where the first ticker of our stock clicked out. After a few cheers, the area around us finally died down just enough for us to pose for photos after making a brief announcement: that the Company of Kentucky Fried Chicken was finally being made public, put on the market for anyone to invest in.

“From this day of February 10, 1961 onward, anyone can financially benefit from the company’s success. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with the consumers and prospective investors in a way that will grow the company and help it reach unprecedented levels,” Harman prophesized in a dramatic bit of showmanship that he had been practicing before we had arrived.

“Yes,” the Colonel added, “now if only it could take this place down to a quieter level!”

– Dave Thomas’ Under the Colonel’s Wing, Mosaic Publishing, 1982


[ ]
– 28-year-old Dave Thomas, 70-year-old Colonel Sanders, and several other KFC managers, 2/10/1961


– The Chicago Tribune, 2/17/1961


– New York Times, 2/18/1961

...Yesterday’s incident in which a Cuban patrol boat fired a barrage of bullets upon an American civilian boat in the Straits of Florida has raised tensions between the two nations. The American boat, called the Gold Marlin, is a high-class vessel that hailed from the Florida Keys and was, according to sources, being taken for a joy ride. A representative from Cuba announced that the patrol boat mistook the vessel for an armed military vessel. The announcement came short of being an apology over their actions in the incident, which left two of the six Americans onboard the vessel severely injured and still recovering in hospital. In the states, American Defense Secretary Homer Litzenberg had this to say… “We will not tolerate a foreign attack on any American no matter how major or minor. Reparations will be demanded soon enough.” …Meanwhile, the Soviet is staying silent on the matter…

– BBC broadcast, 19/2/1961

“I hate the bastard, but I love democracy more. And if he’s going to be the one protecting it, than he better know what the hell it is he has gotten himself into.”

Richard Nixon allegedly said this to one of his aides, concerning his decision to inform President-Elect Lyndon Johnson of the CIA’s plans concerning Cuba. Johnson began dealing with the plans immediately, before even being sworn into office of the Presidency. After this information was publicly disclosed in the late 1980s, questions were brought up by many concerning how much of the back-and-forth between the President-Elect and the many persons involved was a violation of national security measures. However, a 1996 ruling determined that the President-Elect, even if a civilian before their inauguration, was and is entitled to the “limited” access of “certain government elements.”

– From prize-winning historian Jeff Greenfield’s How Everything Changed, published in 2011

Lyndon wasn’t made fully aware of the government’s plans concerning Cuba until two weeks before the inauguration. Nixon kept him in the dark until then, through all of November and December, just to spite him, I guess, the damn bastard. When they sprung it on him, he listened, but he ultimately their plans down, calling them “ridiculous” and “a suicide mission.” The plans were insufficient, too risky, and in serious need of some kind of overhauled. The incident regarding The Gold Marlin sped up the process of changing plans, though. Heh, funny. Um, in the odd sense. It was like the Maine and the Panay and Pearl Harbor, you see. You would think that America’s enemies would come up with something more original than boat-sinking the third time around, but...nope…

– Bobby Baker in TV interview, CBS, 11/11/1977


– The New York Times, special issue, 3/3/1961

The incidents with Cuba were really beginning to frighten people. Especially in Florida, were I was at the time. The clashes – preemptive attacks, they seemed to be to many – were occurring around Spring Break. I went to Florida to celebrate finally getting ready to graduate from Penn State, and I was looking to party. What I found was a furor of suspicion and paranoia. The highways were full of families travelling north. I saw people hastily packing their stuff into their cars. At one gun shop, I saw the line go right out the door and around the corner. People were told to stay calm, but when a bunch of Commies start shooting up American boats and planes, and you live close by, you are going to fear the worst. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best Spring Break.

– producer/screenwriter Donald P. Bellisario, Archive of American Television, 1991 interview

March 15, 1961

To: Director Dulles

From: The President

I hereby approve the plan involving Trinidad, Cuba. May God have mercy on their Red souls, because we certainly won’t!


– Private telegram response from President Lyndon Johnson to CIA Director Allen Dulles; discovered, declassified and disclosed in 2001; the “burn after reading” instruction was erroneously stamped on the bottom instead of the top, likely leading to its misfiling due to human error


...Kentucky Fried Chicken is at the head of the pack when it comes to utilizing the advertising techniques of other industries since the late 1950s and early 1960s. For example, since early 1961, their outlets were were the first to implement lighting that allowed them to promote their outlets at all hours, day and night...


[pic: ]
Above: An example of a KFC outlet, circa 1961

Nation's Restaurant News, late 1969 issue

On March 23, over 1,800 paramilitaries set out from Guatemala for Cuba by boat. Two days later, early in the morning, six CIA-supplied B-26 bombers flown by the anti-communists attacked Cuban airfields and returned to Guatemala. That night, the rebels landed. The Cubans were caught completely off-guard by this due to their belief that enemy soldiers would land at a position closer to the capital. Several hours later, at the UN, Cuba’s Foreign Minister Raul Roa accused the US of aggressively attacking the nation in an attempt to overthrow Castro’s regime. Via telephone Johnson instructed the US’s UN Ambassador, Stuart Symington, how to specifically word his response. Symington, as ordered, stated that “this administration has been consistent with this issue; the United States will only support anti-Castro forces if, and only if, it is more than apparent that such action follows the will of the Cuban people.” Symington refused to clarify.

– prize-winning historian Jeff Greenfield’s How Everything Changed, Putnam Publishing, 2011


Today, just after midnight, an invasion force of Cuban exiles against Castro landed on Cuba’s coast. Heavy fighting was seen in the streets of the coastal city of Trinidad as the invading forces marched through and spread out into the surrounding areas. The invaders are counter-revolutionary forces aiming to overthrow Fidel Castro, the island nation’s Communist leader. Broadcasts from Cuba’s government-run radio station, appealing for medical help from foreign nations, indicate that the raiders have already successfully penetrated 50 kilometers inland...

– Tad Szulc, A New York Times Special Report, 3/29/1961

It did seem like it had once been a good place to live. Trinidad was much like my own hometown of Mariel. The stone streets, the lush trees, the colorfully-painted homes, the old churches, it all reminded we of what I had lost. We had been content there; we had been content back then. It saddened me to think of how my life had been stolen from me by Fidel. So I turned my grief into anger. And I used that anger to cut down those who stood in our way. And I with my fellow soldiers, my brothers-in-arms, I entered that city and I helped bring it to its knees. We were the first soldiers in the long, long fight to take back our homeland…

– Ricardo Perez’s chapter in Ron Keeva Unz’s anthology They Were There: First-Hand Accounts of the War on Cuba, 2001

“The glorious citizens of Cuba and the brave soldiers of the army and militia are battling the enemy with all of their strength. But it is not enough. Every single abled man, woman and child must do their part to protect their fellow citizens to rise up against those that threaten our prosperity. They will not destroy us because we will never allow it; they will not break our spirits because we will never give them the chance. For we are greater than they are. We are stronger than they are. We are more united than they are. And no matter what it takes, we will be the victors of this war!”

– From Fidel Castro’s 3/30/1961 radio broadcast

At around 7:00 AM – late by LBJ’s standard [6] – on April 2, Dulles came over to us – I was discussing the military proceedings with Jack – with the latest U-2 reconnaissance photos. Lyndon was outraged that the B-26 pilots had exaggerated their claims; they had clearly not been as effective as we had wanted them to be.

“Well, we’re in it too deep to fall back on it all now,” Jack lamented.

I was about to suggest that we cancel the upcoming strikes to retain plausible deniability, just in case the invasion was eventually a failure, when Lyndon immediately responded: “To change the plans now would only cause confusion for our men there, and to fall back now would mean a victory for Communism in the eyes of Castro and the Kremlin.”

“The Castro brothers are already on uneasy terms with Khrushchev. Falling back would lead Cuba right into the arms of Russia and it would leave us embarrassed on the world stage,” Dulles added as they quickly exited the room.

The continuation of the airfield strikes went ahead as scheduled.


As the body count rose, Jack discussed the idea of sending troops of our own into Cuba. “A proxy war,” he explained.

“That would keep us from having to get congress to allow us to openly declare war on Cuba, wouldn’t it?” Lyndon mulled. Indeed, while Cuba has agitated us with the Gold Marlin and Intrepid plane incidents, these would still not justify a declaration of war…

– Robert F. Kennedy’s The Definitive Decades, Tangent Writer’s House, 1999

US TROOPS LAND IN CUBA TO ASSIST ANTI-CASTRO CUBANS: Defense Secretary Litzenberg calls for “the preservation of the freedom and independence of the Cuban people.”

– The New York Times, 4/3/1961

“To arms, Cubans! We must conquer or we shall die choked by slavery. In the name of God we assure you all that after the victory we will have peace, human solidarity, general well-being and absolute respect for the dignity of all Cubans without exception.”

– Cuba's DRF leader Jose Miro Cardona, 4/9/1961 (as recorded by the New York Times) [7]

US Citizen Approval of US Involvement in Cuba
Approve: 69%
Disapprove: 27%
Uncertain: 4%

– From a Gallop Poll article, published 4/10/1961


[pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders, attended a meeting of fellow Shriners, c. April 1961

[1] OTL Quote found on the Note 5 of Wikipedia’s Great Society page:
[2] Listen to Fidel talk in the Lisa Howard interviews of OTL available on YouTube.
[3] Line italicized taken directly from here:
[4] Quote found here:
[5] Quote taken from here:
[6] It is mention in an anecdote found here: that LBJ would wake up very early, and would call people at unreasonably early hours.
[7] OTL Quote! (according to his wiki article)

Notes: I'm a bit unsure of the quality of this post. Any constructive criticism is welcomed!

Chapter 12: April 1961 – August 1961

“Remember that God has enabled you to become an example of love, forgiveness, and brotherly co-existence.”

– Saddam Hussein (OTL)

The story’s rather simple. The Colonel was restless. He wanted to travel back to the Old Homestead of Corbin, so after another round of visits across California, the Colonel took a flight and touched down at Florence’s large Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which has been around since the 1940s. But when the Colonel arrived at C/NKIA, “or Sinkia” as he called it, there were no flights to Corbin. The Colonel soon came up with a solution to the town’s physical isolation – he planned to build the town an airport of its very own [1]. Not a giant international airport, but more of a glorified airfield. Something that would produce revenue for the town and make him see his old waterin’ hole grow out of being a backwater hole-in-the-wall type of place.

Thing is, though, there’s a lot of steps you have to go through to get an airport built. First, you have to get a local government or authority to sponsor the project. Then there’s the big hurdle – the “feasibility study.” The state and federal aviation organizations have to review your plans for location and funding. They look at if the area even needs an airport by looking at local transportation accessibility and its proximity to other airports.

Now Corbin was farther east than all of Kentucky’s major airports, and the closest one was Somerset-Pulaski County Airport, also known as J. T. Wilson Airfield, and while it was 30 miles away, Corbin was separated from it – and all the other airports – by a skinny range belonging to the Appalachians, meaning it’d take just over half-an-hour to drive from the one airport to the next.

Next up, the local land use had to be considered. You can’t build an airport in the middle of a city; planes need plenty of room to land and whatnot. Then you got operating costs, public usability, state licensing standards, hiring policies, construction company hirings, state and federal grant assurances, charts upon charts upon charts – and after that, guess what? Even more charts! – about operatin’ projectories or what have you. And of course, the FAA sends out men of their own to check out the possible sites for the airport, and then the actual facility plannin’ starts [2]. And then finally, you get to build it. But the thing is, all those steps can take up to years to complete, even for a simple stretch of runway, a tiny control tower and a humble hanger. But when the Colonel went around Corbin at the beginning of it all, he promised the townsfolk that he would get them that airport. “I always keep my promises – that’s a promise!” is what he said. And the Colonel did. Harley, Maggie and Dave Thomas all helped out. By April, it looked like Corbin could get one by the end of the decade. All what was needed was patience.

But of course, the Colonel was never a patient man, and he soon moved his primary focus to other ventures.

– John F. Ruggles, WMOR 1330 AM radio, 1/8/1981 program broadcast

33RD ACADEMY AWARDS CEREMONY WRAPS UP IN SANTA MONICA: Jules Dassin Wins Best Original Screenplay For “Never On Sunday”

The Los Angeles Times, entertainment section, 4/17/1961

18 April 1961: On this day in history, the Twenty-Third Amendment to the United States Constitution officially took effect; granting citizens in the US’s District of Columbia the right to vote in Presidential elections, the amendment took effect upon certification by John L. Moore, the U.S.’s Administrator of General Services; the amendment had been ratified by 38 states (the minimum number of state ratifications required to amend the US Constitution) as of March 29...



[ ]
– Star and Stripes, US military newspaper, 4/25/1961


Washington, DC – Two days after the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees heard testimony from the US Secretary of Defense Homer Litzenburg and the US Secretary of State Jack Kennedy, the House of Representatives unanimously approved of a resolution to “promote the maintenance of international peace and security in the Caribbean,” authorizing the President to do so through American armed forces if necessary. US Vice-President Hubert Humphrey supported the resolution with the comment that “the United States will always come to the aid and defense of those fighting for freedom, including the democratists of Cuba.” After the House made the move official, the Senate approved the resolution ten hours later, 89-to-1. Senate leader Mike Mansfield of Montana arranged for a swift voting procedure after several other speeches were “efficiently scheduled” for Wednesday and Thursday, according to a Congressional staffer for Mansfield…

– The New York Times, 4/25/1961


Washington, DC – By a 231-197 vote, the House of Representatives today raised the U.S. federal minimum wage to $1.25 per hour. Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate approved the same measure by a 63-27 vote, after President Johnson voiced strong support for it…

The Washington Post, 5/3/1961

INTERVIEWER: Senator, on the night of April 24, the night when Congress approved of the Florida Straits Resolution, why were you the sole Senator to vote against it?

WAYNE MORSE: In the three weeks or so since then we have sent nearly 500 men to Cuba to assist in the efforts made by the anti-Castro Cubans, who are now calling themselves the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, or the DRF. However, an overwhelming number of the Cuban people are now more united than ever against us despite this administration’s claims to the contrary. We are repeatedly receiving reports, not just from Tad Szulc but other journalists brave enough to venture to the front lines as well, and all the reports have a common theme: a strong amount of resistance. Each village, each acre of land the US and DRF armies occupy, is won over painstakingly from ardent locals. It is due to overwhelming evidence that I do not believe it when the Johnson administration proclaims that a majority of Cubans are against Castro. The anti-Cuban exiles are essentially the only Cubans on the island that are actually on the, uh, pro-democracy side. This is also evident in the lack of advancement into Cuba; over the past month, the current borders of the DRF’s territory in Cuba have only expanded roughly five miles farther inland. That why I believe this resolution [was] a historic mistake [3]. And for the record, Senator Ernest Gruening was on the fence about it, but ultimately yielded to the siren call of the rattling sabres because of Cuba’s close proximity to Florida.

INTERVIEW: Is Cuba’s proximity to Florida not an issue, in your opinion?

WAYNE MORSE: If it is, Clark must also be worried about Alaska’s close proximity to the Soviet Union. The Gold Marlin was tragic, yes, but it would not have happened under less hostile geopolitical circumstances. So, no, it’s only an issue if America’s current aggressive foreign policy keeps making it an issue.

– Face the Nation, 5/16/1961 radio broadcast

REPORTER 1: “What about Senator Wayne Morse's comments concerning the war in Cuba?”

CLIFFORD: “Well, I was informed of them, and, um, well, there will always be opposition to what ultimately turns out to have been the right choice all along.”

REPORTER 2: “How soon can we expect the Communists in Cuba to fall?”

CLIFFORD: “That’s a good question, but at this stage, it’s too early to be definitive. Still, judging by the rate of progress at the current time, I would surmise that the war should be won by Christmas.”

– exchange at a D.C. press conference between US National Security Advisor Clark Clifford and two unidentified reporters, 5/16/1961

On April 25, just thirteen days late of beating the Soviets, Alan Shepard became the second man and the first American in space. Upon his arrival back to Earth, LBJ proudly celebrated the mission’s success. Away from the press, though, he was just as outraged as the rest of us – Yuri Gagarin and Khrushchev had once again stolen our thunder. He was determined to see the US beat them at the next giant leap in the space race, telling Director Webb in private what he would not reveal to the public for another few months: “So help me, we will make it to the moon before them, if we have to use a giant f@#kin’ slingshot to get there!”

– NASA scientist Farouk El-Baz’s Up and Away: How The Cold War Competition Pushed Us into The Stars, MacFarland & Company, 1994

April 26, 1961
To: Director Dulles
From: The President

Give Miro all the help he needs.

– Private telegram response from President Lyndon Johnson to CIA Director Allen Dulles, declassified and disclosed in 1992

Determined to have as few bills as possible for the Dixiecrats to threaten to hold back when the time came to push for Civil Rights, Johnson implemented the most productive first 100 days of any US President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. One of the first things he tackled was immigration. The U.S. Immigration Nationality Act of April 1961 did away with the Asiatic Barred Zone and the hundred-person quotas of the early 1950s. It opened America to the people of Africa, as under the old system less than 3,000 immigrants from the entire continent had moved to the US. Johnson thought it “stupid” to shut out Africa, a continent rich with natural resources. He reportedly once said, “Africa’s interior is just waiting for some adventurous entrepreneur to dig somewhere new and make himself, and a village, and a country, impressively wealthy. I’d prefer the adventurer to be an American. Both the US and African nations would benefit from our doors being made open a little wider,” if you can call quadrupling numbers a little. The only place that suffered from the new law was the Caribbean, which, due to the increasing hostilities with Cuba, was understandable.

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018

The Economic Opportunity Act of May 1961 was nicknamed “The Teach a Man to Fish Act,” after Republican Congressman Howard Buffett of Nebraska’s April 27, 1961 speech calling for its passage. The legislation provides federal programs focusing on vocational education in order to give people “the tools of knowledge needed for them to continually maintain employment.” The legislation also allowed for the development of “E.T.P.” programs – social gatherings of concerned volunteer citizens and community organizers meant to “Empower The Poor,” a notion supported on bipartisan lines and endorsed by politicians, celebrities, and Colonel Sanders, a man belonging to both categories…

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012


…the act creates funds for minor stations to create “innovative programing” in order to increase quality, diversity, and public interest in public broadcasting…

Business Weekly, 5/26/1961


– The Washington Post, 5/27/1961


Austin, TX – Despite President Johnson’s fair approval ratings, his post-election shift to calling for “strong and lasting” Civil Rights has soured his reputation in his home state, allowing Republican John G. Tower to pull off a narrow victory late last night, winning by a roughly half-a-percent margin… Tower will be the first Republican U.S. Senator to hail from Texas since Morgan Hamilton retired in 1877…

– The Houston Chronicle, 5/28/1961

Tommy Chong Recalls Where He Was at The Start of The Rise of The Beatniks

INTERVIEWER: When did you first start playing music in the U.S.?

CHONG: Hmm, I think it was around May of ’61, cause it was when all the college kids were wrapping up their classes and everything. We [Calgary soul group The Shades] had been in Vancouver for a few weeks when [band member] Bobby [Taylor] got us a gig at some peaceful war protest scene over in Seattle. It was a small thing, no one really paid attention to it, but it was good pay and it was a real good time. We started playing at the early beatnik hotspots long before that culture grew to become bigger and louder, so at the time our music for them was real soft and mellow. We played our song “Junior’s Jerk” and we kind of took offense to them doing that clapping think instead of actually applauding, but they let us hang out afterwards and it was all ’kay.

INTERVIEWER: So how were coffeehouses back then?

CHONG: Well the coffee always sucked, but the people had a great jive, a real natural and calm groove to them, man. A feel that, hey, they thought the war in Cuba was bad, but they were just normal average people, what could they do? The best they could do at the time was to just send out good vibes to the world. And those places could have great vibes, really, like they could just suck you right in. [4]

–, 2014

My fellow patriots: I am pleased to inform you all that our brave soldiers fighting to release our island home from the clutches of the Castro Brothers’ oppressive regime have successfully captured the city of Cienfuegos. The battle to liberate our homeland from the despotic rule of mayhem creators has only just begun, but it is more than obvious that the regime will fall and that ultimately we will be victorious!

– unofficial leader of “the democratists” opposition, Dr. Jose Miro Cardona’s 5/29/1961 radio announcement


Moscow, U.S.S.R. – Spokesmen for The Kremlin announced today that Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union, will refuse to meet with President Johnson later this year. The official release statement cited the War in Cuba, or as they put it, “the unprovoked and wanton invasion of a peaceful Communist state,” as being “a significant” factor…

– From the New York Times, 6/1/1961

US, DRF Territory Gains Slower Than Expected

…while the troops on the “Democratist” side of this war are advancing slowly, the White house remains confident in the abilities of America’s Armed Forces…

– The Orange County Register, 6/1/1961

We are prevailing over the Americans and our traitorous cousins greatly in the forests, so tonight I celebrated with my comrades by firing our weapons into the sky instead of fireworks.

– 1 June 1961 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996


[ ]
– Several new KFC locations featuring the standardized appearance of the era, c. June 1961

After the first KFC spots opened up in the UK, I was convinced that we could expand into continental Europe, starting, of course, with France. Our sales pitch in Paris was all about the company’s positive atmosphere, which was key to the franchise’s regional successes. What really worked was the delightful labor force in France. It was very reminiscent of the good, hardworking people found across the state of in Utah. People in both France and Utah believe in working, and they’re friendly – that’s the culture that got KFC off the ground and into the whole world, and that’s why KFC was able to catch on in France. [5]

– Pete Harman, 60 Minutes interview, early 1992

From: Director Dulles
To: President Johnson
Change in activities of Cuban airplanes detected.

U-2 planes have detected an increase in training exercises in Castro air force. The evidence suggests they are testing long-range travel capabilities. Suspicion of planned attack on DRF territories in northern Cuba. Will continue to monitor the situation.

– CIA transmission, 6/2/1961, declassified and disclosed in 1991

While Jack and Bobby mastered politics, Ted set his sights on mastering the spreading of honest information through the trusted media of print. In June of 1961, Ted purchased The Sacramento Union, a newspaper [6] circulating an area stretching across northern California that at the time was facing some financial troubles despite having only a small amount of competition from the then-afternoon paper of their home city, The Sacramento Bee. In his first test of leadership, Ted expanded the paper’s range and doubled its staff size, and invested money borrowed from the banks to streamline the newspaper production process, allowing the people of northern California to know of breaking news stories much quicker than before. Within the first quarter, overhead was down, and all projections pointed skyward. With the pop of a champagne cork, Ted celebrated the venture’s rousing success. “Things are looking up!”

– Joan Bennett Kennedy’s There Are Always Two Tomorrows: My Life in an American Dynasty, Centurion Publishers, 1999

“Get down!” I pushed my friend to the deck. There was fire overwhelming us within seconds. We followed protocol and made our way to the remaining lifeboats, only for one of the plane to turn back around and fire at us again. We collapsed as the bullets penetrated us. My friend’s body fell onto me, and as I began to pass out I could feel the blood exiting the wounds. I was certain I would never wake up again.

– Anonymous navy seaman describing the Attack on Guantanamo, 1979 footage for 1981 documentary


[ ]

“My heart gives out to the military personnel and their families at Guantanamo Bay… Romans 12-12: ‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.’ …In the past several weeks Castro has coaxed us into direct combat with a series of heinous acts of aggression. But yesterday, their attack on US-administered military port of Guantanamo is an attack that cannot be ignored. The freedom-loving people of Cuba, no longer under the spell of Communism, are rising up, and Castro’s threats to discourage us in helping them only strengthen our resolve. I have asked congress to formally declare war on the Castro regime, and begin deploying troops to Cuba’s shores as soon as possible. If it is war they want, defeat they shall have instead.”

– President Johnson in an emergency address to the nation, 6/12/1961

“Remember the Guantanamo!”

– pro-Cuban War phrase, c. June 1961


...Pope John XXIII today excommunicated Cuban dictator Fidel Castro for Castro's ongoing and continual efforts to systematically suppress Catholic institutions in the island nation of Cuba. Castro, who was born and raised Catholic, has recently publicly criticized the Catholic Church and the Bible, accusing church leaders of being complicit in allowing certain elements from the Bible to be used to justify the oppression of women and people of African descent throughout world history...

– The Daily Mirror, 6/29/1961

We celebrated the night with much hubris. We drank, we danced, we gambled, and we spent the nights with the ladies. We are rejoicing over today’s successful capture of another vital town, the city of Jovellanos. We have cut the island nearly in half, and we are closer to Castro’s headquarters in the capital city of Havana now more than ever before. We have fought through farmland and swampland two weeks straight and so are more than glad for the well-deserved rest from all this warfare.

– 7/17/1961 Journal Entry of Mario Zuniga, DRF soldier (translated)

The post-Guantanamo plan for the US-marine-led "rebel invasion" of Trinidad called for the advance frogmen to light a beacon to show our boys where to land, but someone in the war room – I forget who exactly – realized that the beacon could also alert the local militia to their presence. So, we sent more frogmen who were trained snipers to go around and take out any witnesses. We allegedly had to silence over a dozen civilians. But we were humane. One of the frogmen, for example, came across a ten-year-old boy, but he didn’t kill him, he simply knocked him out and hid the unconscious boy in a nearby toolshed, even propping him up to make it look like he bumped his head and fell asleep. See? We were the merciful ones there. But did the Commie-Cubans do that sort of thing? No, when it came to the innocent children caught in the crossfire of our war games, they went in the opposite direction. Those monsters spared no one…

– Former US Air Force Secretary Eugene M. Zukert’s chapter in Ron Keeva Unz’s anthology They Were There: First-Hand Accounts of the War on Cuba, 2001


– The Sacramento Union, 7/21/1961

With his approval ratings spiking over recent military victories in Cuba, Johnson announced publicly his support for the Civil Rights Bill introduced by Congressman Emmanuel Celler (D-NY) earlier in the year. The Colonel, impatient with the slow pace of founding an airport in Kentucky and wanting to distract himself from the increasing number of McDonald’s outlets “popping up like spring daisies,” met with prominent businessmen of the time to drum up their support for the bill. The Chicago Post’s July 29 headline read “Sanders, Getty, Other Millionaires Back Civil Rights Bill.” The Colonel gave numerous television addresses at stations across the country, explaining later that “I knew from experience that a simple op-ed would be less effective than people actually seeing and hearing me and the others talk about it.” The Colonel reasoned “the government should help businesses help the economy. Now, I’ve gone over a copy of the bill in its current form and, contrary to what some politicians on the hill have said, this bill will not interfere with the hiring practices of honest businessmen and businesses.”… Colonel Sanders was more than just keeping himself busy; he was reacting to the problems of the U.S. he genuinely cared about, and was feeling compelled to help fix them in any way possible.

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders marching with MLK and others in support a Civil Rights march, 8/1/1961

[1] according to this article:, Sanders lost $38,000 trying to open an airport in Corbin “[l]ater in his life”.
[2] Information found in the first PDF found after typing in “Eight Steps to Building a New Airport” through Google (from
[3] quote taken directly from here:
[4] The speaking style of Chong (who really did start off in a Calgary soul band) is (only sort of) based on this interview:
[5] Italicized bits are from a quote from Harman himself, found here:
[6] Why founding a newspaper? Because it was their plan IOTL, as mentioned here:

nbcman said:
Maybe there could be a Congressional Resolution added to the updated to give LBJ some cover for escalation in Cuba to "protect its national interests" like the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution? Possibly insert it between the excerpt from the RFK book and the NYT article about US troops landing in Cuba.
Great idea, thanks!

Ogrebear said:
Great update.

You seem to be missing a few words in some places- it’s obvious what you mean eg ‘shot down the plan’ but your missing the key words.
Thank you, I'll go back and check; sometimes when I write quickly unknowingly leave out key words.

Unknown said:
Just curious, is anything like Operation Northwoods proposed ITTL?
With Jack Kennedy as Defense State, I'm guessing he would reject such notions, and possibly talk LBJ out of such tactic as well. Instead I wanted to give the impression that LBJ and Camilo's saber-rattling is causing tensions to naturally escalate via border dispute. Any ideas on how I can improve this impression? Thanks a bunch!

Wit, I thought Kennedy was at State, not Defense.
Good eye! Fixed
Post 6
Post 6: Chapter 13-to-Chapter 14

Chapter 13: August 1961 – December 1961

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live can bear with any ‘how’”

– Victor Frankl (OTL)

"It really took all of us by surprise - not the wall itself, the speed at which it was set up …After being informed of the Berlin Wall going up practically overnight, Walt [Jenkins] had to calm him [Johnson] down and keep him from ordering something rash…"

– Bobby Baker, RNN interview, 1979

“This is obviously Khrushchev’s response to Cuba. …No, I agree with Clark [Clifford], I advise just monitoring the situation for now. If anything, this could work to our advantage. Think about it: Khrushchev just screwed the pooch by saying we are the oppressors while setting up a blockade to keep people apart!”

– US Secretary of State Jack Kennedy, in a telephone conversation between him and President Lyndon Johnson, concerning the surprise construction of the Berlin Wall, 8/13/1961

…On August 18, Johnson retreated to Camp David for a meeting with French President Charles de Gaulle at Camp David. De Gaulle, the first chief of state to support American assistance to Cuban democratists, discussed military tactics and trade before sharing war stories during dinner with their wives. A week later, Johnson welcomed British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to the quiet retreat, primarily to discuss potential military use of the British-owned Cayman Islands, located just south of Cuba. While the bombastic de Gaulle and Johnson shared an amiable correspondence, MacMillan and Johnson had a more professional relationship with only some forays into a more friendly rapport. Johnson surely would have gotten along better with the mercurial Sir Anthony Eden than with the cool and collected personality of Prime Minister “Supermac.” Regardless, Macmillan, determined to continue distancing himself from the foreign policy follies of his predecessor, supported Johnson’s “treatment of activities” in Cuba, though he was far more contemplative than was his American counterpart. …

– Antiwar activist Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Lyndon Johnson: the Promises and Realities of the American Dream, St. Martin’s Griffin Publishing House, 1991

Camilo Cienfuegos is not just the Chief of Staff of the Cuban Army; he is a battlefield master! His cat-like reflexes in battle make him the stuff of living legend for a reason. Just today, he plowed down several dirty Americans in one fell swoop, spinning his semi around and taking each one out, almost like a deadly samba. While his infectious smile and bravery inflates the confidence of all around him, tonight I saw how he is human like all comrades. While sharing a bucket of K.F.C. smuggled in from Jamaica, Cam confided in me his suspicion that his famous near-brush with death in 1959 was no accident. “An aircraft was following mine. It fired machine guns at me. I don’t know if there were any witnesses, but if there were, there aren’t any more… I trust no one.” [1] His concern for his life contradicted his demeanor when facing the enemy, but I could tell it was genuine.

Early today, Cam met with Fidel to discuss local politics, a topic in which I have no knowledge or interest. And while Cam is a military marvel, he is politically moderate, and is much less politically sophisticated than Fidel and Raul. Working within earshot of the door, I overheard him arguing with Fidel over how to handle captured traitors. I heard him shout that “we cannot torture and assassinate prisoners in the manner of our opponents; we cannot as men of honor and as dignified Cubans use the low and undignified procedures that our opponents use against us.” [2] Fidel seemed unconvinced and stuck to his eye-to-eye philosophy. Their squabbling worries me a little.

– 19 August and 20 August 1961 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996


– The Miami Herald, 8/21/1961

We all waited outside the room for the President’s “private talk,” but either NASA’s inner walls are thinner than they seem to be, or the President is even louder than one might think. We could hear him shouting and cursing up a storm about how the incident could cost the US the space race. Finally, he bellowed, “Alright, you know what? I’m increasing your funding 50% and I better see progress if you don’t want to see the f@#kin’ unemployment line!” He really did not want to lose the race to the Moon, as did we all. We just didn’t swear that much about it.

– mathematician Dorothy Vaughn’s Human Computers: Me and The Other Women at NASA, Langley Publishers, 1997


…the sheer narrowness of the passing of the Fair Rental Supplements and Subsidies Bill, the Truth in Packaging Bill, and the Urban Mass Transit Bill arguably stems from the President’s increasing rhetoric favoring Civil Rights, which “worries many of the southern Democrats,” according to one anonymous intern...

– The Chicago Tribune, 8/22/1961


…Kroc stated “the President is mounting a crusade against honest businesses with the Truth in Packaging Bill… this legislation will hurt American companies even worse than the Great Steel Strike of ’59!”...

– The Financial Times, 8/23/1961


Miami, Florida – Over the past several months, the Sunshine state has seen a rise in Cuban refugees, as hundreds flee the island nation. …Doctors and teachers seek better employment opportunities, free from communist authoritarianism… Social classes are a major concern for Communists, and the Castro regime is quick to punish anyone who opposes their “distribution of wealth” as they have called it… Members of Cuba’s middle and lower classes arrive at America’s shores, pleading to be let in, and many Floridians are answering the call with donations and organizing humanitarian efforts... Local churches are offering assistance in any way they can… However, some locals are very wary of these new arrivals. “Before the war, there were limits to the amount of people let in. But now with the war and [President] Johnson opening up the borders, and no quotas existing anymore, a scenario quite unique to Cuba is unfolding. As more Cubans come in, more resources are needed to house, clothe and feed them,” Governor Bryant explained at a dinner event yesterday, “They require employment to pay for these things, but this creates new issues as they obtain jobs that should be going to local Floridians.” Other politicians even question whether or not Communist spies could be infiltrating the most recent waves of refugees: “Fidel must be aware of how many are escaping, and we shouldn’t put it past him to try something like that,” says one anonymous state assemblyman…

– The Tampa Bay Times, 8/23/1961 Special Report

DEADLY RIOT IN HIALEAH, FLORIDA: Byrant Sends In State Guard To Maintain Law And Order

Hialeah, FL – …the community is experiencing a riot that has reportedly resulted in the deaths of two people in the most fatal clash between Cuban refugees and US citizens in Florida during the last two weeks. While the specifics are not yet in, it seems that two Cuban men were killed in a confrontation in downtown Hialeah after a local merchant hired a group of Cuban ex-pats, which apparently angered a group of unemployed local residents; the outbreak of violence is possibly also linked to the noticeable rise in recent anti-Cuban sentiment in Florida. Hialeah now joins nearly two dozen other cities, mostly in that state, to have reported minor or major incidents of anti-Cuban Refugee violence over the past several months...

– The New York Times, 8/26/1961


Port Charlotte, FL – …the fighting finally ceased after almost 48 hours of abject anarchy… allegedly, it was a minor spat over a “stolen job” at a grocery store that snowballed into the tempest of lawlessness…

The San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/27/1961



INTERVIEWER: And then what happened?

HUNTER: Well, that Mario Savio, who was just a kid in college at the time, he took his shoutin’ up a notch and was just by more youngsters who thought fighting at home and abroad or either or wasn’t a great idea. First there were just nobodies, just pampered idiots who thought it was now the cool thing to wear shades and use any surface like it was a drum, like smoking a blew would really stick it to their parents. Then came the real idealists, honestly passionate for what the Savios and Beatniks and San Francisco Staircase activists of the world stood for. And then soon you saw big names join in the organizing and the mobilizing, like Saul Alinsky, Frances Fox Pivens, and future big-shot Eleanor Holmes. They saw a fire start in that H.U.A.C. ’60 debacle and the Cuban War was wafting the flames. And they weren’t going to let it get snuffed out by anything.

– Anita Thompson’s Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson, Da Capo Press, 2009 [3]


… with each news snippet of Southerners attacking black people, more northerners and moderate southerners voice support for the end of segregation… the latest string of polls show support has risen 5% each week over the past six weeks… Southern leaders, however, see the situation in reverse. Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett claims racial violence is being instigated by “Blacks violating the right to separation”…

– reporter Ralph McGill (a friend to Jack Kennedy, Colonel Sanders and Dr. King), Atlanta Constitution, 8/29/1961

K.F.C. CELEBRATES 700th OUTLET: The Chicken King Himself Attends Grand Opening in Genoa, Italy

– The Daily Mirror, UK newspaper, 9/1/1961

Billy Graham, that young Southern Baptist fellow, came to visit Lyndon today yet again. They spent over an hour talking about religious philosophy and common majority, about how moral principles influence government decisions, and the importance of spirituality and inner strength. Then they prayed together in silence for a short while. They seem to get along very well with each other, which, knowing how religious Lyndon is, is no surprise.

– The diary of Mildred Stegall, personal secretary to Lyndon Johnson, 9/1/1961 entry

On September 2, The Colonel attended an NAACP-funded rally in North Carolina, where he proclaimed “It’s well past the time to adhere to the words of the Constitution, some of the greatest words put to parchment: ‘all men are created equal.’”… Concerning business practices in the South, the Colonel stated “when it comes to hiring people, we should focus on only our true differences – years of experience, points of view, and things like that – and work with those differences, not against ’em.”

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders, spotted participating in a Civil Rights march in Chicago, 9/9/1961


By Warren Unna, WP Staff Writer. Washington, DC – The U.S. house of Representatives passed the civil rights bill tonight by a narrow vote… President Johnson remarked, “We are more than halfway through the twentieth century, and yet there are still millions in the land of the free who are ordered which restaurants they can and can't eat at, which water fountains they must and mustn't drink from, which schools they must attend, which homes they must buy or rent, and at which part of the bus they must sit in. No one should have to live such totalitarian and authoritarian conditions – not overseas, and especially not here. This bill will be a major legislative step in righting this historic legal wrong.” ...Johnson, whom had met with multiple congressional leaders during the debating process, cautioned that “the work to transform the will of the people into the rule of the land is only half done,” referring to the U.S. Senate’s upcoming treatment of the bill…

– The Washington Post, 9/11/1961


Clio, AL – Outside his home town’s City Hall building, State Circuit Judge George Wallace today announced his second bid for Alabama Governor, sharing with a crowd of supporters a fairly moderate political platform. …At the announcement, Wallace declared “Let us have integration tomorrow and forever,” and discussed the issues affecting both farmers and city dwellers, such as food, rent and mortgages, and schooling the young…

The Birmingham News, 9/12/1961

After the Civil Rights Bill got passed in the House in September, George knew that running as a segregationist would doom him at the national level. “The old ways are on their way out, and me with them if I stick by them,” he told me. In light of this change in the wind, George decided to look at his 1958 campaign and figure out how to make a more reconciliatory message, a “peaceful-but-powerful populist” kind of message that would appeal to White and Black folks alike. “Nobody listened to me [in 1958] when I talked about roads and schools because I wasn’t outspoken enough. This time, I’ll make ’em all listen! White or Black, they’ll vote for me, just you wait, honey!”

– Lurleen Wallace (1926-1996), 1989 interview

CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER MURDERED!: Organizer Aaron Henry Found Lynched Outside Biloxi, MS

…Henry, 39, had been the President of the Mississippi state chapter of the NAACP since 1959. Henry worked tirelessly to heighten national awareness of the racial violence that Blacks regularly experience, and help to grow support for civil right legislation. At a time when most Blacks want racial reconciliation and some Black want racial retribution, Henry backed the former...

– Chicago Tribune, 9/14/1961

10,000 people, including Dr. King and Hosea Williams, attended Aaron Henry’s funeral procession for a reason. His gruesome murder stirred up outrage that this was still a way of life for us. Despite King’s calls for nonviolence, riots did sprout up in the wake of a lack in justice for Henry, who’s killer where never found. We all felt so angry at white people back then, that Dr. King’s method of passivity was too slow and deadly. We had to fight back, we had to make our voices heard. We tried talking, but after Henry’s lynching, we resorted to screaming.

Then thing went overboard. Neighborhoods went up in flames. It soon became very dangerous to be on the streets at night…

– Wellington Webb and Cindy Brovsky’s Wellington Webb: The Man, the Mayor and the Making of a Better Colorado, Fulcrum Publishing, 1997


– Nonviolent protestors seen outside the White House (right) after the murder of Aaron Henry (left), 9/16/1961

After September 11, anti-Black violence, coupled by riots and acts of violence towards anyone even resembling a Cuban or a person of Cuban ancestry, broke out in northern cities like New York City, along with several areas of the south and southwestern United States. In Texas, a state with large Black and Latino populations, the destruction of property in “anti-race wars” overwhelming several cities became so severe that the Governor at the time, Price Daniel, requested assistance from the National Guard on September 23. This, however, only made the situation worse in places such as San Antonio and Corpus Christi, as many citizens – Black, White, and Hispanic – opposed the guardsmen with makeshift weapons. Several neighborhoods descended into multisided bedlam. By the time the violence died down in all of these cities (well over a full week later), dozens were dead, hundreds were hospitalized, and millions of dollars’ worth of property was damaged.

The 1960s: A History, Scholastic, 2007

US Sen. Margaret Chase Smith: “…This bill is a long time coming and these riots prove it is needed.”

US Sen. Strom Thurmond: “No, the riots prove the opposite: a clear showing of public disapproval. It is government overreach to force people to conform to a different culture and way of life. Separation of the races promotes racial harmony by allowing each race to pursue their own respective goals. Man has a right to associate with whom he wants to and if he wants to associate exclusively within his own race, there is nothing wrong with that!”

Former Gov. Colonel Sanders: “What are you talkin’ about, Strom? ’Cause this is a talk on lettin’ people eat, drink, sit and work together. That’s fairness, and the government wants fairness. But it’s diehard folks like yourself that’d rather set the building on fire than have to clean it. Now I get people have trouble lettin’ things go, but segregation is a lovable dog with rabies. You might feel some shock from puttin’ it down, but it’s better than keepin’ it ’round.”

Smith: “Yes, separation inhibits any pursuits that could happen between races, Senator. It – ”

Thurmond: “One minute, ma’am – Colonel, you should really let the actual politicians handle national events; you stick with your chicken.”

Sanders: “Oh, you so–Strom, you forget I served four years as a governor, same as you except I learned from the experience; I learned proof-positive that people will care for each other when they are allowed to.”

Thurmond: “Listen you – ”

Smith: “Now cut it out, the both of you, name-calling will get us nowhere. Mr. Sanders.”

Moderator: “Yes, gentlemen, please, let’s stick to the subject.”

Sanders: “Right. Strom, its time your radical friends stopped pushin’ everyone down, but Smith, you do have to admit that old habits die hard.”

Thurmond: “It’s tradition!”

Sanders: “So was burnin’ witches; people move on, Stromy.”

– NBC round table discussion segment, 9/28/1961

[ watch?v=YWjRgzFeE_8 ]

Rocky and Bullwinkle segment, Saturday 9/30/1961 [4],

INTERVIEWER: When did you start playing in Los Angeles?

CHONG: We moved from Vancouver in October ’61 because that was where it was at. We started to reinvent ourselves; we changed our name from The Shades to “the Vancouvers,” and we evolved our music. Together with the beatniks, we developed a new, mellower form of rock and roll that paradoxically was abstract and a more direct, open form of peaceful opposition to authority and warfare. I guess you could call some of our early songs passive-aggressive, but we called them ambient.


CONG: Yeah, it’s Latin for going around or something like that. Lot’s of possible names for the new kind of music was tossed around. First it was Baked Rock, then Mellow Rock, then Roller Rock, Roast Rock, Unairable Rock, Urine Luck Rock, in the U.K. they briefly called it Yukay Rock, then Weed Rock, Yang Rock, Yoko Rock, Zong Rock, Zoodo Rock, Beatnik Rock… whole bunch of labels for it, really. I really like the one that caught on a stuck, though, personally, man.

–, 2014

…In the land of windmills and roses, Colonel Sanders introduces his world-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken to the Dutch, attending the unveiling of the Netherlands’ first K.F.C. outlet in Amsterdam on Monday…

– BBC World News, Wednesday 18/10/1961


Paul Edward Osborne of central Kentucky, 22, and Martha Layne Hall of north-central Kentucky, 25, were married today in a private ceremony in Paint Lick, near Lancaster...

– The Lexington Herald-Leader, Celebrations Section, Saturday 10/22/1961

I met Martha in 1959, at the swearing-in ceremony of Governor Combs. I took her out for some ice cream. Then we saw a movie. Then another thing lead to another and three years later we were engaged.

– Paul Osborne, 1992 interview

The next wave of Southern opposition hit the President in October, led by Senator John Stennis of Mississippi. Stennis ranted to one reporter for The Mississippi Daily that “when LBJ ran for president, this liberal agenda was not his sales pitch; if it had been, I would not have voted for him.” The state’s other Senator, James Eastland, also received media attention for opposing the bill, as Eastland is known to be friends with President Johnson. The main legislation still up for debate was the last one most likely to be voted on before the midterms – the Highway Aesthetics Renovation Bill. Also known as the Highway Beautification bill, and, most commonly, the Ladybird Bill, the work of law was pushed by First Lady Ladybird to “strengthen the looks” of our national roadways…

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018


...calling the legislation an "insult to the core American concepts of free enterprise and personal choice," Patterson has met with every single US Representative from his home state...

The Tuscaloosa News, 10/23/1961

…earlier today, U.S. Senators Al Gore and Estes Kefauver announced their support for the CRA… Senator Gore proclaimed “the South is ready for this social structure shift.” Both Gore and Kefauver are Democrats representing Tennessee, where segregated schools was mandatory until 1954, but the segregation of public businesses is still legal… Their announcement comes two days after meeting with Senate leaders and President Johnson in Washington, D.C. …

– CBS, 10/28/1961 broadcast


Athens, Greece – Tonight’s Greek legislative elections resulted in victory for the National Radical Union (or E.R.E.) party, strengthening the power of Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis. The Results saw Karamanlis achieve victory for the third consecutive time, winning 57.1% of the vote and 189 seats, besting George Papandreou of the brand new Centre Union-Progressive (E.K.) party, whom won 31.8% and 97 seats. The leftist All-Democratic Agricultural Front (or P.A.M.E.) party headed by Ioannis Passalidis, won only 9.6% of the vote, and lost over two-thirds their seats, from 60 to 14; nearly all of those seats were picked up by the E.K.

Karamanlis, whom prefers stronger ties with Europe than with the U.S. for his nation, successfully obtained for it EEC Associate Member status – and subsequently, major financial loans – earlier in the year. A possible rise in Karamanlis support over his main challenger, George Papandreou, was due to Papandreou’s criticism of “America’s war against Cuba” in the days and weeks ahead of the election. Papandreou alleged that news of the war has “cut open old wounds,” as many Greek citizens still remember the atrocities of the post-WWII Greek Civil War, in which loyalists defeated communists in a conflict that left thousands dead. Papandreou’s comments, though, were deemed “pro-communist” by some Karamanlis supporters, and seemed to have spurred support for Karamanlis, whom called to “look to the future by healing, not unearthing the scars of the past.”

At the time of this writing, Papandreou still refuses to concede the election, allegedly due to unfounded claims of voter discrepancy.

The Guardian, 29/10/1961


[ ]
– The New York Times, 10/31/1961

…Nations across the globe are condemning Russia’s nuclear test …Tsar Bomba, the most-powerful recorded manmade explosion in history, was detonated north of Arctic Circle… scientists believe the explosion to be equal to over 50 million tons of TNT… …the event comes one day after the United States military reportedly performed an underground nuclear test, according to our American correspondents…

– BBC World News, 31/10/1961 broadcast

United States Governor election results, 1961
Date: November 7, 1961
State governorships: 2
Last election: 35 (D), 15 (R)
Seats before: 35 (D), 15 (R)
Seat changes: D – 0, R – 0


ALBERTIS HARRISON SECURES GOVERNORSHIP: Former State Attorney General Beats GOP Foe 62.7%-to-37.3%

– The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia newspaper, 11/8/1961

IT’S HUGHES!: State Prosecutor Edges Out Favorite In an Upset

Trenton, NJ – Richard Hughes narrowly won last night’s election over the better-known G.O.P. candidate James Mitchell by a margin of roughly 2%. Hughes was a relatively unknown candidate when state party officials nominated him in the summer, but an endorsement from President Johnson in September, coupled with campaign appearance by the popular term-limited incumbent Governor Robert Meyner, helped bring attention to candidacy in the race’s final weeks. Seven other candidates appeared on the ballot, but is appears none of them received more than 0.5% of the total vote…

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey newspaper, 11/8/1961

Nixon Seeking California Governorship Next Year

– Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 11/9/1961

In December 1961, Ray Kroc finally purchased McDonald’s from the McDonald brothers. A meeting was set up, and Kroc matched their selling price.

“This is an extremely high amount of money for a franchise,” he reportedly told the brothers over the phone, “I had to borrow from several investors for it.”

“Knowing your business acumen, you’ll bounce back,” Maurice McDonald shot back.

When the trio sat down to finalize things, though, Richard revealed, “You know we are receiving offers from others, you know.”

Kroc went on defense “We shook hands on this – 2.7 mill and 1% royalty on gross sales.”

“We’re not backing out of the deal, Kroc,” Maurice explained, “It’s just that after what you’ve done to us, we’d prefer having it all in writing.” The brothers then revealed pre-assembled documents to confirm the agreement. After a shouting match lasting several minutes, roc finally conceded, read the documents thoroughly, signed them, and left in a huff.

With the matter settled, Richard said to Maurice, “I still agree Colonel Sanders. A man’s handshake is a sacred action; I really think he would have kept his end of the bargain.” Maurice replied, “Yes, but the man also said not to trust a backstabber – fool me once, shame on you; ‘fool me twice, shame on me,’ he told us. I’m not going to argue with the logic coming from a smart guy like the Colonel, are you?”

Looking over the documents, Richard yielded, “guess not.”

Chef Wars: The Start of an American Pop Culture Craze, 2021

“I was 23 years old when the Cuba War began. I graduated from Berkeley that year with a Bachelor of Arts degree and was thinking of applying to Harvard Law. But when I visited a shelter in Florida for Cuban refugees, I didn’t see any lawyers; I saw pastors and reverends and sisters of the church caring for the displaced. They were giving the food, clothes, and most importantly, hope. And I came to realize that I would be able to help more people from the church. I soon returned to my original goal, the one that had lead me to the Sacred Heart Novitiate in 1956. I entered the priesthood and immediately began my participation in the global effort of making our world a better place for all...”

– Rev. Jerry Brown, 1978 interview


[ ]
– LBJ celebrating Christmas at the White House, 12/25/1961


[ ]
– KFC advertisement, c. December 12/25/1961

[1] Based on the claim made by the El Nuevo Herald mentioned here:
[2] Italicized line also taken from as well
[3] OTL book, ATL excerpt
[4] Please note that I am actually unsure of the exact airing of this bit IOTL at this time.

Ogrebear said:
That is an interesting update indeed. Cuba looks like it won’t be a Vietnam, but not a walk over either.

Is building an Airport still as difficult in 1961 as more modern times? Esp for a millionaire?

How long before Ted buys a TV station one wonders...
I'm happy that you find it interesting!

It still takes several years for everything to be reviewed/approved/planned out even nowadays, but due to how F.A.A. (founded in 1958) procedures have become more complex since their early years, my guess is takes even longer nowadays than it would have in 1961. I think the Colonel would be able to speed up some of the federal bureaucracy with his millions and his connections, but not significantly; it would still take a while.

Ted-TV? Hmm...

DTF955Baseballfan said:
Why am I picturing Ted kennedy as TTL's Ted Turner?

Interesting trivia bit - after a long deadlock someone floated a general's name for baseball commissioner in 1965, and William Eckert was chosen because they got his name confused with the above-quoted Zukert, who, as it turned out, probasbly would have been a lot better than Eckert.

I don't think they'd want to put Batiste (sp?) back, would they? People clearly didn't like him either, and there is oposition to America. I wonder if there's a leader of the exiles who they'd try to put in charge.
Click to expand...
Interesting! I'll be sure to keep that in mind when this TL gets to 1965!

I think any attempts to bring back Batista would be disastrous. Castro rose to power because of how terrible they guy was; returning him to power would just lead to another revolution...

historybuff said:
Good that Cuba isn't becoming Vietnam, at least not so far.
Interesting idea with Ted Kennedy becoming something of a media mogle here.

marathag said:
Don't see the paths crossing, unless the Colonel planned on opening Casinos and/or Hotels
The Colonel was vehemently against all the kind of vices found in Casinos, but he did operate a very successful Hotel from the 1930s to the 1950s ITTL/IOTL. However, Trump did receive accusations of racist hotel tenant practices during the 1970s; the Colonel, by then in his 80s, could admonish Trump for giving businessmen a bad name over that. And that's if Trump isn't hit by the butterfly affect by then. Hmm, we'll see...

Terrible is relative. He jailed and executed far fewer over his whole time in power than Fidel did the first couple years after the Revolution. He was no Papa Doc.
Fair point! :)

NOTE: I'm posting this a day early due to a scheduling conflict. And due to family coming over for Christmas, the ETA for the next post is 1/3/2019. Enjoy the winter holidays, everyone!

Chapter 14: January 1962 – June 1962

“Tame birds sing of freedom. Wild birds fly.”

– John Lennon (OTL)


– The Boston Globe, 1/3/1962

Eunice ran because she saw a chance to do something great – a rare opportunity to bring firsthand vital issues to the senate.

– Robert F. Kennedy’s The Definitive Decades, Tangent Writer’s House, 1999

Initially, Father had wanted me to be the one to fill Jack’s seat in the US Senate, seeing as Bobby was to work alongside Jack at the State department. However, not only had I already switched my official residency from Massachusetts to California, but I was also involved in a major newspaper expansion endeavor that I believed, if successful, would be more influential than a US Senate seat. Uh, I mean, that’s how I thought of the situation at the time. Uh, Father was reluctant to accept my declination, but ultimately he understood that I needed to chart my own course. So he turned to Eunice, who saw the vacancy as a great chance to push for the issues she cared about. She ran for the seat instead of me, and I’ve always been grateful to her for that.

– Ted Kennedy, 60 Minutes interview, 1977

Papa Joe got Ben Smith, a harmless lackey of theirs, to hold the post until another member of the Kennedy clan took it during the special election. Kennedy Shriver’s running was due to the process of elimination. Bobby, the second eldest, was to work alongside his brother at the state department, while Ted, the youngest son, had already moved away to California and was not looking back. Joe had only three children left, all daughters – Eunice, Patty and Jean. Jean, the youngest, was an incredibly shy individual – during that point in time, at least. Patty was considered, but Papa Joe deemed her too connected to Hollywood through her then-husband Peter Lawford for Massachusetts voters to take seriously. That left just one and only one Kennedy clan member left – his daughter Eunice.

– Roger Stone’s Nepotism in America: How the Liberal Elite Seek to Control Everything, Vol. II, Stone Stallion E-Publishing, 2013

We will combat poverty, we will return democracy to Cuba, and we will see an American walk on the surface of the Moon before this decade ends, because we have the will, the resources, the intelligent, and the ability to do so!

– Lyndon Johnson, State of the Union address excerpt, 1/11/1962

…Lyndon would work through all hours of the night almost every night, his hand practically attached to the phones and papers that littered his desk. Ladybird often worried the his sleeplessness would ruin his health, but privately, I at the time disagreed; the man seemed to be able to function on just four or five hours of sleep in the way the average man functions on eight or nine hours. His drive for success gave him this energy…

– Clinton J. Hill’s Five Presidents: My Journey with the Secret Service, Simon & Schuster, 2016

War continuing in Cuba had my Jim fretting day and night over our well-being, worried the conflict would escalate into a nuclear war. Then there was this rare solar eclipse event. In February of that year [1962], Jim interpreted a very rare grand conjecture of the planets, an alignment of the heavenly bodies – Saturn, Jupiter, Earth, Mars, Venus, the Moon and the Sun all together in a row – to be a sign of the start of the End of Days. Hindu astrologers on some radio channels predicted a bloodbath would unfold on the 3rd, 4th, or 5th of the month. Hearing this, and seeing no peace in sight for Cuba, Jim put his foot down. “We’re leaving this county before it’s wiped clean off the map,” he was that determined to keep us safe. Then he ventured out to find to where we should move, finally finding the perfect spot during a visit to Brazil. It was a beautiful tract of land soon called Jones’ Oasis, or the Oasis Ranch. But most of us simply called it “the Oasis.” When the conjecture came and went, Jim believed our prayers and his actions had merely bought us time. His philosophy and worldview only grew from there…

– Marceline Jones (1927-2018), 1990 interview


Helena, MT – Only one year and 21 days after being sworn in as the 15th governor of Montana, 46-year-old Republican Donald Grant Nutter has died in a plane accident. “Governor Nutter was traveling to a speaking engagement in Cut Bank,” says Nutter’s executive secretary Dennis Gordon, who says he was supposed to be on the flight but had to stay behind to help Nutter’s allies address gridlock in the state senate over the allocation of funding for “pro-Cuba War military recruitment programs.” Gordon continues, “According to what I have been told by our state’s officials, the plane went down in Wolfe Creek Canyon, which is north of Helena.” Nutter and four others were killed in a blizzard sweeping through the area; according to a report from Cut Bank, winds exceeding 100 mph winds tore off one of the plane’s wings, causing it to crash. …Nutter’s short-lived gubernatorial tenure saw him reduce spending and promote Montanan industry sectors. Nutter previously served as a state senator from 1951 to 1959, after serving as a bomber pilot during WWII. He is survived by his wife Maxine and their son John…

– The Powder River County Examiner, Montana newspaper, 1/25/1962

“We will have peace on this planet even if we have to bomb all of Cuba to get it!”

– Gen. Thomas Power, 1/29/1962 press conference

The February 7 Fire was another blow to the program. Scott Carpenter was out of commission until the burns healed. [NASA Director] Webb was in the unwanted position of having to tell Johnson that the program could be delayed even further.

“At least we can take comfort in the fact that the bigger budget lead to us installing the emergency features that saved Carpenter’s life, sir,” Webb said.

Johnson was still displeased. “I spoke with Senator [Clinton B.] Anderson yesterday. He says his committee is going to have to investigate this mess one way or another. So,” he explained, “I want your folks to quell any bad press about the moon program. Downplay the severity of everything, highlight what you learned from the fire, you know, how we know how to avoid something from this when our boys actually are up in space. We can’t look inferior to the Russians, we just can’t.”

– NASA scientist Farouk El-Baz’s Up and Away: How The Cold War Competition Pushed Us into The Stars, MacFarland & Company, 1994

The President was called away to the Pentagon at roughly 5:00 AM on February 11 to be briefed on intelligence’s latest report. The experts had finally confirmed that Soviet officials had discussed with Cuban officials plans to install nuclear weapon silos in Cuba “upon repelling the capitalist swine invaders.” The scheme seemed serious, and needed a response.

“We can confirm that representatives of Fidel Castro did meet with Soviet officials in The Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. We’re still not sure if Duvalier was aware, but as he still wants to get onto Fidel’s good side [1], I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out he personally set up the meeting,” Secretary of Defense Litzenburg explained.

“How certain are our sources?”

“Very,” Homer assured him.

“So, those commie bastards thought they could try to slip in some nukes into our own hemisphere, and we wouldn’t notice? Bastards.”

“We should proceed quickly but not carelessly here, Lyndon,” Secretary of State Kennedy warned. The New Englander shifted his awkward pose to another to look at the data on the table. Telephone transcripts, photos from CIA men in Port-au-Prince. Kennedy must have secretly loved it; it surely reminded him of Ian Fleming’s famous books that the Secretary often loved to read. “Duvalier still holds a grudge after we suspended aide to them last year,” Kennedy observed.

“He shouldn’t have allied with Fidel,” Lyndon remarked, “At least the Dominican Republic’s President Rafael Bonnelly is on our side; he and the Brits are our only allies in the region, it seems.”

Eventually, somebody in the room wondered aloud how public the situation should become.

“I have friends in the press,” Kennedy offered the President, “If we go public if would show us off as the good guys. Only villains lurk in shadows, Lyndon. We expose them, we could embarrass them into submission.”

“You poke a wildcat, you’re gonna get scratched,” the President disagreed, “Letting this get out could only incense the Soviets into mobilizing troops around Berlin over there, and the revelation could possibly create mass panic over here. We already have people wigging out over rumors of Cuban plans to attack Florida. Announcing to the nation and the world that the Soviets want to move their nukes closer could worsen the problem. Burying the lead wouldn’t help, either.”

“But this sort of behavior cannot go unpunished,” Clark Clifford suggested “We must communicate to the Soviets that such activity will not be tolerated.”

The US Ambassador to the USSR, Llewellyn “Tommy” Thompson, had a novel approach, “Well, how about we just tell that. Stuart [Symington] and I could certainly get Khrushchev on the phone in a few days. Hours if we really push for it.

Lyndon mulled over their options. “If we keep our mouths shut and try anything hostile against them, they’ll know why, but everyone else won’t. On the other hand, the pinkos in Europe would complain about us turning a mountain into a molehill. No, I think this is the sort of thing kept behind closed doors and resolved without the public knowing about any of it until the conflict is resolved. The country can’t afford any more depressing newspaper headlines. Jack,” the President motioned to Kennedy, “work with Tommy and Stu. We’re going to settle this.”

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018

I knew shipping Soviet missiles to post-war Cuba was a bad idea [2].


Ambassador Valerian Zorin, as honorable and distinguished a man as he is, was uncertain of how to respond to the discovery of our talks with Cuban officials in Haiti. The best he could do was hand the phone over to Nikita, and scurry out the room.

“It is undignified for him to demand my time without asking ahead or calling for a summit. A phone call? The indignity!”

Nikita’s temporal vein always swelled when he was under pressure; during this incident, it was pulsating. I got him to calm down, though, by reminding him of how much of America is refined and informal; “they don’t even cook or even park their cars for food anymore,” reminding him of the rise of drive-ins and fast food in America since the 1950s. He chuckled slightly, and returned to the matter at hand. He accepted the call, but was unsure how to proceed. He considered denying all knowledge of the Missile Plan. The Generals in the room wanted to take the opportunity to mobilize our troops in Europe and conquer Berlin. That was their answer for everything, though, and fortunately, Nikita determined that any military response would be “an admission to something we would publicly deny.”

“We could always just lie. Tell Johnson we’ll abandon the nuclear missiles idea and plant them in the Caribbean when the time comes regardless!” one of the Generals offered.

“Hm, this is an unusual predicament. Never had we had direct private communication with the US President before,” Nikita, now in a much calmer state of mind, interpreted Johnson calling us as sort of a peace offering. “When you want war, you fight. When you want peace, you talk.” Nikita motioned to the translator and he took the call.

Ultimately, Johnson called for an end to those plans, but the Texan was briefly in a corner upon Nikita mentioning the American missiles in Turkey. In the end, Johnson convinced Nikita to promise not to place nuclear devices in Cuba without UN approval, in exchange for the US decommissioning their silos already assembled in Turkey. Nikita would later say “it was an unfeasible idea anyway, to plant silos so close to America’s border without detection.”

Despite the talk diffusing the situation and allowing us all to return attention to our proxy war in Cuba, the Missile Meeting Incident still heavily embarrassed Khrushchev, and lead to many in the politburo slowly distancing themselves from him, even the ones that had more involvement in the actual planning of the Cuban Missile Silo Plan to begin with. They thought he was weak for being near-uncharacteristically diplomatic for once…

– Anastas Mikoyan’s The Path of Struggle: The Memoirs of Anastas Mikoyan (English translation), Sphinx Press, 1988 (written in 1978)

While the incident’s ramifications being felt by both countries in subsequent years, it did not become public knowledge until the December 1988 publication of Mikoyan’s 1978 memoirs. Media reports have since then increased public awareness of it.



[ ]
– Colonel Sanders joining Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on a Civil Rights march in Charleston, South Carolina, 2/19/1962

ASTRONAUT JOHN GLENN FIRST AMERICAN TO ORBIT EARTH: Rides In “Friendship 7” Capsule For Nearly 5 Hours

– The Arizona Republic, 2/20/1962


The Atlanta Journal, Sunday 2/25/1962

“The attack on Americus, Georgia is one of many immeasurable acts of violence against us and our supporters over the years. But we cannot ever accept these attacks as a way of African-American life. Doing so would not keep alive the memories of these victims. The fallen innocents of cities like Birmingham, Selma, and now Americus. The innocents of America. We can keep their memories alive by never forgetting what they died for.”

“The nonviolent movement for our rights has brought out the best of what this great nation offers, but it has also activated some of the worst elements of our society. Our pursuit for freedom has brought out of the woodwork the very lowest inhabitants of this nation. For as we strive for peace, and show it in our peaceful activities, certain members of our communities wish for the continuation of fear and violence and despair and inequality, and they demonstrate their heinous thoughts and violent racism with acts of violence against our non-violence. They believe that violence can defeat non-violence. But they are wrong.”

“We have been fighting this fight for centuries, but I truly believe that we are winning and that the true destiny of humanity will prevail. We will have peace between the races. We will one day see whites and blacks work alongside one another in total indifference of where one sits or walks or eats; we will one day see our children befriend one another; we will one day see the color of one’s skin be completely obsolete! But we cannot get there, to that glorious day, if we do not continue the cause for which brave men, women and children keep dying over across this great land of ours. Their deaths will not be in vein, for the more they respond to our non-violence with violence, the stronger and more united we become.”

“…The walls of oppression and injustice against their fellow citizens will come crumbling down, and soon. The movement grows stronger every day. Justice and freedom are pounding against the walls of oppression that separate us from our non-Black brethren. This wall must come tumbling down, this wall they erected long ago to deny the black community of the same basic rights as they. It is a wall of hatred and fear and repugnant indignation. But it is an old wall, and it is weakening with every one of our non-violent blows. For we must tear down this wall of inequality, and, as long as we continue on our mission for righteousness, this wall will indeed someday be torn down completely!”

– Excerpts from Ralph Abernathy’s 2/27/1962 “Tear Down This Wall” speech, considered to be one of Abernathy’s best speeches


– The Chicago Sun-Times, 2/28/1962


GUANTANAMO, Cuba – The US-DRF Alliance’s toehold on the southernmost coast, where the US’s Guantanamo Bay is, has increased to a strong foothold with the capturing of the inland city of Urbano Noris. However, the fighting is now becoming more intense between the forces of Castro and the US-DRF alliance. With anti-Communist forces being only 10 kilometers from Havana, Castro’s military leaders have begun a scorched-earth policy to any villages and fields that fall into anti-Communist hands. It is uncertain if Fidel Castro himself has ordered this change in policy. If he has not, then we are witnessing dissent and confusion among ranks of Castro’s army. Regardless, DRF forces are continuing to face strong resistance in populated areas, with the battle becoming more or less than a stalemate eerily reminiscent of the stationary front lines of Belgium during the First World War.

In Cardenas, not too far from the battlefields around Havana, I sat down to interview the man leading military operations in northern Cuba, US General Samuel Tankersley “Tank” Williams. With roughly three-fifths of the island under US-DRF control in some way, in what could be described as a stable but delicate situation at best, General Williams, along with military and political analysts, suggest that “if the push against the Communist forces continues as is, this war should be over by this Christmas.”

However, the US-DRF alliance still faces very strong resistance in well over half of the country, which includes land under US-DRF occupation now beginning to see a rise in sabotage and other guerilla tactics. General Williams, though, reminds me of our nation’s “undefeated” record: “We liberated Europe during World War Two; we’re liberating Cuba right now!”

– A Special Report by Tad Szulc, The New York Times, 3/1/1962

US Citizen Approval of US Military Performance in Cuba
Approve: 57%
Disapprove: 38%
Uncertain: 5%

– From a Gallop Poll article, published 3/2/1962


Corbin, KY – Harland “Colonel” Sanders’ famous 11 herbs and spices recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken is one of the best-kept secrets in the history of American fast food. Figuratively – and, reportedly, quite literally – locked away from public knowledge, the secret recipe has been sought after from eager competitors since Saunders created it in 1940. But far fewer people know of another piece of the life story of Colonel Sanders, something that one wouldn’t expect from someone best known for his roles in the worlds of food and politics. The Colonel’s most unique, most bizarre, and most unusual creations are stored in piles of boxes held inside a KFC storage warehouse in southeastern Kentucky; but unlike the secret herbs and spices, these can see the light of day, albeit only when someone who somehow already knows about them asks to see or buy them.

…The story begins in early March 1962, when Colonel Sanders, at the time supporting civil rights activists calling for landmark legislation,
agreed to fund the pressing of 30,000 vinyl records for a children's Christian mandolin band, who then returned the favor by billing themselves as "The Colonel Sanders Mandolin Band" and dressing up like him—all in the Colonel's famous white suit and black string tie—for live performances. "Around here, he was a pretty famous fella, so everybody was glad to act like they either knew the Colonel or that they had something to do with him," says Frances Hall, the widow of band leader Gene Hall, who founded the band of his sixth and seventh grade students from Finchville Elementary School outside of Shelbyville, Kentucky. It was in that town, 30 miles east of Louisville, that Gene realized the financial benefit to be gained by teaming up with Colonel Sanders, who moved there after opening KFC and later grew the company into an international phenomenon starting in the early 1950s. The group's only record, a 15-track self-titled album that runs under 25 minutes, is still available at the original KFC location in Corbin, Kentucky, having had a treacherous sales history since its pressing and distribution in the early-to-mid 1960s. Throughout the album, the direction often turns into a hilarious representation of southern cliché: the band of young Christian school kids plays songs from "Amazing Grace" to "America, The Beautiful" while vocalist David Arnholter occasionally drops in to rain praise to Jesus Christ. The major difference, which created public draw at the time, was the fried chicken funding behind the record…

It is estimated that Colonel Sanders spent somewhere around $70,000 on pressing the 30,000 copies of the album. Braitman's estimation includes pressing the album on 150-gram vinyl, standard plating, basic labeling, plain inner sleeves, assembly costs and shrink-wrapping. Braitman says the estimate doesn't include tax or shipping.


[pic: ]

Above: a close up (left) of the front cover of the record (right)

But Sanders poured much more than just that into the band. In addition to purchasing their instruments and paying for the recording, he also bought the band a large white passenger van, on which the kids aptly painted THE COLONEL'S MANDOLIN BAND INC., and they toured in it.


[pic: ]

Above: the band’s van

Hall says that, despite the former Governor being in high demand in business, entrepreneurial, and political circles, Colonel Sanders still found the time to take the entire band and everyone traveling with them out to KFC after each show, like a little league team pizza party on a summer afternoon. At the band's live church performances, Sanders would always be sure to leave a "big donation" for the church, Hall remembers. Hall laughs when she thinks about it all now: "That's why all the churches were inviting the group of kids to play and bring The Colonel with them."

In 2015, KFC celebrated its 75th anniversary with a nod to the Colonel Sanders Mandolin Band in a commercial featuring actors dressed up as the members of the band as they were depicted on the album's front cover, including comedian Darrell Hammond playing The Colonel. A KFC representative told the day after its first airing that the point of the commercial was to bring the company's brand back to its original roots, which "starts and ends with Colonel Harland Sanders." James Wimberley, a Los Angeles musician who was recruited to perform as one of the band members in the ad, points out that bluegrass music originated in Kentucky, making all this even more fitting. "One of the lines in the commercial is when Colonel Sanders says that, 'Mandolin music is America's favorite music,'" Wimberley remembers. But outside the 2015 ad—a deep reference likely missed by the majority of KFC's customers—The Colonel Sanders Mandolin Band album's memory remains largely in photos and poorly kept vinyl records.


[pic: ]

Above: both sides of one of the vinyl records

The legacy it earned among locals for simply being involved with Colonel Sanders, however, has been something of a unique badge of honor. Gordon Parker, a Las Vegas realtor who grew up in Shelbyville, Kentucky at the same time the mandolin band was playing around town, owns one of the mandolins Sanders originally bought for the children and still calls it one of his "most prized possessions" to this day. Parker often saw the band perform live between the time he was nine and 10 years old. "It was just great," Parker, 68, says, sighing in a wave of nostalgia. "How many mandolin bands have you heard of in your life?" That odd curiosity, which got him so interested in the mandolin band as a child, echoes the same interest that draws most customers at the original KFC in Corbin to the decision to buy the record and check it out themselves. Whether it's a vinyl copy of the Colonel Sanders Mandolin Band or one of the actual instruments used to record it, those who own a piece of it all speak with pride for owning a piece of history tied to one of Kentucky's most legendary cultural figures. "The only reason I have the mandolin is because [the saleswoman] told me it came from Colonel Sanders Mandolin Band," Parker admits. "I couldn't even tell you what I paid for it. I didn't care what it cost. I bought it for the story."

–, 2017 [3]

1962 had began with a hasty double-push to pass the Civil Rights Bill and make significant gains in the war in Cuba. The real hurdle in getting the bill passed was actually not the final senate vote, though. Even if all 22 senators from the former confederate states voted against it, that would still be 29 votes short of the senate rejecting the bill (a simple majority of 51 out of 100). The southern Democrats knew this, and instead sought to kill the bill on the senate floor before it could be moved to a vote. Thanks to the expertise of majority leader Mike Mansfield, the bill bypassed the Judiciary Committee headed by bill opponent Eastland and was instead brought directly to the senate floor for debate.

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018


The Times-Picayune, Louisiana newspaper, 3/5/1962

March 6: Virginia’s Senator Robertson fails to attend a planned meeting with President Johnson, later explaining by phone “my state needs me during this crisis.” Robertson is referring to what would become known as the Ash Wednesday Storm of ’62, a severe snow storm of fierce wind gusts and mountains of snow- and ice- fall then battering the Mid-Atlantic that would grow to become one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the region. The next day, US Senator Prescott Bush cancels a March 8 meeting with the President for the same reason.



[ ]
– One of many waves on the eastern seaboard during the Ash Wednesday Storm of ’62, Coastal Review, on-net archives


– The Star-Ledger, 3/10/1962


Washington, DC – In the US Senate, Senator Absalom Robertson (D-VA) has just sat down from exhaustion. Hoarse and weak-kneed, he has finally finished filibustering on the floor of the US Senate chamber for 18 hours and 21 minutes, making it one of the longest filibusters ever performed. But Robertson is just one of many Senators vocally protesting the Civil Rights Bill. The next person to filibuster, Strom Thurmond (D-SC) shook Robertson’s hand to congratulate him for his efforts.

Six months ago today, the Civil Rights Bill passed through the House of Representatives. Several US Senators, nearly all Southern Democrats and led by Senator Richard Russell (D-GA), are attempting to block its passing by any means necessary. The most publicly noticeable attempt at this has been going on for three months – filibustering, the act of giving a speech or debate in order to delay or prevent a vote. It is always a spectacular event for journalists, eager for a catchy memorable quote or for a new record to break…

– correspondent Robert C. Maynard, The Washington Post, special report, 3/12/1962

March 13: Johnson rejects Senators Dirksen and Mansfield’s offer of a “slightly weaker” edition of the civil rights bill for passage, believing he would “soon” obtain the 67 “yea” votes needed to end the Senate filibusters, a move known as enacting “cloture”...



The Greenville News, 3/16/1962

I believe I played a role in the Civil Rights Bill. During that time, my primary focus in life was being there for my husband and four children. But I worried for their future and their safety every single day. So every time I would meet with Thurmond, I would try my best to convince him of the err [sic] of his ways. The talks would be short and private, often far away from where anyone could spy through a window or listen through a wall. And in those secure locations I had my biological father’s ear and undivided attention. He at first would change the subject whenever I brought up racism, but as 1961 turned into 1962, I found myself feeling the need to increase the visits. He had to know of the ramifications of his actions. For example, on one visit, I showed him photographs of his grandchildren. He appreciated that.

On the 18th, I met with my Father Senator just hours after he had met with President Johnson. I told him how I worried for my children, about how his grandchildren would continue to be unhappy and without hope if things did not get better. I really opened up to him in a way that led to him finally opening up to me just a little more than usual.

Strom Thurmond was not as terrible as he presented himself to be. I knew that more than ever when I left that day. I saw this look of deep contemplation on his face, and I returned home to my children with a little piece of hope that day.

– Essie Mae Williams’s Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Black Daughter of Strom Thurmond, 1995

Johnson worried that the bill would not pass before the senate’s spring recess, set to begin in April. He faced fierce opposition from southern politicians, who saw him as a “traitor to the Democrats” (Thurmond) and a “Negro-loving weakling and a lapdog for King and Evers” (Eastland) and attempted to stall on voting for the bill via the filibuster until the end of the senate’s January-April session. Attorney General Ramsey Clark later explained, “Lyndon needed to assert himself, to make clear to all of them that he was a leader to respect and follow, and that he meant business when it came to the Civil Rights bill.”

After weeks of only glacial progress, Johnson threatened to use executive action to extend the Senate’s session indefinitely. This would be perfectly legal because Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution, reads the President “may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both houses, or either of them” for an indefinite period of time. Johnson made it clear to Eastland on March 18 that if the Dixiecrats continued to sit on the bill despite his earlier promises to back them in future legislation work, he would call the Senate into extraordinary session and not end the session until the bill passed. In his own words to a private group of supporters later that day, “we are addressing this imperative national issue that can no longer be ignored. I will not let the people elected to serve the states of this union prolong the liberation of their own constituents!”

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018


[ ]
– The President giving “The Johnson Treatment” to Senator Russell Long (D-LA), White House archives, 3/19/1962

19 March 1962: On this day in history, Columbia Records releases “Bob Dylan,” which is Bob Dylan’s debut studio album; while the album did not receive much attention upon its initial release – largely due to it consisting primarily of folk standards, and due to Dylan only just starting to develop name recognition – it achieved popularity a few short years later, especially as Dylan’s second album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” which was released in 1963, became a surprise hit and quickly propelled Dylan to the national spotlight and to international fame.


“After much consideration, I have decided to vote ‘yea’ on invoking cloture on the Civil Right Bill, and I encourage my fellow Senators to do the same. This bill, I believe, will benefit all Americans, both black and white.”

– US Senator Russell Long, Senate Majority Whip since 1961, WBRZ-TV, 3/20/1962

“I vote in favor of cloture not to suppress Southern society with this bill, but to preserve it... I will still fight for all businessmen to maintain the dignity of their establishments and livelihoods, but I will also advocate for the treatment of our fellow human beings with honor and with the sense of dignity becoming of a Southerner...”

– US Senator Ralph Yarborough, US Senate floor, 3/21/1962


…curiously, Thurmond abstained from the vote without a public explanation...

– The Washington Post, 3/22/1962

Ladybird was invaluably instrumental in winning over politicians too stubborn to talk to Lyndon, but knew better than to appear “ungentlemanly” when the First Lady asks to meet with you. Her “sweet demeanor and charm” threw politicos off when discussing politics with her, as their male ego blinded them from the possibility that a woman can be exception and astute in a male-dominated workplace – despite the presence of Senator Margaret Chase Smith! …many on the hill were surprised by Ladybird’s knowledge of the issues and the skills of her tongue with words. …Senators Francis Case, Alexander Wiley, and Prescott Bush were all unsure of the bill for one reason of another, but ultimately came to support it after meeting with the First Lady. …The fact that Ladybird and Lyndon made one powerful team should be celebrated. The fact that so few know of how much power she wielded demonstrates the bias spat out by our male-dominant media outlets…

– feminist activist extremist Diana Oughton’s Behind Every Powerful Man, Righteous Publications, 1983

People of America, your voices need to be heard now more than ever! We cannot stand for the desecration of America’s traditions and regional ways of life. The time is now! It cannot wait! We cannot let this bill pass. Call your Senator, meet with leaders, and hold rallies! Do whatever you must do to protect America from the conspiratorial method of constricting its people to the will of the wrongful and totalitarian political elite! Do it now!

– activist Robert J. Morris of Texas at an anti-Civil Rights Bill rally in Winnsboro, South Carolina, 3/25/1962

“AT LONG LAST!” CIVIL RIGHTS BILL PASSES SENATE 77-23; LBJ Set to Sign Act Into Law In April; Senate Prepares For Easter Break

– The New York Times, Thursday 3/29/1962


J. Lister Hill (D) – Nay
John J. Sparkman (D) – Nay
Bob Bartlett (D) – Yea
Ernest Gruening (D) – Yea
Barry Goldwater (R) – Nay
Carl Hayden (D) – Yea
John Little McClellan (D) – Nay
J. William Fulbright (D) – Nay
Clair Engle (D) – Yea
Thomas H. Kuchel (R) – Yea
Gordon L. Alcott (R) – Yea
John A. Carroll (D) – Yea
Thomas J. Dodd (D) – Yea
Prescott Bush (R) – Yea
John J. Williams (R) – Yea
J. Caleb Boggs (R) – Yea
Spessard Holland (D) – Nay
George Smathers (D) – Nay
Richard Russell Jr. (D) – Nay
Herman Talmadge (D) – Nay
Hiram Fong (R) – Yea
Oren E. Long (D) – Yea
Henry Dworshak (R) – Yea
Frank Church (D) – Yea
Paul Douglas (D) – Yea
Everett Dirksen (R) – Yea
Vance Hartke (D) – Yea
Homer E. Capehart (R) – Yea
Jack Miller (R) – Yea
Bourke Hickenlooper (R) – Nay
James B. Pearson (R) – Yea
Frank Carlson (R) – Yea
John Sherman Cooper (R) – Yea
Thurston Morton (R) – Yea
Allen Ellender (D) – Nay
Russell Long (D) – Nay
Ed Muskie (D) – Yea
Margaret Chase Smith (R) – Yea
James Glenn Beall (R) – Yea
John M. Butler (R) – Yea
Benjamin A. Smith II (D) – Yea
Leverett Saltonstall (R) – Yea
Philip Hart (D) – Yea
Patrick McNamara (D) – Yea
Roy Weir (DFL) – Yea
Gene McCarthy (DFL) – Yea
John Stennis (D) – Nay
James Eastland (D) – Nay
Edward V. Long (D) – Yea
Albert S. J. Carnahan (D) – Yea
Michael Mansfield (D) – Yea
Lee Metcalf (D) – Yea
Roman Hruska (R) – Yea
Carl Curtis (R) – Yea
Howard W. Cannon (D) – Yea
Alan Bible (D) – Yea
New Hampshire
Maurice J. Murphy Jr. (R) – Yea
Norris Cotton (R) – Nay
New Jersey
Clifford P. Case (R) – Yea
Harrison A. Williams Jr. (D) – Yea
New Mexico
Dennis Wyatt Chávez (D) – Yea
Clinton Presba Anderson (D) – Yea
New York
Kenneth Keating (R) – Yea
Jacob K. Javits (R) – Yea
North Carolina
B. Everett Jordan (D) – Nay
Sam Ervin (D) – Nay
North Dakota
Quentin N. Burdick (D) – Yea
Milton Young (R) – Yea
Stephen Young (D) – Yea
Frank Lausche (D) – Yea
Robert S. Kerr (D) – Yea
Mike Monroney (D) – Yea
Maurine Brown Neuberger (D) – Yea
Wayne Morse (D) – Yea
Hugh Scott (R) – Yea
Joseph S. Clark Jr. (D) – Yea
Rhode Island
John Pastore (D) – Yea
Claiborne Pell (D) – Yea
South Carolina
Strom Thurmond (D) – Nay
Olin D. Johnston (D) – Nay
South Dakota
Karl Mundt (R) – Yea
Francis Case (R) – Yea
C. Estes Kefauver (D) – Yea
Albert A. Gore Sr. (D) – Yea
Ralph Yarborough (D) – Yea
John Tower (R) – Nay
Frank Moss (D) – Yea
Wallace Bennett (R) – Yea
Winston Prouty (R) – Yea
George Aiken (R) – Yea
Harry Byrd (D) – Nay
Absalom Robertson (D) – Nay
Scoop Jackson (D) – Yea
Warren Magnuson (D) – Yea
West Virginia
Jennings Randolph (D) – Yea
Robert Byrd (D) – Nay
William Proxmire (D) – Yea
Alexander Wiley (R) – Yea
Gale McGee (D) – Yea
John J. Hickey (D) – Yea

[ ]
Map Key:
Light shade – both Senators voted Yea
Medium shade – one Senator voted Yea, the other Nay
Dark shade – both Senators voted Nay
Red – both Senators were Republicans
Green – one Senator was a Republican, the other a Democrat
Blue – both Senators were Democrats

– [4]


Washington, D.C. – in a televised event, President Johnson signed into law. …The law comes almost two years after the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (the establishing of federal inspections of voting polls), which Johnson was also implemental in getting passed. …Rev. King announced “Today, April 4, is a great day for America, a day of great celebration and merriment that will be celebrated in this nation for years to come. But this is not the end of the road to harmony. After freedom is achieved, it must be maintained…” …Johnson proclaimed, “Now begins the time when the law starts to become a custom.” …in attendance at the ceremony, and standing beside Johnson when the President officially signed the bill into law, were King, Abernathy, activist Medgar Evers, 94-year-old writer-activist W. E. B. DuBois (smiling widely), retired federal judge J. Waties Waring, activist and “grandmother” of the Civil Rights movement Septima Clark, musician and activist Paul Robeson, plus many more...

– The Baltimore Afro-American, 4/4/1962


[ ]

Hubert [Humphrey], Mike Mansfield, and Russell Long were instrumental in getting naysayers still on the fence to change their minds in exchange for supporting their own pieces of legislation later on. One of America’s most pivotal and landmark pieces of legislation finally passed in the end thanks to them. Oh, of course there was outrage among some Southerners, but their jeers were drowned out by the cheering of African-Americans all across the country rejoicing. …I remember, Senators Gore and Kefauver complained to Lyndon about the amount of hate mail they received in the days that followed; they worried they would their respective lose re-election bid. I told Gore, though, that I'd make his tongue-biting worth it; when it came time for legislation of his own, I'd back it up 100%. …On the night of the formal signing, though, to my surprise, Khrushchev wired Lyndon a passive-aggressive sort of message congratulating him on “my leadership skills in finally ending the US’s Civil War.” His words, not mine. >chuckle<

– Mildred Stegall (1908-2014, 105), longtime personal aide to Lyndon Johnson, 1978 interview

“It’s good to see the folks on Capitol Hill are doing their job of making sure every citizen can exercise their God-given freedoms and Constitution-given rights.”

– Colonel Sanders to associate, 4/5/1962


The Sun News, South Carolina daily newspaper, 4/6/1962

Washington is ignoring the rise in Cuban refugees invading Florida’s coasts. Boatloads of people fleeing the island nation arrive almost every day, taking up space, filling up shelters, and even taking low-income jobs from locals. It is imperative that the Johnson administration return focus to securing Cuba so these people can return to their native Cuban houses and jobs.

– Florida Governor C. Farris Bryant’s open letter to Washington D.C., 4/7/1962


…the chicken-selling franchise continues to grow, and if these commercials are any indication, the company execs have their licked fingers right on the pulse of America’s fast-food wants and needs.

Life magazine, 4/10/1962

April 15: At 7:00 AM local time, Johnson and Secretary of State Jack Kennedy touch down in Germany. At 10:00, the two meet with West German President Heinrich Lubke to express the US’s concern over the Berlin Wall. Lubke promises to give Johnson “full support if any crisis should ever arise.”


New Military Hospital Offers Latest In Medicine, Treatment

Pearl Harbor, HA – The Chester Nimitz Medical Center opened its doors today in a ceremony where US Navy Secretary John Connally took time out from his busy schedule overseeing the Navy’s efforts concerning Cuba to cut the ribbon… The hospital was commission and began construction roughly 11 months ago, after the US Department of Veterans Affairs, under President Johnson, pushed for the expansion of medical services available to US military personnel in Oahu… The hospital is considered “state-of-the-art,” featuring the latest techniques, medicines, and methods for assisting wounded veterans…

– The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 4/21/1962

(vid: jNrKNMfzok4)
– Colonel Sanders showing Tennessee Ernie Ford and Minnie Pearl how to cook KFC chicken,, 4/22/1962

“I WON’T SERVE YOU!”: Infamous GA Diner Owner In Even Hotter Water Over Civil Rights Rejection

...Lester Maddox is being called "the anti-Colonel" for his business ethics being the polar opposite of another restaurant-owning politician, the anti-segregation founder of the fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken and founder Governor of Kentucky, Harland "Colonel" Sanders...

– The New York Post, 4/26/1962

youtube: watch?v=7m3JCPrQ3zs
[ watch?v=m3JCPrQ3zs ]
– video compilation of newsreels concerning the incident

Father would gladly fight any businessman, politician, or restauranteur that opposed racial fairness, once explaining “The only customer you should ever kick out is the kind that can’t pay for the meal or is causing trouble. Now if somebody’s spoutin’ communist propaganda or cussing’ up a storm too loudly, then sure, exercise your right to refuse service. But if they just want to give you their money for your services, any reason to not serve them is going to be a really stupid reason.” When one such businessman, a man in Georgia named Lester Maddox, tried to defy the 1962 Civil Rights Act, Sanders denounced him: “That fella has no business acumen if he’s spending his time fightin’ people instead of feedin’ people.”

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

It is odd how similar the Colonel and Maddox were. Both were restaurateurs whom entered politics later in life. Both were known for their chicken, with the Colonel’s being pressure-fried and Maddox’s being skillet-fried. Both were religious and avoided drinking and smoking. And yet, they were at opposite sides of the issue of desegregation. Maddox believed his right to private property control superseded the rights of strangers, sought to maintain his segregationist practices through the courts and simple intimidation of any Black inquisitors of his restaurant. …The conflict dissipated when Maddox, presenting himself as a martyr of sorts, closed the Pickwick restaurant (closing it officially the next year due to court fines), saying “I’d rather give it all up then let other people tell me how to run it.” Maddox then switched careers from the restaurant business to politics, throwing himself full-time into the lieutenant governor’s race into which he had already entered…

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

In public, Kroc was all smiles – especially on May 2, when he flew to Illinois to attend the grand opening of McDonald’s 200th outlet. Behind closed doors, though, the man was still agitated over the contractual obligations he’d made to the McDonald Brothers, and over how they had refused to transfer to him the real estate and rights to the original San Bernardino location. The brothers had told Kroc they were giving the operation, property and all, to the founding employees. [5] Ultimately, his anger lead him to opening another McDonald’s location very close to the original McDonald’s restaurant. Kroc would later gloat in an informal radio interview, “The two had to rename the original spot "The Big M" because they had overlooked what you would think would be one of the most important things to negotiate for, a vital part of the entire franchise when it came brand recognition and marketing – the name ‘McDonald.’ It was their own last name, yet they failed to remember to retain rights to it! It’s ridiculous; it’s like if Colonel Sanders was not allowed to use his own face on something he cooks! But…therein lies a lesson – never overlook anything.”

Chef Wars: The Start of an American Pop Culture Craze, 2021


Birmingham, AL – The tally of last night’s election for one of Alabama’s US Senate seats was finalized earlier today: Crommelin has won with just over 50% of the vote, avoiding a runoff; Hill came in second place with roughly 44%; a third candidate on the ballot, a one Donald G. Hallmark, received under 6%. Crommelin, a Rear Admiral who served in the Navy for 30 years and has unsuccessfully run for public office several times since 1950, claimed in April that the incumbent Senator, Lister Hill “failed to protect our state from the Yankee scourge of forced integration,” referring to the passing of the Civil Rights Act two months ago. Crommelin’s polling numbers had been steadily rising since then, but was still expect to come in second place; a Gallup poll published just two days ago projected Hill to win by no less than a 5% margin.

The Birmingham News, 5/2/1962

Alabama US Senate Primaries, 5/1/1962:
Democratic Primary Results (15.10% Total Population):
John G. Crommelin – 248,470 (50.37%)
J. Lister Hill – 215,617 (43.71%)
Donald G. Hallmark – 29,203 (5.92%)
Total votes cast: 493,290



The Birmingham News, 5/3/1962


– The New York Times, side article, 5/8/1962


Washington, DC – The nation's older citizens got a bit of advice today from a man who parlayed his first $105 Social Security check into a multi‐million dollar fortune.

Said Col. Harland Sanders, the former Governor of Kentucky and the Kentucky Fried Chicken king: “For God's sake, don't think about retiring. There are so many things to do.” Wearing a spotless white suit and black string tie, the dapper 71‐year‐old shared his formula for after‐65 success with a House subcommittee that is studying the problems of the aging.

Among his suggestions were the following:

1 – One should not plan his retirement in the spirit of being deprived of something, but in the spirit of having something added to his life.

2 – “Don't be against things so much as for things.”

3 – Even if one can afford it, “don't rely on loafing. Life doesn't have to be easy to be wonderful.”

4 – Get up every morning wanting to do something.

5 – Seek variety, develop original ideas, go with your whole heart, and don't let the minutes “rust away.”

6 – Try to keep healthy (Sanders does not smoke or drink liquor, and he said he takes “great pride” in “always” eating nourishing, well‐balanced meals.)

“In these 70‐odd years of mine,” The Colonel said, “I've had my share of ups and downs, up and downs. But every time you go down, get up again. You'll be stronger than ever.”

By the time he had reached 61, Colonel Sanders said, he had been a farmhand, a railroad worker, an insurance salesman, a Chamber of Commerce executive and a service station operator. He had studied law by correspondence course and he had run a restaurant (fried chicken a specialty).

Then, after a series of business reverses in his 40s and 50s, including his restaurant being destroyed in a fire in 1939, he took his first $105 social security check and began touring the country, sleeping in the back seat of his car, as he peddled his fried chicken franchises.

His hundreds of fried chicken franchises – which were overseen by his children (a son and two daughters) during his time as governor (1955 to 1959) – have made him a millionaire, and he says he still works daily at the company. His earnings last year, he said, were “way over $2,000,000, more money than I even know what to do with.”

In addition, he said, he receives a monthly Social Security check of $255. “That's something I don't understand about Social Security,” he told the subcommittee. “I don't need it, yet I get that check every month. Maybe I shouldn't take it, but, anyhow, I give it to charity.

A self‐styled political conservative who was an avid backer of Vice President Richard Nixon during his run for President in 1960, Colonel Sanders gazed fondly at the 24-year-old legislative assistant and recent Arizona State University graduate Barry Goldwater Jr., the son of Republican US Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona.

“You know,” The Colonel said. “I just love your daddy.”

And The Colonel chuckled sympathetically, along with the rest of the audience, when US Representative Edith Green, a Democrat from Portland, Oregon, told about her husband. “He’s getting on in years right alongside me, but we’ve always been spry and determined,” Mrs. Green said. “Unfortunately, he broke his leg a little while ago. He was dancing at the top of some stairs at a friend’s relative’s bar mitzvah, and I guess you can say his feet stopped dancing by the time he reached the bottom of those stairs.”

The New York Times, Monday 5/14/1962 [6]


…John Glenn recovered from injuries sustained in a fire in August last year... After months of delays from related investigations into the worksite fires in August 1961 and February 1962, NASA finally sent Glenn into orbit, where in roughly five hours he circled the globe three times in the Friendship 7 space capsule….

The Guardian, 24/5/1962

…and in North Carolina, incumbent Democratic US Senator Sam Irvin won re-nomination over Ralph James Scott, the three-term US Representative from the state’s fifth congressional district. Scott sought to primary Irvin with a more moderate campaign that called for the state to, quote “move on already,” end quote, from the segregation issue. Congressman Scott won 42% in the Democratic primary, which is considered to be a strong showing for this race. This primary result is already fueling speculation in political circles that Irvin is vulnerable and could actually be defeated by a Republican in November. Speaking of which, Senator Irvin’s G.O.P. opponent will be Claude Greene, whom won his party’s nomination...

– The Huntley-Brinkley Report, 5/26/1962 TV broadcast

IS IT CHICKEN OR BEEF FOR AMERICA?: A Question Two Companies Seem To Want To Know…

...Wherever one shows up, the other quickly sets up shop nearby. So seems to be the latest trend between the fast-food giants Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s. …Reports indicate that the two companies are heavily competing for not just customers, but for franchisees as well. Both companies are offering freedoms in management, stock options, and other benefits to secure location after location…

– Business Weekly, 5/29/1962


[ ]
Time Magazine, 6/2/1962 Issue

NIXON LOSES BID FOR GOVERNOR!: In Stunning Upset, Former VP Loses Primary To Businessman Joe Shell

…Shell, a military pilot and captain of the winning team of the 1939 Rose Bowl, had served as a state assemblyman from 1953 to earlier this year. Despite being conservative ideologically, Shell’s campaign focused on issues such as clean running water and education – topics that seemingly won over moderate and independent voters amid Nixon’s moderate but largely theme-less campaign.
"I think Dick is just lining up a run for President in '64," said one Shell supporter, "I think the people of California want a full-time Governor." Shell had also spent several weeks campaigning heavily and energetically across the Golden State, visiting lumber communities in the North and farmers in the South. Nixon, meanwhile, made comparatively less stump speeches and held largely private fundraisers in the months leading up to the primary.
It also should be noted that a little-known third candidate on the ballot, a self-declared “Christian militia enthusiast” conservative named William Gale, received a number of votes larger than the margin by which Nixon lost.

– The Sacramento Bee, 6/5/1962

California Governor Primaries, 6/5/1962:
Republican Primary Results (12.5% Total Population):
Joseph C. Shell – 970,756 (49.42%)
Richard Nixon – 957,989 (48.77%)
William Gale – 31,036 (1.58%)
Pat Brown (write-in) – 4,517 (0.23%)
Total votes cast: 1,964,298


I considered it an honor to be of Operation Condor, the mission to take out Fidel Castro.

The government had been trying to murder this man since he rose to power, but when Havana was captured, he and his close circle of followers spirited themselves away into the night. Intelligence was certain they had fled to the westernmost part of the island, or possibly the Island de la Juventud, which was then known as the Isle of Pines. Finally our spy plans had located his position in a tiny hideaway in the Vinales Valley of the Guaniguanico mountain range. In the present day, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unique and steep terrain, covered with sharp cliffs, beautiful waterfalls, and many caves. But back then, it was a war zone. Tanks and anti-aircraft missiles doted the landscape. The enemy used those waterfalls and hid out in those caves. It was by no means a tourist destination.

I had the easy part of the mission – I, with thirteen other men, would swoop in and carpet-bomb the eastern part of the valley as a diversion. American soldiers on the ground would then attack the Castro brother’s headquarters in the western part of the valley during the chaos. There was more detail to the plan, of course, but I did not need to know that information, so I was never told it. All I had to do to serve my country was, essentially, to swoop in, blow some stuff up, and leave.

The target was acquired, and I lit it up like a firecracker.

That should have been it for me. I was supposed to simply return to base and await my next assignment. But we did not expect their anti-aircraft artillery to have such distance accuracy. I was turning west to leave the valley when part of my Skyhawk’s left wing was ripped off by an anti-aircraft missile. I went into a nearly-vertical inverted spin, heading right for a small, swampy lake in the middle of the jungles outside of the city of La Palma, a Communist stronghold.

I had been in crashes before, but it was miraculous – but not a miracle – surviving that one. Ejecting awkwardly out of the cockpit shattered my arm and leg, propelled my dog tags off my person, and slammed my around like I was a paper doll. It was the fall into the lake that almost drowned me.

Drowning is an odd sensation. You are surrounded by water and your lungs are filled with it, yet you feel like you’re on fire. Your chest burns with pain and a small fraction of you is thankful for the relief that comes from beginning to pass out.

I don’t know what happens after that; that is when they pulled me out. A small group of Communist reconnaissance troops that had been nearby. As they pulled me to shore, one of them leaned in and whispered something to me. Only later I would learn the meaning of what he’d said: “Welcome to your doom.”

The act itself of surviving the crash was miraculous, but I would soon learn how far removed I was from any miracles.

– Admiral John McCain’s Boldly Into Hell: A Firsthand Account of Four Decades of American Warfare, Random House, 1996


[pic: ]

– A KFC outlet near Columbus, Ohio, c. June 1962

[1] According to Source 18 on his wiki article, Duvalier tried to win over Castro to stop anti-Duvalier Haitians from fleeing to Cuba. ITTL, with Castro busy fighting back American forces, he’s more willing to ultimately accept supplies from Duvalier’s government.
[2] Source 34 on his wiki article supports this as his opinion during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
[3] Everything here (except for the italicized passages) was pulled from this 2017 article:
[4] OTL source:
[5] Italicized passage taken directly from Kroc's wiki article.
[6] Everything here (except for the italicized passages) was pulled from this OTL 1971 article revealing that The Colonel supported George Wallace in 1968 and that he apparently was a big fan of Barry Goldwater, even after his landslide 1964 loss, suggesting that The Colonel may have had conservative and populist political views! (note to self: work more of that into the upcoming chapters):

NOTE: Due to an unexpectedly busy two weeks ahead of me, I'm posting this a day or two early and probably will not be able to post the next chapter until the 17th. A thousand pardons for this TL's glacial pace; hopefully, I'll be back to posting at least one chapter every week very soon. Thank you all very much for your patience, and I hope y'all enjoy reading this!

Why did Al Gore Sr. vote for the civil rights act ITTL?
Edit: Also how did Joe Snell achieve a successful primary?
I went back and added to these bits; Gore was promised backing in future legislation endeavors and Shell ran a more energetic campaign. Hope this helps!

Unknown said:
You remember when the Papa John's CEO, John Schnatter, was forced to step down from his job and also resigned from the University of Louisville's board of directors after he used the N-word during a conference call, and it became a big black eye for Papa John's (to the point that the University of Louisville removed the company's name from its football stadium, while Major League Baseball removed its food from their stadiums)?

Well, guess who he was referring to when he used the N-word (as in, someone who was allowed to use the N-word and get away with it)?

Colonel Sanders, of all people.

Yeah, that destroyed any goodwill he still had left in Kentucky and pissed off the Sanders family (which is really like saying the Titanic sprung a small leak)…

I'm glad for this TL, BTW, because we're getting to know more about Mr. Sanders and the world he lived in...

Waiting for more...
Click to expand...
Actually, based on my research (example: ) Schnatter's comment was a false claim, in that the Colonel was not a racist (as pointed out in the sources in earlier chapters). Old stereotypes die hard, I guess.

Ogrebear said:
Is it possible the Olly’s Trolly chain could become a real contender against McD’s ITTL?

Seems a shame they got pushed out from the reviews of the food.
Very interesting article! With Dave Thomas, creator of Wendy's, working for KFC like IOTL, I could see Ollie showing up and butting heads ITTL at some point. Great find!

Unknown said:
BTW, @gap80, does this crash still occur ITTL:

Waiting for your next update in the next few days...
Because of the Cuba War, paranoid suspicion of Cuban sabotage (the war started, partially, when a plane was shot down, after all) led to the landing gear on that plane being better inspected, and that day at that airport went on without incident (I really should mention that in some chapter, shouldn't I? (I'll make a note of it))!


Wouldn't the plane have still crashed then? It was most likely an elevator motor failure that caused it so landing gear would have nothing to do with that.
EDIT: I'll make that a "better elevator motor inspection" thing - in fact, the whole plane could possibly be inspected better due to the state's relatively close proximity to Cuba. Or, you know, butterflies from TTL's POD of 1932 (see Chapter 1) could simply "butterfly" the crash out of existence. Butterflies can do that, you know!
Last edited:
Post 7
Post 7: Chapter 15

Chapter 15: June 1962 – December 1962

“This used to be a government of checks and balances. Now it’s all checks and no balances.”

– Gracie Allen, 1940

Due to the extent of the crash site when viewed by spy planes, the Navy had presumed me KIA. Joe would later tell me that the family reacted to the news of me being shot down and likely gone forever in a variety of ways, albeit all typical. “Father was despondent, Sis was beside herself, and I started pickin’ fights in school. Mother was the strongest of us, though. She just I never gave up hope. ‘No body was recovered or even spotted,’ Mom would repeatedly remind us. ‘I would know if my child was gone. I would sense it.’”

– Admiral John McCain’s Boldly Into Hell: A Firsthand Account of Four Decades of American Warfare, Random House, 1996

“Good evening, America. Just a few hours ago, I received confirmation of a pivotal event in our military presence in Cuba… Earlier today, at precisely 1400 hours, or 2-o’clock PM, the United States Air Force conducted an air raid on the headquarters of operations of Communist leader Fidel Castro, and his brother, Raul Castro. The commanding officer of the operation tells me it was a spectacular and valiant fight, but our planes defeated theirs, and their location was leveled. No high-ranking Communist leaders inside the base survived. Not even the Castro brothers, whose bodies have been identified among the other charred remains, and are being secured as I speak. Tonight, believers of democracy in Americans and the world may rest a little easier, knowing that we have may a critical step down the path to assuring freedom for the people of Cuba. The free people of Cuba are now one major closer to reclaiming their island home… God bless you all, God Bless America, and have a pleasant evening.”

– President Lyndon B. Johnson, televised address to the nation, 6/15/1962


– President Lyndon B. Johnson during a televised address, 6/15/1962

The emptying of our magazines console us in this time of sadness and anger. …Fidel, Raul, Sergio, Ramon, [1] all murdered by the cold-blooded capitalist pigs… I again met with Celia and Vilma [1] today; they still fear for the future of our island. Indeed, already their passing is widening internal management issues. Without Fidel and Raul, Che and Cam are uncertain on how to move forward. Split on how to proceed, the two have begun arguing more and more often, on matters ranging from pivotal to trivial, and in tone ranging from subtle remarks to intense and violent shouting matches. Just tonight, tension rose between the two iconic leaders of the people’s movement, the last half of Cuba’s “Group of Four,” as they discussed proper guerilla tactics – scorched-earth policies, aerial attacks, and sabotage in areas firmly held by the enemy – and whether we should fight a war of attrition or a war of espionage. Che believes all ideas should be tried no matter how morally grey they may be for the good of the cause. Cam disagrees, believing attacking Cubans that are traitorous American sympathizers will only strengthen their numbers. Cam wants to attack Americans with swift ferocity, but leave non-Americans alone. Che is calling for an increase in aerial defense measures. And don’t get me started on which one is technically the new leader of the country; we’ve made no proclamation yet, we just don’t know. So this came up in the talk, too. This discussion devolved into a verbal brawl over what Fidel would have wanted. Each accused the other of wanting to be disloyal to Fidel’s vision, with Che storming out, fury still lingering on his face. I am worried. The tensions are beginning to drip down to the other men. The soldiers are starting to suspect each other of most being loyal enough. Most just want to stay out of the strategy of it all and just follow the orders when they get them. Others simply know that now is not the time for internal disputes, but even still, I think some are taking sides. I hope a reconciliation can occur between the two men, and very soon, too. But, I do not worry too much. I do not believe that our great struggle for freedom could possibly be deterred by petty infighting.

– 17 June 1962 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996


…None of the 87 passengers and 8 crew members survived… “In light of the Cuban Communist’s prior attacks American civilian aircraft, there is reason to believe that American Airlines Flight 1 was the target of another attack by them,” reported Federal Aviation Agency Administrator Najeeb Halaby at a press conference earlier today. He continued “To better ensure the safety and freedom of all Americans, and with the permission of President Johnson, I am calling for an increase in security measures at all American airports.” An investigation is currently underway to determine the still-unknown cause of the crash…

– The New York Times, 6/17/1962


Huntsville, AL - …the suspects are known members of the John Birch Society, a rigidly conservative group which has seen an increase in member openness and connections to racial violence since the passing of the Civil Rights Act back in April. Local police are advising citizens to cooperate with the authorities… The men and women performing a “sit-in” at the local malt shop are part of a growing trend in American youth, a form of activism rooted in beatnik culture that is growing as troops continue to be sent into Cuba… “We are beatniks, friend,” said one youngster in Huntsville, “but we are new, like, we think snapping figures just won’t cut it anymore, so we sit and picket to shout out our concerns to the world. We’re shouting beatniks; we’re shoutniks.”

– The Sacramento Union (Ted Kennedy’s newspaper), 6/19/1962

SAVIO: We were growing in size and relevance, and so many of us were evolving into something more than the standard “café beatniks” of the late ’50s. College students, the children born at the start of World War Two, were beginning to realize the value of human life and the destruction of the war raging just 70 miles from home. 1962 was when we began protesting the draft, though it would not catch so much media attention and latch onto the public’s mind until later. In the meantime, passionate young activists adopting the moniker “shoutniks” mobilized. We demonstrated with sit-ins and picket lines, marching and cementing ourselves to the floors of one place for hours on end. That’s how we determined the loyalists from the fair-weather wish-washy people. Diana Oughton, for instance, was a genuine anti-war activist student at another college, and drove several hours to participate in a draft protest here in San Francisco. As did Murray Bookchin, then a 40-year-old self-described “socialist anarchist” from Vermont. These were the sort of true believers that made the movement what it came to be.

HOST: Well, and I suppose you did play a small role, too. >chuckle<

SAVIO: >chuckle< I guess!

– Mario Savio, KPFB 89.3 FM radio interview, 1/30/1985 broadcast


Birmingham, AL – Yesterday’s primary runoff to determine whom will be the next Governor of Alabama ended earlier today after George Wallace was declared the winner, edging out conservative favorite Bull Connor in an upset. In the June 24 [2] runoff, Wallace received 306,085 votes (50.19%) while Connor received 304,377 votes (49.91%). The fight between Connor and Wallace, each representing two different depictions of how Alabama should be, cme about after the results of the June 3 [2] primary. That election’s results are as follows:

Bull Connor – 240,570 votes (37.75%)
George Wallace – 218,646 votes (34.31%)
Tom Bevill – 78,066 votes (12.25%)
MacDonald Gallion – 61,371 votes (9.63%)
J. Bruce Henderson – 16,378 votes (2.57%)
Wayne Jennings – 15,549 votes (2.44%)
Albert Boutwell – 7,392 votes (1.16%)
Total votes: 637,273

In both elections, Wallace was endorsed by the NAACP like he was in his 1958 governorship bid. Wallace proclaimed segregation to be a dead issue in the wake of the Civil Right bill becoming law. “It is time for Alabama to move on and join the rest of the south in accepting the disassembling of segregation,” he said in a speech last week. Wallace’s campaign initially feared a split in the anti-Connor vote would cost him the primary race due to the candidacy of prominent fellow moderate Ryan DeGraffenried. However, DeGraffenried left the race in March, shortly after his wife was injured in a car accident, and his name was removed from the ballot. This, alongside Connor’s bombastic, uncouth and polarizing campaign style, arguably helped Wallace advance to the runoff in a way that was much easier than initially expected.

Victory in last night’s election, though, was victory in essentially becoming the state’s next Governor, with the general election being no more than a mere formality – the Republicans have chosen to not field a candidate for that race, leaving just one other person (an independent named Frank Walls) to oppose Wallace on the November ballot. This all but confirms that Wallace will become the state’s next governor, succeeding conservative incumbent Governor Patterson in January of next year.

The Tuscaloosa News, Alabama newspaper, 6/24/1962

June 25, 1962

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Dear sis,

I hope this letter find you well.

Okay, that should cover the formalities – now let’s get down to business. My work here among the Cuban War refugees has led to many contacts and many ideas. There’s a sweet young man here named Jerry (I forget his last name – it’s a color, like Green or White) and he has shown me how few jobs are available here for these people, to say nothing of their deteriorating dietary conditions. But it is due to our gastric knowledge that I write this letter. I believe Kentucky Fried Chicken should do whatever it can to contribute to the relief efforts down here. We could certainly be of more help than that egg-headed in Tallahassee, Governor Bryant – oh, what a horrid man!

To conclude, upon my return to Florence next week we must sit down and discuss how best to assist our fellow lovers of democracy.

Your younger (and prettier – hey, mirrors don’t lie!) sister,


– A letter from Margaret Sanders to Mildred Sanders, during an excursion made by the latter to rural West Virginia where letters were more reliable than telephone lines (according to Margaret Sanders), public record, retrieved 2019

LBJ ORDERS FEDERAL AGENCIES TO ENFORCE THE CRA: Calls For Peace After Weeks Of Sporadic Outbursts Of Racial Violence Nationwide

– San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/25/1962

In March 1962, Justice Whittaker told President Johnson that he had decided to retire from the bench. He had been serving for only five years, but he had already had enough of the workload, and had determined that he would step down as soon as the 1962 CRA passed. On April 5, Whittaker stepped down, and Johnson immediately leaped at the opportunity to reshape the court, and – ignoring suggestions from some of his advisors to consider any other candidate – chose to nominate a longtime friend and political ally to the seat: Abe Fortas.

While never serving as a judge before, Abraham Fortas (1910-1982) nevertheless possessed an impressive resume – law professor at Yale, worked in several positions under FDR, helped assemble the UN as a Harry Truman-appointed delegate. He also was an advisor to Johnson’s US Attorney General, represented Johnson in a 1948 election dispute, and worked on many high-profile cases during the 1950s such as Owen Lattimore’s. Upon nominating Fortas for the seat on April 29, Johnson was certain that any opposition to the selection, be it over genuine concern for Fortis’s credentials or political grudges over Johnson signing into law the 1962 CRA, would be minimal.

– Linda Greenhouse and Morton J. Horwitz’s The Warren Court and the Pursuit of Justice (Third Edition), Sunrise Publishing, 2010


…The main concern was summed up by Senator Carlson (R-KS): “who will Mr. Fortas work for: the Constitution, or the President?” Fortas’s answer: “The people”…

– The Washington Post, 6/28/1962

McDONALD’S COMES TO COLORADO; First Spot in State Welcomes Founder Ray Kroc

The Denver Post, 6/30/1962


[pic: ]

– Colonel Sanders promoting KFC outlets of the "Greater St. Louis and Illinois" area, c. early July 1962


– The Washington Post, 7/2/1962

“Richard, back in the 1920s, I was a schoolteacher at a segregated school for Mexican children who were too impoverished to ever even dream of going to college [3], and during that time I was witness to the forms of poverty that Mexicans and Americans are still living in throughout this country. It is an injustice to keep children from the vital tool of school, the tool needed for reaching one’s full potential. So forgive me if I seem to be a bit partial to this here anti-poverty law that y’all keep holding up. It’s just that people are living in this country like they’re peasants in the f#@king USSR! We must be better than those negligent f#@kheads, and that starts with doing what we can to eliminate starvation, illiteracy, and chronic unemployment from as much of America as we can. This legislation will be our declaration of war on destitution in America, a law that the children of this country will be forever grateful for. And a law that’ll surely stick it to all the Reds overseas, and will bring in a new generation of Democrats nationwide!”

– Lyndon B. Johnson in phone call to US Senator Richard B. Russell Jr., recorded by Johnson 7/3/1962 [4]


…the Community Improvement Bill, has been in development since last year, and effects several government agencies and administrations…

The New York Times, 7/22/1962

My fears that the fighting between Che and Cam, an unnecessary chasm caused by their aggressive personalities and philosophies, has led to a split within the guerilla forces, threatening to complicate this war. I do not think we can win if my fellow Cuban patriots separately fight the capitalist pigs in two separate camps. Both sides not engaging or even really communicating with each other that often. Instead, Cam’s soldiers and Cam’s soldiers work independently of each other to repel The Grave Enemy. Camilo and I lament Che’s inability to compromise. The last time I saw them together, talk over an air strike harming loyal villagers lead to a wrestling match around the dirt. Before diving off in his jeep, Che called Camilo a traitor. Cam believes the exact same thing about Che.

– 23 July 1962 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996


Sydney, NSW – The first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Australia opened today in the Sydney suburb of Guildford. The very founder himself of the famous American fast-food chain, Col. Harland Sanders, attended the opening ceremony of the city’s latest take-out-only American import. American food staples catching on is nothing new – during WWII, American army-men stopping by to fight Japan introduced us to hamburgers and rotisserie chicken [5]. The chicken serves, however, is a new taste sensation thanks to the Colonel’s unique frying style and secret blend of eleven herbs and spices… Sanders, together with local businessman Jack Cowin, seem determined to transform the city with the introduction of more options into the still-minor fast-food market in Sydney [5]. Judging by the massive crowd at the ceremony, their goal had merit.

– The Australian, 22/7/1962

– A commercial concerning KFC coming to Australia, c. July 1962


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders tries his first Australian meat pie at Harry’s Café de Wheels in Woolloomooloo [6]

GOLDWATER: What amazes me is how Cuba is slowly starting to become a mess.

UDALL: I disagree, Barry, the death of two of their most important leaders has had the Communists on the defense.

GOLDWATER: But nobody – on both sides of the aisle – is talking about the rise in casualties and millions of dollars lost in military property damaged or lost. And by the way, Castro’s gang never should have been able to even hit Guantanamo in the first place. Miami. Why couldn’t our planes or anti-aircraft weapons intercept the planes in time? Under my watch, they never would have been so irresponsibly sluggish.

MODERATOR: Well at least we’re progressing to this war’s conclusion. According to Defense, the island should be secured by Christmas or so.

GOLDWATER: Yeah, that’s another thing, Mo – this whole war should been all wrapped up by now! What in blazes are the boys in the Johnson administration doing dragging this thing out? I tell you, if I had been elected in 1960, that island would be covered with American flags by now, and not just the Castro brothers but his whole entire gang would be buried at the bottom of the Atlantic. When you invade a nation, you plan it out, and execute it quickly.

UDALL: Well, things don’t always go as planned in war times, Barry. The Castro brothers certainly weren’t planning on getting blown to bits, that’s for sure.

– US Senator Barry Goldwater and US Representative Morris Udall, KYCA’s 7/30/1962 radio broadcast

Arkansas’s U.S. Senate Democratic Primary, 7/31/1962:
J. William Fulbright – 216,559 (56.73%)
Winston G. Chandler – 165,179 (43.27%)
Total votes cast: 381,738
Turnout: 21.48% total population


I’m not sure how it happened. Rumored are circling like flies on a donkey’s ass. Either Rafael [del Pino] fired first or Juan [Almeida Bosque] attacked him. Either they were arguing or one of them jumped out from the bushes. But none of it matters. What matters is Juan is dead, and the most clear fact after is that Rafael shot him. I knew both men; they both close friends of Fidel. But recently, they had split over how to defeat The Grave Enemy. Rafael had become a Cam supporter, while the older Juan sided with Che. I fear that it will now be even more difficult to reconcile the two factions of our fight now that we have begun to shed each others’ blood. I pray for all of us now, and for all of Cuba.

– 1 August 1962 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996

HAVANA LIBERATED! US TROOPS MARCH INTO CUBAN CAPITAL: Major Leaders Still At Large, Suspected To Have Fled During Spectacular Fight For The City

– The Miami Herald, 8/4/1962

Aug 5 1962: on this day in history, Nelson Mandela and Cecil Williams, two activists and members of the anti-apartheid A.N.C. party, are captured by South African police for inciting worker’s strikes; the two are found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. Their times in jail are extended considerably after a second unrelated trial finds them guilty of treason in 1964.



…The push into the mountainous hinterland is being coordinated and led by Air Force General Scratchy Brown and Army General William Westmoreland... Brown is more cautious of “burn the house to get out the rats” approach, believing carpet-bombing may lead to anti-American resentment. Army Major General Edwin Walker disagrees, believing Westmoreland’s tactics are the “bolder” initiatives needed to “get the commie out of the mountains”… Intelligence officers report back that the uncoordinated response to the push into Havana was due to an ally of Che being killed by an unidentified Cam ally within the past week, increasing distrust between the two camps. Now more aggressive to each other than before, the island is basically split into three parts – Cienfuegos supporters, Democratists, and Guevara supporters… Navy Secretary John B. Connally emphasized the need to defeat the Communists before the Cam and Che factions have a chance to reconcile: “Their infighting situation is dooming their revolution to failure thanks to the lack of clear leadership among their own ranks.” Brown adds proudly, “we’ve really got them on the un now!”

– Tad Szulc, New York Times Special Report, 8/11/1962

At noon, Cam was called away for a message from the Soviets. Another shipment of arms had been delayed due to “internal issues” and “traffic congestion.” We all know the truth. The splintering of the revolution is an embarrassment to the Soviets – the Sino-Soviet split, the rebels in central Europe, the need to build a ridiculous wall, the US’s Jupiter missiles set up in Turkey, and now our struggle not going exactly as they had planned. As if war ever goes exactly as planned. “They are cutting us loose. If we can’t convince Mao to lend a hand…We are on our own, left to our own devices to see the light of freedom shine through this, our darkest hours.” Cam may seem more lugubrious than angry at the moment, but I know him well. Beneath the somber speech is a man determined and resourceful. I still believe in him.

– 15 August 1962 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996

The situation in Cuba was not satisfactory at all. It looked like we had picked a dud. Without the Castro brothers, their followers were directionless imbeciles. Reports showed that some of the less…patriotic Cubans were beginning to express doubt in the revolution. The proletariat were already growing dissatisfied with Khrushchev’s leadership endeavors, and questioning his capabilities increased. First after the Kitchen debate and again after the shoe-pounding incident, an ideological expansion snafu this severe, we feared, could be a nail in Khrushchev’s political coffin, to use an American phrase. We initially decided to see if we could cut our losses, but the military admonished us for that, so we backpedaled on this decision fairly quickly and sent the weapons and aid Guevara sought. However, the hesitance was still enough for Che and Cienfuegos to remain suspicious of our commitment to their fight. We feared that if any more territory was seized in Cuba, Khrushchev and I would quickly find ourselves, at the absolutely least, jobless…

– Anastas Mikoyan’s The Path of Struggle: The Memoirs of Anastas Mikoyan (English translation), Sphinx Press, 1988 (written in 1978)


...the landmark legislation establishes two new national health insurance programs called Medicare and Medicaid. The former is for the elderly and the latter is for the poor. Medicare is a basic program of hospital insurance for Americans aged 65 and older, in addition to being a supplementary medical insurance program to aid elderly Americans in paying doctor bills and other healthcare bills. These programs will be funded by a new tax on employee earnings, which will be matched by contributions by employers...

The Washington Post, 8/16/1962


The Las Vegas Review Journal, 8/25/1962


Birmingham, AL – NAACP leaders said today that they will not obey an injunction banning “racial demonstrations” in Birmingham… A statement today by Negro leader Ralph Abernathy reads “we cannot in all good conscience obey such an injunction which is an unjust, undemocratic and unconstitutional misuse of the legal process. We have come too far to yield to something like this.” …

The Tuscaloosa News, 8/27/1962


[ ]
– Colonel Sanders celebrating his 72nd birthday, 9/9/1962

To prove his influence, Johnson sought to recruit a conservative establishment loyalist to oppose Senator Talmadge in the Democratic primary. He found a willing candidate in John William Davis (1916-1992), a freshman U.S. Congressman from the state’s third district. Initially expecting Davis to pull in no more than 15%, Johnson began to believe Davis could actually pull in as much as 30% after Senator Fulbright of Arkansas defeated a surprisingly strong Johnson-backed moderate primary challenger weeks prior to Georgia’s own primary. Davis began campaigning with more enthusiasm and managed to effectively spend an impressively large war chest, while Talmadge brushed him off as “inevitably the loser here;” thus Talmadge did little, if not any, actual campaigning for the election. Neither Davis nor Johnson expected the final results, which indeed highlighted the influence the Commander-in-Chief still had concerning Senate goings-on nationwide.

– A State of Change: Georgia Politics In the Twentieth Century (2nd Edition), Textico Publishing, 2013

Georgia’s U.S. Senate Democratic Primary, 9/12/1962:
John William Davis – 391,673 (51.17%)
Herman Talmadge – 346,131 (45.22%)
Henry M. Henderson – 27,632 (3.61%)
Total votes cast: 765,436
Turnout: 19.41% Total Population


“She Can Do More For Massachusetts”

– Eunice Shriver for Senate slogan, 1962


Boston, MA – …Shriver won last night by a plurality of 48%. In a 4-candidate race, Shriver’s main opponent, state Attorney General Eddie McCormack, came in second place with 42%, the remaining 10% being split almost evenly between the other 2 candidates… McCormack had sought to paint Shriver as inexperienced, and claimed often she would “merely be a puppet for her brother,” the U.S. Secretary of State, Jack Kennedy, whom once held the seat. Shriver fought against the accusations with a more positive campaign focusing more on statewide issues than attacking her fellow Democrats. …Perhaps the most influential part of the race came in the form of McCormack’s aggressive performance during a televised debate; polls taken after the debate showed potential voters thought his performance was “too overbearing” and “mean,” especially when compared to Shriver, whom many agreed remained “composed” and “honest” throughout the entire debate…

– The Boston Globe, 9/19/1962

Massachusetts State Party Senatorial Primaries, 9/18/1962:

Republican Primary Results:
George Cabot Lodge II – 244,921 (55.49%)
Laurence Curtis – 196,444 (44.51%)
Total votes cast: 441,365

Democratic Primary Results:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver – 386,817 (47.95%)
Edward J. McCormack Jr. – 341,319 (42.31%)
George J. O’Shea – 42,030 (5.21%)
William K. Hefner – 36,544 (4.53%)
Write-ins – 22 (0.00%)
Total votes cast: 806,732



The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi newspaper, 9/25/1962

This is Walter Cronkite in the news room, where the name of the alleged attempted assassin of President Johnson has just been released: Byron De La Beckwith, age 41, of Greenwood, Mississippi. I would like to remind viewers that as an American like you and me, he has the right to a fair trial, and is innocent until proven guilty …A salesman with ties to the Ku Klux Klan and a member of the White Citizens’ Council, an anti-integration organization in the South, De La Beckwith travelled to the Windy City on the 24th, the day after the President arrived there to meet with Mayor Daley. The next day, De La Beckwith was found by a security guard beginning to assemble a rifle near an open window in the building across the street from the hotel at which the President was staying, and was taken into police custody. According to one anonymous member of the Greenwood Police Department, upon inspection of Mr. De La Beckwith’s Greenwood home, local police discovered De La Beckwith personal journal, in which he describes his anger at President Johnson for supporting Civil Rights, and even expressed interest in attempting to overthrow the United States government. As of now, however, Mr. De La Beckwith claims innocence, but has given no known explanation for what he was doing assembling a rifle across from the President’s location.

– CBS’s Walter Cronkite, 9/27/1962 report

27 September 1962: Houghton Mifflin publishers publish Rachel Carson’s in-depth “Silent Spring” treatise; it becomes a groundbreaking best-seller that fuels popular interest in environmental protection and pro-environment legislation nationwide.


Johnson’s second opportunity to alter the composition of the Supreme Court arose on September 30, 1962, when Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter suffered a fatal stroke. This left only eight justices remaining – Hugo Black, William Brennan, Tom Clark, William Douglas, newcomer Abe Fortas, John Harlan, Chief Justice Warren, and Potter Stewart. Feeling his domestic policies were safe with the majority-liberal Supreme Court, President Johnson was more open to suggestions from advisors for whom he should nominate. One advisor suggested Leon Higginbotham Jr., a 34-year-old African-American lawyer from Pennsylvania whom was involved in writing the Civil Rights Act while working under Johnson’s Attorney General, as a “bold” choice. Johnson reportedly replied “Too soon; the Dixiecratic bastards gave me hell for the Civil Rights Act and they’ll give me more of it if a Black is put on the Supreme Court only months later. No, we’ll put a Black on the Supreme Court later on.” Ladybird Johnson then suggested picking a woman for the bench, leading to 37-year-old prosecutor Shirley Hufstedler of California and 66-year-old Judge Sarah T. Hughes of Texas being considered. According to Ramsey Clark, “Johnson seemed to personally prefer Homer Thornberry, a U.S. Congressman from Texas, and he seemed like a safe choice.” After several talks with Ladybird, though, Johnson allegedly told aide Bobby Baker “Picking a woman could help me win over woman voters in ’64. Besides, at 66, Hughes may not even serve on the bench for that long.”

– Linda Greenhouse and Morton J. Horwitz’s The Warren Court and the Pursuit of Justice (Third Edition), Sunrise Publishing, 2010


The Houston Chronicler, 10/5/1962

“Up until now, I was a fairly frequent traveler. Even after Flight 1 crashed, I was still determined to continue travelling by air. That is, until the airports changed. Suddenly it has become more and more inconvenient to fly. Before the changes, you did not have go through so many ridiculous regulations. I could not believe it when a few weeks back they asked me to raise my arms so they could pat me down, like some common criminal, to make sure I was not carrying anything like a bomb or some weapon on board. The nerve! And don’t even get me started on the longer lines…

– Katharine Caroline Bleckley (1892-1975) [7], recorded for CBS report, 10/12/1962

During the final weeks of the 1962 mid-term races, Sanders turned to the newer political side of his life at the request of his political colleagues, and campaigned for several candidates. The Colonel had proven himself to be an effective asset to any campaign – all of the candidates he endorsed in Kentucky in 1960 won their respective races, which impressed national Republican party bosses. Campaigns in other states sought to repeat the “Colonel Touch” for their respective candidates, and soon the Colonel found himself flying to Wisconsin to back Senator Wiley, and next to James Marin in Alabama and the to New Hampshire for Senator Cotton. …At a rally in South Dakota for Senator Bottum, Sanders remarked, “Joseph and I are a lot alike – both of us never, ever give up on anything. When Joseph first ran for a big public office, for Governor a while back, he lost. But that didn’t discourage him. He ran for Congress a short time later and lost that race, too, but he still did not give up. Eventually, he became Lieutenant Governor and now Senator, all because of persistence. And why? Because he never gave up on the people of his state! He wanted to do right by the good people of South Dakota, and a man with moxie never quits his passion when things get tryin’. I will always work in the interest of my customers and employees, and Joe Bottum will always work in the interest of y’all. It’s like what his campaign buttons say – ‘You can bet your Bottum dollar on him!’” …By mid-October, the Colonel had stumped for over 50 Congressional candidates.

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015

After another political stopover in Utah, Father more red in the face than usual. It was such a busy day for him he had to lie down. After I brought him some water, he said to me, “Son, I’m startin’ to face the fact that I’m startin’ to get plum tuckered out.”

“I think maybe you should take a break from the political stump.”

“It’s not just that, it’s also that airport I’m trying to build. The FAA have been draggin’ their feet on approvin’ it for weeks, now, thanks to L.B.J.’s damn government overreach laws seeping into every type of business you can think of!”

I tried to change the subject with “Well, I saw you talking to the regional director for Texas the other day. Maybe you should invite over an ol’ franchisee or two for old times’ sake?”

“Oh, don’t remind me!” he exclaimed with the roll of his eyes.

“What?” I asked.

Father explained with a sigh, “I used to be able to name all our franchisees, and even most of the head managers, but now I’ve taken to keepin’ several rolodexes! I’m realizing that a business this big can never be personal, at least not for all involved.” He looked at me for a beat, then continued, “Harley, you and Millie have been doing a marvelous job runnin’ the store. How’d you like to man the horses, too?”

Father relinquished more responsibilities regarding daily company responsibilities on to Harley and Millie that month. I was reluctant to take on more control, but Father insisted.

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

“It may seem like only yesterday, but it has been two and a half months since our capital was overwhelmed by the enemy’s forces. This has been nothing more than a fluke. The true Cubans will persevere regardless. For the imperialist warmongers will never imprison the people of Cuba! All they have done is obtain just enough luck to occupy our buildings, but not our hearts. They have overrun our universities but not our clear-as-ever minds. They may have taken one city, but they can never take our inextinguishable spirit!”

– Che Guevara, 10/19/1962 radio broadcast

Finally, some progress! We successfully blew up a major collection of American troops near Sagua la Grande! The chaos was glorious. We cannot do anything about their presence only 90 miles from our shores, but we sure as hell will make them return to their shores!

– 1 November 1962 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996

…despite the formation of small groups of young anti-war activists on certain college campuses across the country, a vast majority of Americans still support America’s involvement in Cuba, according to polls taken in the aftermath of last week’s Communist Cuban attack on American troops in Sagua la Grande, Cuba, which killed 83 U.S. soldiers and 32 pro-DRF/US Cuban civilians. ...It has been suggested that sympathy for the lives lost in this attack may influence the results of tonight’s midterm elections, as American voters nationwide line up to weigh in on matters on the local, statewide, and national level. …Some analysts believe that the Republicans will fare very well in the Senate, pointing to the G.O.P. coordinating and funding numbers, along with numerous candidate endorsements from personalities such as former Screen Actors’ Guild President Ronald Reagan, former Governor Colonel Sanders, Hollywood actor John Wayne, and former Vice-President Richard Nixon. These men and others had zigzagged across the country shoring up support for several candidates. Tonight, we may see how effective they were…

– Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News, 11/6/1962 broadcast

United States Senate election results, 1962

Date: November 6, 1962
Seats: 40 of 100
Seats needed for majority: 51
Senate majority leader: Mike Mansfield (D-MT)
Senate minority leader: Everett Dirksen (R-IL)
Seats before election: 64 (D), 36 (R)
Seats after election: 62 (D), 38 (R)
Seat change: D v 2, R ^ 2

Full List:
Alabama: James D. Martin (R) over John G. Crommelin (D) and incumbent J. Lister Hill (I) [8]
Alaska: incumbent Ernest Gruening (D) over Ted Stevens (R)
Arizona: incumbent Carl Hayden (D) over Evan Mecham (R)
Arkansas: incumbent J. William Fulbright (D) over Kenneth Jones (R)
California: incumbent Thomas H. Kuchel (R) over Richard Richards (D)
Colorado: incumbent John A. Carroll (D) over Peter H. Dominick (R)
Connecticut: Abraham A. Ribicoff (D) over Horace Seely-Brown (R)
Florida: incumbent George A. Smathers (D) over Emerson Rupert (R)
Georgia: John William Davis (D) over incumbent Herman Talmadge (I)
Hawaii: Daniel K. Inouye (D) over Ben Dillingham (R)
Idaho: incumbent Frank Church (D) over Jack Hawley (R)
Idaho (special): Gracie Pfost (D) over incumbent Len Jordan (R)
Illinois: incumbent Everett Dirksen (R) over Sidney R. Yates (D)
Indiana: Birch Bayh (D) over incumbent Homer Capehart (R)
Iowa: incumbent Bourke B. Hickenlooper (R) over E. B. Smith (D)
Kansas: incumbent Frank Carlson (R) over K. L. Smith (D)
Kansas (special): incumbent James B. Pearson (R) over Paul L. Aylward (D)
Kentucky: incumbent Thruston B. Morton (R) over Wilson W. Wyatt (R)
Louisiana: incumbent Russell B. Long (D) over Taylor W. O’Hearn (R)
Maryland: Daniel J. Brewster (D) over Edward T. Miller (R)
Massachusetts (special): Eunice Kennedy Shriver (D) over George Cabot Lodge II (R) and H. Stuart Hughes (I)
Missouri: Edward V. Long (D) over Crosby Kemper (R)
Missouri (special): incumbent Albert S. J. Carnahan (D) over William C. Cole (R)
Nevada: incumbent Alan Bible (D) over William B. Wright (R)
New Hampshire: incumbent Norris Cotton (R) over Alfred Catalfo Jr. (D)
New Hampshire (special): incumbent Maurice J. Murphy (R) over Thomas J. McIntyre (D)
New York: incumbent Jacob K. Javits (R) over James B. Donovan (D)
North Carolina: incumbent Sam Ervin (D) over Claude L. Greene Jr. (R)
North Dakota: incumbent Milton R. Young (R) over William Lanier (D)
Ohio: incumbent Frank L. Lausche (D) over John M. Briley (R)
Oklahoma: incumbent Mike Monroney (D) over Hayden Crawford (R)
Oregon: incumbent Wayne Morse (D) over Sig Unander (R)
Pennsylvania: incumbent Joseph S. Clark (D) over James E. Van Zandt (R)
South Carolina: incumbent Olin B. Johnston (D) over W. D. Workman Jr. (R)
South Dakota: incumbent Joseph H. Bottum (R) over George McGovern (D) [9]
Utah: incumbent Wallace F. Bennett (R) over David S. King (D)
Vermont: incumbent George D. Aiken (R) over W. Robert Johnson (D)
Washington: incumbent Warren G. Magnuson (D) over Richard G. Christensen (R)
Wisconsin: incumbent Alexander Wiley (R) over Gaylord Nelson (D)
Wyoming (special): Milward L. Simpson (R) over incumbent John J. Hickey (D)


“MRS. SENATOR”: Eunice Kennedy Shriver Wins Senate Seat; Will Be The First Woman Senator From The Bay State

…the only other candidate of significance in the race was Harvard University professor H. Stuart Hughes. Hughes participated in several debates with Lodge and Shriver, where he showcased his views. As Hughes, who is performing well in most polls, strongly favors nuclear disarmament and other liberal policies, exit polls suggest Hughes pulled more voters away from Shriver than from Lodge by a 2-to-1 margin. That advantageous statistic still was not enough for Lodge to win edge out a win, instead losing by a 10-point margin...

– The Boston Globe, 11/7/1962 [11]



United States Senate special election, Massachusetts, results:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver (Democratic) – 990,652 (47.24%)
George Cabot Lodge II (Republican) – 770,251 (36.73%)
H. Stuart Hughes (Independent) – 329,411 (15.71%)
Perennial Lawrence Gilfedder (Socialist Labor) – 5,330 (0.25%)
Perennial Mark R. Shaw (Prohibition) – 1,417 (0.07%)
Total votes cast: 2,097,061



[pic: ]
– US Secretary of State Jack Kennedy congratulating his sister, political activist Eunice Kennedy Shriver, on winning election to the US Senate, 11/7/1962


…Back in December 1960, Senator Humphrey resigned to become Vice-President, causing Governor Orville Freeman to appoint 72-year-old retiring Congressman Roy Wier to the Senate until a special election could be end, per the rules of the state constitution. The state’s Attorney General since 1960, Walter Mondale won by a comfortable margin...

– The Star-Tribune, Minnesota newspaper, 11/7/1962

United States House of Representatives results, 1962
Date: November 6, 1962
Seats: All 437
Seats needed for majority: 219
House majority leader: John McCormack (D-MA)
House minority leader: Charles Halleck (R-IN)
Lest election: 256 (D), 181 (R)
Seats won: 254 (D), 183 (R)
Seat change: D v 2, R ^ 2 [10]



– The Sacramento Bee, 11/6/1962

United States Governor election results, 1962

Date: November 6, 1962
State governorships:
Seats before: 35 (D), 15 (R)
Seats after: 36 (D), 14 (R)
Seat change: D ^ 1, R v 1

Full List:
Alabama: George Wallace (D) over Frank P. Walls (R)
Alaska: Mike Stepovich (R) over incumbent William Allen Egan (D)
Arizona: incumbent Paul Fannin (R) over Samuel P. Goddard Jr. (D)
Arkansas: incumbent Orval Faubus (D) over Willis Ricketts (R)
California: incumbent Pat Brown (D) over Joe Shell (R)
Colorado: John A. Love (R) over incumbent Stephen McNichols (D)
Connecticut: John N. Dempsey (D) over John deKoven Alsop (R)
Georgia: Carl E. Sanders (D) ran unopposed
Hawaii: John A. Burns (D) over incumbent William F. Quinn (R)
Idaho: Vernon K. Smith (D) over incumbent Robert E. Smylie (R)
Iowa: Harold Hughes (D) over incumbent Norman Erbe (R)
Kansas: incumbent John Anderson Jr. (R) over Dale Saffels (D)
Maine: incumbent John Reed (R) over Maynard C. Dolloff (D)
Maryland: incumbent J. Millard Tawes (D) over Frank Small Jr. (R)
Massachusetts: Endicott Peabody (D) over incumbent John Volpe (R)
Michigan: George W. Romney (R) over incumbent John Swainson (D)
Minnesota: Donald Orr Wright Sr. (R) over incumbent Orville Freeman (DFL)
Nebraska: incumbent Frank B. Morrison (D) over Frederick A. Seaton (R)
Nevada: incumbent Grant Sawyer (D) over Oran K. Grayson (R)
New Hampshire: John W. King (D) over John Pillsbury (R)
New Mexico: Jack M. Campbell (D) over incumbent Edwin L. Mechem (R)
New York: incumbent Nelson Rockefeller (R) over Robert M. Morgenthau (D)
North Dakota: incumbent William Guy (D) over Mark Andrews (R)
Ohio: Jim Rhodes (R) over incumbent Michael DiSalle (D)
Oklahoma: Henry L. Bellmon (R) over W. P. Atkinson (D)
Oregon: incumbent Mark Hatfield (R) over Robert Y. Thornton (D) and Robert H. Wampler (I)
Pennsylvania: William Scranton (R) over Richardson Dilworth (D)
Rhode Island: incumbent John A. Norte Jr. (D) over John H. Chafee (R)
South Carolina: Donald Russell (D) ran unopposed
South Dakota: Ralph Herseth (D) over incumbent Archie Gubbrud (R)
Tennessee: Frank G. Clement (D) over William R. Anderson (I) and Hubert David Patty (R)
Texas: incumbent Price Daniel (D) over Jack Cox (R)
Vermont: Philip H. Hoff (D) over incumbent F. Ray Keyser Jr (R)
Wisconsin: John W. Reynolds (D) over Philip G. Kuehn (R)
Wyoming: incumbent Jack R. Gage (D) over Clifford P. Hansen (R)


MIKE’S BACK!: Stepovich Elected Back to Governorship

Juneau, AK – In a rematch, incumbent Governor Bill Egan lost re-election in an upset to former Governor Mike Stepovich. Stepovich, whom was the Governor of Alaska Territory from 1957 to 1958, capitalized on local resentment for President Johnson’s expansion of the federal government’s regulation of local businesses successfully tied Egan to this unpopular domestic policy. Stepovich received backing by many state businesses as well, reportedly outspending Egan by a 2-to-1 margin...

– Anchorage Daily News, 11/7/1962


Sacramento, CA – Governor Brown won a second term over Republican candidate Joe Shell in a rebuke of conservatism… Shell’s endorsement from the John Birch Society likely hurt campaign among independents in the wake of an alleged affiliate of that group being arrested for allegedly plotting to assassinate President Johnson. Plus, Shell did not reach out to former Vice-President Nixon or Nixon’s backers after besting him for the G.O.P. nomination. This failure to make amends with inter-party anti-shell factions weakened Shell’s campaign’s ability to maintain a united front among Republican-leaning and possibly weakening Republican voter turnout.

Despite Shell losing, not all California’s rejected the John Birch Society – two members of the organization, H. L. “Bill” Richardson and John H. Rousselot, won election to the U.S. House of Representatives from…

…The approximate breakdown of last night’s election results are as follows:

Brown: received 3,229,852 votes (54.47%)
Shell: received 2,550,605 votes (43.02%)
Prohibition candidate Robert L. Wyckoff: received 106,140 votes (1.79%)
There were 125,115 (2.11%) invalid or blank votes. The total number of votes was approximately 5,929,602. Turnout was 57.5%.

…Other statewide elections were held on Tuesday as well. In the race for Lieutenant Governor, Republican challenger George Christopher, the Mayor of San Francisco from 1956 to 1964, won over the Democratic incumbent, Glenn M. Anderson. For California’s Secretary of State…

– Sacramento Bee, 11/7/1962

Shell’s loss vindicated Nixon, as could be seen in the sudden widespread use among Republicans of the utterance “Nixon would have won it.” Nixon himself, though, was conflicted over such a prospect. A few weeks after the election, Dick confessed to me that he considered the loss a sort of blessing in disguise.

“I don’t think I would have been happy as governor, the more I think about it. Two years of seat-warming and ribbon-cutting and fighting with s bunch of liberal state legislators over where to put the latest fire hydrants while the old men on the hill get to influence national foreign policy? No, my place is in the Senate. That’s more my speed; it’s where I excelled. And it’s a much better platform.” He began considering running for the US Senate again, potentially against incumbent Democratic Clair Engle in 1964. “But what about running for President that year?”

“I don’t know, John. Has a President ever lost re-election in the midst of commanding over both a popular war and a booming economy?”

“You could be the first.”

He shrugged, “Let’s just keep all cards on the table for now. We’ll see what happens.”

– John Ehrlichman’s Witness: What Went on Behind Closed Doors, Folkways Books, 1998


The Houston Chronicler, 11/13/1962

…Earlier today, federal district judge Sarah T. Hughes was sworn in to Justice Whittaker’s old seat on the United State Supreme Court, making her the first female justice ever to sit on Supreme Court bench. Hughes, whom began presiding over the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas in 1961, is a Texas Democrat known for supporting prison reform and expanding the involvement of and the role of women in the American workforce. Her ascension to the bench marks a historic moment for the Women's rights movement…

– NBC, 11/22/1962 broadcast


Not long ago, chicken was a costly delicacy in Europe; it was said that the European workingman ate a chicken only when either he or the bird was sick. Now chicken is common fare, and not just on Sunday. Much of the credit belongs to U.S. chicken farmers, who have brought down prices from Antwerp to Zurich by delivering frozen broilers to Europe at 30.5cents a lb. Last year the intake of chicken rose 23% in West Germany alone. Demand for chicken expanded briskly in the rest of Europe, and has resulted in a steady rise in agitation from European farmers against their American counterparts...

– Time Magazine, 11/30/1962 [12]

…the elated Secretary Litzenburg continued: “this major military operation has struck a serious blow to the supplies and morale of the Cuban communists”…

The New York Times, 12/13/1962

"We all lost family members in that war. My father, Alasdair Swanson, was shot down over Guaimaro on December 10, 1962, not long after the birth of my kid brother Andrew. I was three. My father died a hero taking fire to allow the rest of his formation to attack, leaving my mother, Carol Shepp Swanson, a widowed mother of two young boys. But through the help of family, friends, and the community, she survived and her children thrived. She worked hard every day so my brother and I would never starve. Hard work and heroism – these are the pillars of the Swanson family, and they are the cornerstones of a stronger and better America."

– US politician Doug Swanson (R-NV) at a Gold Star Families of America fundraiser in Mason City (IA), 11/16/2003

December 14, 1962

[location withheld], Cuba

Dear Mother,

Teaching Spanish to the translators instead of firing into the jungles is both a blessing and a curse. I seem safe from harm, and everyone here resents me for it. Their stares are almost as heavy as this island’s godforsaken weather. I try to participate in every way that I can, from transferring weapons across the base to inspections. It just makes me come off as a suck-up to the others. They want me to get out there and die or come back bloodied and writhing in pain like all those other men. I now responsible whenever a soldier returns injured or worse. I fear the unreal insanity of this island is beginning to unnerve and overwhelm me. They say this is glory, but to me it is an abyss, a struggle between the fears of death and social admonishment. I find no glory here.

The light at the end of the tunnel is the end of this conflict, which I hope will be soon – after all, that’s what everyone says about it – that it will all be over “soon”! “Soon” should get here faster.

Please write,


– letter from a military serviceperson to a family member, an example of many sent out during the Cuba War

December 19, 1962

Dear Mr. John Dewey Toole Jr. and Mrs. Thelma Ducoing Toole

On behalf of the Chief of Staff, United States Army, I regret to inform you of the untimely death of your son, sergeant John Kennedy Toole. He died on December 14, 1962, at camp in Guaimaro, as the result of injuries received while defending the base and personnel from aerial attack. His ultimate sacrifice will contribute to the success of this war. He gave his life for his country; take comfort in knowing your son died a hero. While further details are unavailable at this time, you will receive a letter from your son’s commanding officer with additional information… Once more, on behalf of the Chief of Staff, please accept the Army’s deepest condolences.


William Westmoreland, General, US Army

– letter to the next-of-kin of a KIA soldier, an example of many sent out during the Cuba War [13]

It was just after George had officially become Alabama’s Governor-elect. I felt unwell, but he was so busy meeting with NAACP leaders, I just went to the doctor without him. That’s how I found out that George had been keeping a cancer diagnosis a secret from me. I was so mad, I immediately went right down to his office, opened the door, picked up one of the chairs in front of his desk and threw it right at him. And it was a heavy chair, too, so I must have been on an anger-fueled adrenaline rush or something. George ducked so the chair hit the wall instead, but he got the message. I remember screaming, “how could you?!! I’ve had cancer for 18 months??! You bastard!!!” He said he was protecting me, but that’s not how I saw it. After all that I’d helped him with, convincing him to stay an integrationist after losing his bid for governor in 1958, campaigning alongside him in 1962, that’s how he repaid me? Well, let me say, you would not believe the amount of groveling for forgiveness I made him do after that.

…George was not by any means a perfect man, but, even still…I miss him…

– Lurleen Wallace (1926-1996), 1989 interview

Father spent Christmas ’62 at my house, where he spent what felt like hours making goofy faces to keep his great-grandson giggling and smiling. Harland the Fourth, or “Lando” was we would late nickname him, had just turned three. Playing with the growing number of little ones in the family was always a good distraction for him, a way to block out the infuriating unfolding events found in the newspaper’s political section, the TV’s political news, and the conservative radio channels. Father did not want to spend the holidays ranting about how much he disapproved of Johnson’s wasteful spending and suppression of free enterprise. He was doing enough of that on Senate campaign trails. At home, he wanted to focus on happier things, like his chicken and his family. With that in mind, he spent what time he could during the fall putting together an album of his favorite Christmas songs. A sort of mix tape, Father wanted to spread the feeling of holiday cheer after a long and trying year of 1962. We played the album several times during that yuletide get-together.

Little did we know that 1962 would pale in comparison to 1963.

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

[ youtube: watch?v=cGRoZ6nVcAA ]

This in my opinion was a mistake to make! I was disappointed by it He dosnt actually sing any of the songs in it! I feel cheated even tho I listened to it for free what a ripoff! 1 star!!!

–, 2013 post by [name withheld] in comments section for the 1962 “Christmas With Colonel Sanders” Album (average 5-out-of-5 stars)

The American instinct is to jump in with both feet and get an unpleasant job over and done with as soon as possible, but traditional Oriental patience makes them willing to carry on the struggle into generation after generation if necessary. We’re fighting a war over there with a commodity most precious to us and held in value far more cheaply by the enemy – the lives of men…We must fight the war with our strength, not theirs. With minimum cost to ourselves and maximum cost to the enemy…The only solution I see is to use our strength, our air and naval power in the most humane manner possible to destroy the North’s ability to wage war on the South… close their ability to get outside help. The power system that fuels every war – transportation, rails, bridges – eliminate! Every factory and industrial-military installation – gone! Don’t stop until there’s not a single pair of bricks stuck together! Irrigation systems if necessary. If the destruction of every creation of man in ’Nam is necessary to crush the scourge of communist aggression there, then so be it!”

– Curtis E. LeMay, 12/2/1962 interview [14]


[pic: ]

– Colonel Sanders offering a box of KFC in promotional photo, c. December 1962

[1] As in: pro-Camilo Cienfuegos Army Chief of Staff Sergio del Valle Jimenez (1927-2007); pro-Castro Ramon Barquin (1914-2008) military colonel; Celia Sánchez (b. 1930) research/archivist revolutionary and close friend of Fidel Castro; and Vilma Espin (1930) wife of Raul Castro.
[2] I’m actually uncertain of these two dates. Wikipedia states the primary and runoff were held on June 3 and June 24, respectively, while states they were both held in May of that year. Anyone know which source is the correct one? (If it’s ourcampaigns, then I’ll move this bit to the previous chapter)
[3] Overviewed here:
[4] Great idea to use his OTL tape recording habit here, @historybuff !
[5] Based on comments made here:
[6] OTL picture and OTL caption found on pinterest
[7] This person is from this unfortunate list:
[8] Happened due to Hill splitting the Democratic vote; Martin received 50.1%, Crommelin received 30.2%, and Hill received 19.7%
[9] McGovern lost by a razor-thin margin. McGovern received little support from the national Democratic party over his criticism of some of President Johnson’s policies, especially regarding foreign affairs, and for allegedly being “not liberal enough” for the national party and “too liberal” for representing all South Dakotans.
[10] Changes from OTL: Because of regional conservative backlash to the Civil Rights Act, the following Republicans won: John H. Rousselot and H. L. Richardson of California, John D. Fox of Missouri, Carrol M. Barringer of North Carolina, and J. Kenneth Robinson of Virginia. Walter Judd’s presence on the 1960 GOP ticket allows him to narrowly win re-election, albeit after a recount. Floyd Spence (R), backed by Strom Thurmond, narrowly wins in South Carolina. A similar rejection of the Democrats also occurs in Kentucky, where, thanks to the Colonel campaigning for them, C. Alex Parker Jr. (R) and Clyde Middleton (R) won their respective election bids. On the other side of the political aisle, the following Democrats (whom lost IOTL) here won, largely thanks to allying with Johnson’s domestic programs and/or supporting the war effort: Albert J. Tomsic of Colorado, Francis X. Lennon Jr. of Connecticut, John Pritchard of Indiana, Frank W. Less of Iowa, Harding C. Noblitt (DFL) of Minnesota, Paul R. Porreca of New Jersey, E. Dent Lackey of New York (over William E. Miller for being just a bit too conservative for his district), Robert E. Cook of Ohio, Peter J. Joyce of Pennsylvania, Wilkes Thrasher Jr. of Tennessee (over Bill Brock), and M. Blaine Peterson of Utah. Everyone mentioned in the November 1960 chapter who was not just mentioned won re-election as well.
[11] Hughes did not perform nearly as well as he did here in OTL because of the Cuban Missile Crisis; without an incident like that occurring to convince voters that the US's nuclear arsenal is warranted, his campaign/candidacy doesn't collapse before the election like it did IOTL, and thus he performs much better here!
[12] This entire entry taken from here:,9171,829587-1,00.html (link found on wiki article for the "Chicken Tax")
[13] Styling (and even entire sentences) of this letter is based on the one shown here:
[14] An OTL quote that he said in the documentary “In the Year of the Pig,” at roughly the 53:50 mark!
Post 8
Post 8: Chapter 16

Chapter 16: January 1963 – June 1963

“Famous men have the whole earth as their memorial.”

– Pericles, “Funeral Oration,” 430 BCE

…when asked by a reporter to specify, US Defense Secretary Homer Litzenburg announced that the Cuban War, quote, “is practically over, we have the Cuban Communists on the run,” unquote. Secretary Litzenburg then resumed discussing the development made in combating racial discrimination in the military…

– Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News, 1/3/1963 broadcast

Johnson privately complained to his aides that Litzenburg’s remark was “premature,” arguing that American forces needed to remain in Cuba until Cienfuegos and Guevara were defeated.

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Pursuit of Power, A. A. Knopf Inc. New York, 2012

…Marina’s uncle, Ilya Prusakov, was a colonel in the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs. It was through him that I made the needed connections. The past several months in the Russian Army had been enough. I was desperate for a change in scenery. Cuba’s heat would be a refreshing change far removed from the drab cold of Russia. And desperate to make my mark, to fight for the freedom of my Cuban comrades. I couldn’t go to Cuba directly, though. Too much attention. So through the connections I made in the Russian military personnel through Ilya, I made contact with a cargo ship bound for Trinidad. I left behind June, whom was almost a year old, and Marina, who as it turned out, I had just gotten pregnant with a second child, I son. From Trinidad, I ventured to Haiti. And from Port-au-Prince, I used what few rubles I had left to get smuggled to the frontlines, where I planned to personally turn the tide of the war. I knew I could do it, and soon I would work to prove my worth. Upon arriving in Cuba in January, though, I was almost killed several times by brethren suspicious that I was an American spy, something I grew quirky of. I even shouted by Russian to them how stupid they were for not recognizing my allegiance. I don’t think anyone had ever suffered such stereotyping. But it was to no avail – suspicion followed me everywhere – even to the camp of Che Guevara. When I arrived there, I feared that they were about to reject me on paranoid belief that I was an undercover provocateur [1]. There was this one soldier kept jotting everything down in this little book of theirs. It was distracting; I kept thinking that he was writing about me, writing where I was to be buried or something like that. That’s how bad the situation looked. So I had to plead with them. I touted my resume: a US marine sniper with experience with Cuba-like geography from my experience in the Philippines; my training as a radio technology expert, I promised I could help my Cuban comrades maintain communications between our soldiers across the divided island. It was humiliating, but Che gave me a chance. He brought me out to the edge of a field, and told me I had one chance, the next sixty seconds, to fire a branch off a tree on the opposite side of the field. If I failed, he’d execute me; if I didn’t fail, he welcome me to the ranks. He then handed me a sniper rifle and took a step back to glare at me. The rifle fell apart in my hands, an unspoken part of the test. As he began to countdown, I hurried to put the pieces together. My heart was palpitating like crazy despite my mental determination. At the ten-second mark, I readied for a shot. I aimed, I fired. The tree branch fell, but not completely off the tree, leaving it dangling of the side of the tree. I quickly looked at Che. After a moment of pause that felt like a lifetime of pause, he smirked, “eh, close enough, comrade!”

– Lee Harvey Oswald’s autobiography “Call Me By My Real Name: Confessions From a Fallen Hero,” published posthumously

We have a commitment to Cuban freedomyou can have more war and more appeasement, but we don’t want more of either. Our purpose is to train the Cuban Democratistas so they can defend their island without us someday, and our training’s going good.” [2]

– Lyndon Johnson, State of the Union address excerpt, 1/14/1963

On January 14, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson delivered his third state of the union address, where again he described the progress being made in Cuba and the space program, but also calling for better social security programs, and touting lower unemployment and poverty rates, while ignoring the slight rise in anti-Black and anti-immigrant activities in the US (particularly in the south in response to the Civil Rights Act and influx of Cuban refugees into Florida and other parts of the country). Johnson called for a bold plan for several social programs that effectively ushered in the start of the second phase of his Great Society social programs.

– Professor Margaret “Midge” Costanza, Rochester University, audio-taped lecture, 1985

Thurgood Marshall nominated for DC circuit judge.

…Marshall, an African-American, had been passed over for the Second Circuit District in 1962 over heated controversy over the Civil Rights Act. The conservative William H. Hastie, another African-American, was the preferred choice for conservative lobbyists, but was reportedly not in consideration for the position…

The Washington Post, 1/16/1963

US Citizen Approval of US Involvement in Cuba

Approve: 59%
Disapprove: 27%
Uncertain: 14%

– Gallop Poll, published 1/21/1963

Together with bandmember Bobby Taylor, Chong opened an L.A. “beatnik-friendly” nightclub in January 1963. They called it "The Blue Balls".



…Laotian General Nosavan Phoumi has the support of the White House, and US military advisors approve of his actions to combat the Pathet Lao, the Communist group plaguing much of the landlocked country of Laos…

– The New York Times, 1/22/1963

The situation in Laos was gaining attention in the Defense and State Departments due to an increase in the country’s internal hostilities. In late January, Johnson’s foreign policy officials sat around the cabinet room to discuss how to address it. On Inauguration Day 1961, Eisenhower had told Lyndon “If Laos falls, the US will have to write off the whole area.” Laos geographically was all that separated China from Thailand, Cambodia and Burma, and with Laos practically surrounding Vietnam. “It would be fatal,” he had warned, “for us to permit communists to insert themselves into the Laotian government [3].”

Emboldened by the seemingly done-for communist forces in Cuba, Lyndon disagreed with State Secretary Kennedy in having Laos remain a neutral “buffer” nation between China and a future Democratic Southeast Asia, finding the idea to be unnecessary. Johnson also rejected Kennedy’s notion of sending representatives to Geneva [4] to develop a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Laos, explaining “America has shown to the world time and again that we can take on anyone. I doubt some s#!twater hellhole of a country nobody’s ever heard of is going to give us that much trouble, Jack.”

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018

ARMY INCREASES AIRSTRIKES ON CUBA: Targeting “Clearly” Pro-Comm. Strongholds, Military Bases

…the increase comes one week after the Communists’ air forces carpet-bombed the city of Sancti Spiritus, a DRF stronghold where US-DRF soldiers were expanding into the neighboring city of Majagua…

– The Washington Post, 2/1/1963

Mr. Westmoreland:

I want a report on the most effective way to handle the situation involving Communist guerillas threatening American interests in Vietnam. We cannot afford the domino effect to even start.

Respond ASAP,
President Johnson

– Memo from Westmoreland to Johnson, 2/2/1963


– The Daily Mail, UK newspaper, 5 February 1963

Everybody on this island wants to kill us. We have no allies here.

I’ve stopped caring about what city or village we try to take over. They all start to look the same. A bunch of buildings and farmhouses, each containing at least one person firing a gun at us. Every day we live and serve and fight and sleep, all in constant fear that the next [Cuban] we see will pull out a weapon and go for us. Where is this rebellion against Camilo we are repeatedly told of? It is not here, not where we are. It is not here.

We were traveling south, a convoy of tanks and ammo trucks stuffed with men and guns. Just men and guns. Metal and lead. Loud firepower. A lonely outhouse stood on the edge of the road we travelled down, which cut through a large field of unkempt wheat. A shot fired out from the outhouse. Hit our C.O. right in the back. Never had a chance. We quickly fired back. No hesitation. No contemplation. We just fired right at the outhouse, all of us, ripping the wooden door, the frames, whoever the hell was inside, all of it, all to shreds.

We checked the rest of the area and kept ourselves ready in case this was an attack. We could have just kept going. But before we did, I went to see who or what had been breathing, existing, hiding in the outhouse. I opened what remained of the door. A little boy with a rifle fell out. No older than twelve. Blood on pale-white skin. Dark voids for eyes. Look of shock and despair. Hopeless. Pointless. Death.

The innocence of this land is dead. Murdered by the sickness of war. So long live the sickness, I guess. At least I think that is the order. My order. My duty.

– B. Thompson, US military officer, private journal entry, 2/6/1963

With Cuba in disarray, too many in the government did not believe Nikita would adequately respond to America flexing its military muscles in Laos. The ousters were [Supreme Soviet presidium chairman Leonid] Brezhnev and [First Deputy Premier Alexander] Shelepin, with [KGB Chairman Vladimir] Semichastny joining in on their conspiracy at the last minute, it seems. The trio took advantage of Nikita retreating to the Crimea to regain his health during the winter to agree to a peaceful ousting. When they cornered him upon his arrival at the airport to return to the capital, Semichastny was there; he told him “you are needed in Moscow no longer.”

When the dust had settled, Nikita was melancholic: “I only wished to see right by my country, but they made governing a chore and a burden, not a gift. I’m old and tired, but that just means I’m wiser than them. Let’s just see how well Shelepin does.”

Brezhnev had originally eyed the top spot, but when he suggested having Nikita arrested in Crimea, Shelepin objected and offered the peaceful transition of power should be attempted first. Shelepin’s plan working cast Brezhnev as a man of poor leadership, and the politburo quickly rallied around Shelepin. Semichastny was far too close to Nikita to be considered for the position.

Shelepin would immediately shift focus away from Cuba, and call instead for “the strengthening all comrades across the Eurasian supercontinent,” a commanding but vague statement. It was the vagueness, however, that seems to have unnerved American intelligence, causing the US’s Johnson administration to become more attentive to any left-wing movements in either continent.

– Anastas Mikoyan’s The Path of Struggle: The Memoirs of Anastas Mikoyan (English translation), Sphinx Press, 1988 (written in 1978)


( )
– Colonel Sanders congratulating the winner of the first-ever "Miss KFC" pageant (“entries must work at a KFC outlet in any capacity in order to qualify/participate”), 2/12/1963


– The New York Post, 2/21/1963

Kentucky OK’s Rights Bill; 1st in South.

…Kentucky yesterday became the first state south of the Mason-Dixon line to adopt [its own] civil rights measure. With only one dissenting vote, the state Senate approval [sic] a bill outlawing racial discrimination in public accommodations and employment that is stronger than the federal act of 196
[2]. It sailed thru [sic] the House 76 to 12 last week. A milder bill had failed to get out of committee in 196[1]…’” [5]

– The Chicago Tribune, 2/26/1963


– The Los Angeles Times, 2/27/1963

I think he’s one of the best snipers the US has ever seen. It’s almost frightening how good he is, the ferocity of his eyes when he locks onto a target. I tell you, Corporal Charles Whitman is a merciless patriot. You should see how he handles his weapons – it’s as if they become one with his body. He has such natural, or rather unnatural, instincts, his performance on the battlefield – his swiftness, his accuracy in his kills – is a sight to behold. Yesterday, he received a Purple Heart for single-handedly freeing another marine by lifting the remains of an exploded Jeep that was pinning the man down right out in the open. Whitman turns 22 in June; it’s early, but he’s already announced he wants more guns for the occasion! I suspect, however, that his field performance has much to do with his temper – he’s just angry all the time – complaining about regulations and moaning about his distance away from his wife and, on occasion, his mother, too. He’s only lucid right after a battle. It’s like some kind of release for him; I think it’s more than homesickness or hatred of the enemy. It’s as if he has his own demons inside him that he’s fighting against. It’s very peculiar.

– Excerpt from a letter from US Army private Daniel Ray Coats to a friend, dated 3/1/1963

“Good news, American pig. You have been selected to be among the first to try out our latest torture methods,” one of the men said bluntly one time. They had patched me up the best they could at their makeshift hospital only to break me as best they could. The pain I received in Cuba was so severe and so intense that no words can do it justice, but I will try my best.

Of course, I was not alone in the torment. There were at least thirty of us holed up in a temporary POW compound in the middle of some jungle. We were kept in a large room of small cages, often two or three of us in each cage, chained up like animals, and beaten mercilessly over and over like such. We weren’t even allowed to clean ourselves in any way. Fungi developed on the men too tired and beaten to even be aware of anything. Many died from starvation as they rarely tossed us scraps, and others died from blood loss or simply receiving one beating too many, or from being forced to go for days without sleep.

Before long, you were no more than a zombie, a ghost, a shadow of what you once were, either just barely clinging onto life or yearning for the sweet release of death. There was a man I shared a cell adjacent to, who never told me his name. He truly believed he was in fact dead and was suffering for eternity in Hell for his sins. His mind had snapped and I fully understood why.

Five men from the same small room as I – we never really knew how many men were at the compound, we just estimated by the screams – were ultimately sent to the “drawer cells.” Literal hellholes – deep holes dug into the earth – just barely big enough for a grown man to stand in. There the Cubans would leave them in complete darkness and sometimes throw buckets of urine, cockroaches and starving rats onto the men from a cover in the ceiling. Rarely would a man leave the drawer cells alive, and not left whole.

But still they could not break me. “John Smith. US Marines. Serial Number 654321.” That is all I ever told them, no matter what they did to me, and they did a lot to me.

A room separate from the cells was where they interrogated the POWs. There, every time after they returned me to consciousness following a series of heavy blows, a man speaking in broken English would bark at me, ordering me to tell him information. “Tell us what you know” was a common order for him to repeat like some evil mindless robot. In turn, each time I’d respond with “John Smith. US Marines. Serial Number 654321.” For my resilience his men would slash my back open with twisted-up electric cables. The whip stung and shot immense pain throughout my suffering body. “What do you know?!” he would bark, and I would repeat the same three “facts”: “John Smith. US Marines. Serial Number 654321.” They would whip me again, over and over, each time asking variations of the same question. A strong Cuban man, a former wrestler by the looks of his cauliflower ears, would sometimes use my chest as a punching bag at the same time. “What do you know?!” “John Smith. US Marines. Serial Number 654321.” I’d quickly try to catch as much of my breath as I could. “John Smith. US Marines. Serial Number 654321.” Inhale, exhale. “John Smith. US Marines. Serial Number 654321.” I never told them anything else.

One day, I have no idea which one – the days blurred into weeks and the weeks turned into months in that sweltering topical hell – a commanding Cuban officer approached me mid-torture. “So,” he began with a thick Cuban accent, “you are the son of an admiral in the American’s navy. Is this correct?”

My eyes widened.

“John Sidney McCain the third. Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy. Serial Number 624787. Born August 29, 1936.” He walked over to me to reveal the contents of his hands. “We found your dog tags in the wreckage of your plane, McCain. It appears you lied about your name, rank, number, even military branch. You’re quite the liar, Mr. McCain. I hate liars.” And yet another fist met my stomach. I would have spit at him but my throat was dry and hoarse.

The commanding officer shouted orders at the other men in the room. They released me from my bonds and I collapsed onto the floor. They picked me up by my arms, which hurt a great deal due to what they had done to them, dragged me out to a new and unfamiliar part of the complex, and propped up on a small metal chair in a barely-lit room similar to an office, sans furniture. A man kept his gloved hand firmly on my bleeding shoulder to keep me from falling off the chair, his finger digging into my skin the whole time, the man relishing in my pain. Another man splashed water into my face.

“So, you thought that if we though you were just another soldier we’d go easy on you, not execute you or use you as a bargaining chip? Hm. It’s rare to find such cleverness in an American.” The commanding officer then unfolded a wooden chair and sat in front of me “Well, now that we have made you comfortable we can begin our chat. For you see, Mr. McCain, we want to show the Americans that we are a sympathetic people who only want the best for everybody. And to prove this to your government, we are willing to …release you.”


“Yes. Releasing you back to father, back to your cozy capitalist home, will prove to the Americans and the world watching that the Communists are, well, the good guys, you might say.”

I was still panting and wheezing, and I managed to say, with the tiniest bit of sarcasm, “Oh, you’re really going to just let me go, huh?”

“Yes, you understand. Good. I thought you’d understand if I kept it simple for you.” The officer was sincere, I could tell.

I lapped up the water around my lips with my tongue and gulped to help my throat. “Only if the rest of the men are released too.” No matter the number of men held in that godforsaken place, large or small, I could not let them suffer while I went free. It was either all of us or none of us. “Release… an entire POW camp. That… will show ’em you’re decent.”

The man laughed “I see you are a joker, Mr. McCain.”

“Actually… I’m not. My answer is no.” I stared at him with all the seriousness the tired muscles on my face could render.

He stopped laughing and lowered his eyebrows, “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“Don’t know that word? No. Nada. No deal. No hay trato. No way… Jose.”

“Ah. I see.” He stood up, grabbed his chair and smashed it into my face in an explosion of searing agony. “You are not noble… You are a fool. Ah well, no matter, we’ll just go with the other option – sending you to the Isles of Pines.” The sadistic bastard ended with a fake smile: “Please enjoy your last few months staying here, and be sure to visit the gift shop on your way out!”

Again, my eyes widened, even there in the camp I knew the Isla de Pinos was a land of no return, an island stronghold of the Communists and the location of Cuba’s worst penitentiary.

When they brought me back to my cell, I knew the time had come to come up with a plan of escape.

After staring at my surrounding for weeks upon weeks I knew the layout of the building fairly well. I had been thinking of an escape plan but dared not try it until I knew awaited me outside. But when I was taken to that new room, they made one critical mistake – without something to cover my eyes, I had managed to take a peek through two small windows they dragged me past. It wasn’t much, but it was enough of a view for learning to grasp a much broader understanding of what I wanted to escape from exactly.

In Morse code and common hand gestures I managed to tell the other prisoners my idea. We needed all the help we could get if we all wanted to get out of there alive. It seemed like a suicide mission, but we decided to go with it anyway. Timing was everything, but time was on our side.

– From Admiral John McCain’s Boldly Into Hell: A Firsthand Account of America’s Wars in the 1960s and 1970s, Random House, 1987

…in a move deemed highly controversial in his home state, Alabama Governor George Wallace, has pardoned two of the Scottsboro Boys, a group of eight African-Americans accused and found guilty of rape in 1931 despite overwhelming evidence proving their innocence. Since then, some of the boys have either died or have been paroled. Governor Wallace announced pardons for two of them – Charlie Weems, whom was 19 at the time of the incident and has been out on parole since 1943; and Andrew Wright, also 19 at the time, who recently moved backed to Alabama after being paroled in 1950. The move is being considered an act of demonstrating the Governor’s calls for “equal fairness among all races,” and comes just days after passing a farmers’ assistance bill in the state legislature…

– Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News broadcast, 3/3/1963 broadcast

March 5, 1963: McDonald’s sells its one billionth hamburger


SNIPER CHARLES WHITMAN KILLED!: His Murderer, An Unknown Enemy Sniper, Cowardly Flees Scene!

– Star and Stripes, US military newspaper, 3/9/1963


…he is being rightfully called a hero back in the states… Whitman’s parents received a phone call from President Johnson expressing his sympathies…

– Star and Stripes, US military newspaper, 3/16/1963

Che said he was proud of me. I had seen my opportunity to finally win Che over, and I took it, and thanks to me that capitalist-loving menace, Chuck the Sniper, was finally a threat to us no longer. Che told me, “you know, when I first saw you, I thought you were an assassin or something. After all, I had just survived two attempts on my life on orders of LBJ, so I had to be careful. You understand.” I did.

– Lee Harvey Oswald’s autobiography “Call Me By My Real Name: Confessions From a Fallen Hero,” published posthumously

HOST: You two are really showing the divide in the interested public over whether or Oswald really did take out Whitman.

VETERAN 1: Well again, the US military recorded his shooting skills when he was in the marines, and he was lackluster, a very poor shot.

VETERAN 2: Even if those documents are true, even a broken clock is right twice a day, and given the circumstances it’s entirely possible for him to have done it. He clearly had a clean shot from the forest edge!

VETERAN 1: I so don’t think so. The truth –

VETERAN 2: Oh, denying the truth just leads to a variety of conspiracy theories, and they range from LBJ being involved somehow to the ghost of Fidel Castro possessing Oswald! None of them should be taken seriously!

HOST: Now that’s where I must disagree with you, bud. All possibilities exist until they absolutely don’t, and even then there’s still room for suspicion.

– Excerpt from in-studio between two Cuban War veterans and host Art Bell, Coast to Coast AM, 2020

I am certain that I will never forget the error I made on the Second of April, 1963. I ruined everything. Finally, I was feeling like I belonged there. I was accepted by my comrades at long last. I was relishing in my popularity over the past month, overlooking the view from the base of camp, enjoying the fair weather beside a large tree. My gun – the very same gun Che had handed to me all those weeks ago – was resting in my grasp. I remember it still smelled of rain. It had been such a nice day until then.

Che called me over. “Ándale!” he shouted. I’ll never know what he wanted.

I was happy and excited, and whatever was the matter seemed urgent, so I ran over.

But then – oh, that damn tree root! It was just stick out of the ground – my foot got caught on it, I tripped and I fell. The gun flew from my hand.

It went off – in my enjoying of the view, I hadn’t remembered to put the safety on.

I looked up quickly. Che said nothing. Che fell, blood seeping out of what was left of his face. I will never forget that horrible image. His face, it stilt haunts me. To this day, I will awake in a cold sweat, the guilt still permeating my slumber, my body, my soul.

I screamed in horror, and in that second, fear and panic fell over me. What would my comrades do? They’d kill me on the spot, that’s what! They had always been suspicious of me. They’d never believe it was an accident, never! I suddenly thought of Marina, and June and Junior – what would happen to them if I was gone, and wrongfully sentenced to being remembered as a traitor, a false label branded to me for the rest of time? (and I thought my mother back in the states, too, for some reason).

My preservation instincts kicked in.

I ran.

I ran for years.

– Lee Harvey Oswald’s autobiography “Call Me By My Real Name: Confessions From a Fallen Hero,” published posthumously

Cam is beside himself, as am I. Rumors have led to Cam offering a month’s worth of rations for anyone with information as to whom committed with atrocity. Julio [Casas Regueiro] is interrogating some alleged capitalist sympathizers over in the next valley, adamant it was a Cuban traitor. I myself believe it was that odd-looking American I spotted in his ranks when I visited his headquarters in January. He must have been a spy, but I do not know enough about him to know for sure. For all I know, maybe it was one of our own men!

Regardless of the guilty, Cam is genuine in his mourning. “I’m sad that he is gone,” he said to me last night, “I had such hope that we would reconcile.” But Cam will not dwell on this what-if forever. I know he knows that he has a revolution to lead…

– 3 April 1963 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996


US Army Intel can confirm that Communist leader Che Guevara has died, most likely killed by a member or members of the rival Cienfuegos-supported Communist faction on the island. After previously surviving a bombing raid on his location in January, Che’s death could have a massive effect on the military situation in Cuba…

The Washington Post, 4/7/1963


Ottawa, ON – Tories are celebrating across the dominion as Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s minority government survived tonight’s federal election. While the Liberals made several gains and won an even greater increase in the popular vote, Diefenbaker held on by just 5 seats in the House of Commons. Most pundits agree that the biggest factor in his victory was Canadian approval of Diefenbaker’s support of the American-Cuban War. The leader of the Liberals, Lester Pearson, has formally conceded the race, but did not say if he would stay on as leader of the party. However, as Pearson has now lost three federal elections in a row, it is likely that he will be, at the very least, challenged for the top spot. ...The election victory may neutralize pre-election concerns over Diefenbaker’s mercurial leadership style, which almost led to a leadership challenge last year. What is still to be determined is how Diefenbaker will continue to handle his own party’s split over American nuclear missiles bases on Canadian soil and continued military aid to the US’s war efforts in Cuba. Apart from Diefenbaker opposing the missiles, he has supported American President Lyndon Johnson’s “conventional” warfare methods in combating Communism in the Caribbean, and the production of the almost-cancelled Avro Arrow has boosted the economy, according to the Diefenbaker campaign. Lyndon Johnson himself visited Toronto last week to publicly thank “all Canadians for [our] support in the fight to secure peace in Cuba.” The visit may have contributed to Diefenbaker’s numbers as well...

– The Middletown Journal, Canadian newspaper, 8/April/1963

Canadian Federal Election, 4/8/1963:
[see: outgoing members]
265 seats in the House of Commons
133 seats needed for a majority
Turnout: 79.2% (0.2 pp)
Progressive Conservative (PC) leader: John Diefenbaker (of Prince Albert)
Liberal (L) leader: Lester Pearson (of Algoma East)
Social Credit (SC) leader: Robert N. Thompson (of Red Deer)
New Democratic (ND) leader: Tommy Douglas (of Burnaby-Coquitlam)
Seats won in the last election: 116 (PC), 99 (L), 30 (SC), 19 (ND)
Seats won in this election: 114 (PC), 109 (L), 24 (SC), 16 (ND)
Seat change: v 2 (PC), ^ 10 (L), v 6 (SC), v 3 (ND)


“We can report that a group of soldiers from a Communist organization located in North Vietnam, called the National Liberal Front, I’m told, have attacked American advisory troops in Laos near the Vietnam border. I’m told by authoritative sources on Capitol Hill that the President is meeting with his foreign policy advisors…”

– NBC, 4/9/1963 broadcast

Cam now has a new plan! He seeks to unify ex-Che supporters by temporarily discarding political ideology to instead focus on what he is calling “strategic sabotage” in the fight to liberation. So this is what the war has come to – measures that seem desperate and will possibly be very regrettable if they go awry, but measures that Cam – and I – believe are necessary.

– 12 April 1963 entry of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996

In 1963, France’s Charles de Gaulle was still trying to solve the Vietnam Dilemma on his own, leading to Jack visiting him in April of that year. De Gaulle was still trying to be “independent of America’s sway,” and while he supported American operations in Cuba, but strongly opposed Johnson’s actions on the Laos-Vietnam border. Unfortunately, the straining of relations between Charles and Lyndon only continued to worsen as the year progressed…

On April 15, the South Vietnamese Civil Guards made a surprise attack on the Viet Cong, thanks to US advisory troops sent to their area from Laos earlier by Lyndon Johnson under Jack’s advice, one of the very few times he actually seemed listen to him concerning Vietnam. To tell the truth (as that is the whole purpose of this book), Jack was repeatedly kept out of cabinet meetings despite his foreign accomplishment. For example, by March 1963, Jack had visited to troops in Cuba twice as many times as LBJ and three times as many times as [Defense Secretary] Litzenburg. Jack spent time looking over details and specifics concerning potential war zones – it was part of his job description. Jack generally knew more about the situation in Southeast Asia than Johnson, but due to the 1960 campaign tension still lingering, Johnson relied more on his own advisors than on Jack and his advisors. I believe it was around this time that Vietnam began to be an important issue to LBJ, albeit one that was still largely on the backburner of his foreign policy oven, to coin a phrase.

– Robert F. Kennedy’s The Definitive Decades, Tangent Writer’s House, 1999


– Star and Stripes, US military newspaper, 4/16/1963

June Koznick told us about his early days in the Air Force. He enlisted in Florida in 1961, at the age of 18, and was sent to work as a medical records technician. Soon he became a first sergeant on an aircraft carrier off the coast of Cuba. He was “the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work,” the mean ball-buster barking orders [6]. On April 16, he was walking up the main starboard stairs when the ship was struck by a Cuban military jet. “He was hit by some flames or something, like they just busted out of the wall in front of him, and he fell down the stairs,” Koznick explains. Despite the injury, he immediately got up and helped drag several injured men out of further harm’s way before receiving medical attention. He would later receive a Purple Heart for this.

– Kristin G. Congdon, Doug Blandy, and Danny Coeyman’s Happy Clouds, Happy Trees: The Bob Ross Phenomenon, University Press of Mississippi, 2014

…Let’s move on now to the strength of unions in this country. There is much debate right now over the notion that there a crisis of faith in the American labor union today…

– CBS roundtable discussion, 5/5/1963 broadcast

THE RISE OF THE BEATNIKS: Youth Activism And The Changing Music Scene

...New movements require new slang, with this one being no exception: “shoutniks” are beatniks that shout, “sitniks” are beatniks that engage in sit-ins… The culture is an alluring form of escapism from the pressures of social conformity. Allen Ginsberg is one of the more active beatniks. A poet by nature, he was inspired by the Civil rights Movement to openly criticize aspects of American society he describes as “imperialist and unhealthy” Their most recent major action was a peaceful sit-in outside Florida Governor C. Farris Byrant’s office... Ginsberg is determined. He tells me he has made contact with Saul Alinsky for pointers. “Nobody can emulate his organizing genius,” Ginsberg boasts, “but we are taking the steps we need to achieve our goals.”

– Hunter S. Thompson’s exposé article for Variety’s May 1963 issue


– Former Vice President Richard Nixon (R-CA) appears in a TV commercial for KFC, filmed like a film noir mystery, showing Nixon paranoid that someone ("if not everyone") is out to get his KFC dinner; first aired 5/3/1963

The latest reports from independent journalists in Havana report that under the leadership of Camilo Cienfuegos, Communist forces are gaining ground. The Communists’ new tactics, such as bombing areas deep in US-occupied territory, appears to be destabilizing American forces stationed in more inland regions. …High casualties are expected as these bombings continue, according to reliable sources…

– Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News, 5/15/1963 broadcast


Toronto, ON – After five contentious ballot, dark horse candidate Paul Hellyer has become the new leader of the Liberal Party. Hellyer, 39, and a member of Parliament for Trinity, started out as an underdog in the fight, with Dufferin “Duff” Roblin, Malcolm McCutcheon, and E. Davie Fulton being the early frontrunners. After Ellen Fairclough and Donald Fleming withdrew, they supported Hellyer, allegedly to spite Roblin, whom attacked them fiercely during the competition to win over delegates. Hellyer gathered momentum ahead of the second ballot. In light of Lester Pearson’s retirement after three consecutive losses, Hellyer called for a more centrist party platform to win over “the remaining” Diefenbaker backers. Hellyer’s youth arguably made him the most energetic candidate at the convention. After defeating Fulton on the third ballot and McCutcheon on the fourth, he faced Roblin on the fifth and final ballot. It seems, though, that Roblin’s harsh criticism of the earlier candidates caused him to lose support among their former delegates. However, after losing to Hellyer, Roblin proclaimed that Hellyer “simply won by default.”…

– The Calgary Sun, Canadian newspaper, 5/19/1963


Montreal – Prime Minister Diefenbaker, promising to “maintain peace and order across the provinces,” has initiated a police “crackdown” on the Front de liberation du Quebec, a Quebec-based political organization advocating Quebecois independence, after a week of city vandalism for which the group has claimed responsibility. …According to one inside source whom wishes to remain anonymous, Diefenbaker is emboldened by his election victory in April but also “paranoid of Communist spies in the more rebellious spots in Canada after talking on the phone to Lyndon Johnson about Byron De La Beckwith,” possibly in light of the still-ongoing trial of the alleged American traitor, which is covered in the story on Page 1B. While this claim has yet to be backed up by other sources, it is becoming very clear that Tory officials in both the party and the federal government have grown tired of working either for or with Dief. In the past month, seven aides have quit…

The Globe and Mail, 5/21/1963

“I don’t know Louie that well, but from what I’ve heard about the businessman, he sounds like the right man for the job!”

– Colonel Sanders, upon being asked by a journalist whom he backed in the upcoming Kentucky gubernatorial Republican primary, 5/23/1963

Kentucky State Party Gubernatorial Primaries, 5/28/1963:
For Governor:
Republican Primary Results (2.88% Total Population):
Louie B. Nunn – 77,455 (88.53%)
Jesse N. R. Cecil – 10,039 (11.47%)
Democratic Primary Results (19.52% Total Population):
Bert T. Combs – 402,665 (67.89%)
Happy Chandler – 165,893 (27.97%)
Mary Louie Foust – 19,869 (3.35%)
Wilton Benge Cupp – 4,685 (0.79%)
Total votes cast: 593,112


A new polling study on the approval of America’s intervention in Cuba by average Americans polled demonstrates a noticeable change in opinion:
The Question: “How is the War in Cuba progressing?”
Then: Conducted between March 23 and March 30:
Well: 55%
Poorly: 38%
Unsure: 7%
Now: Conducted between May 23 and May 30:
Well: 47%
Poorly: 42%
Unsure: 11%
The decrease in approval can be contributed to some variables. These include default Communist leader Camilo Cienfuegos remaining at-large despite the capture of Havana by US-DRF forces. Several people polled described anguish over the apparent lack of change in the war’s progress. “Camilo is still at large, and people are starting to wonder why nothing is being done about it,” stated one polled individual who wished to remain anonymous. Others seem to agree with the notion that the War in Cuba has “stagnated,” as US-DRF forces have gained little new ground in the past two months…

– In a newspaper article by George Gallup, Director of the American Institute of Public Opinion, 6/1/1963

From: General Bruce Palmer Jr.
To: President Lyndon Baines Johnson
Mr. President,
I am surprised by the public’s negative views of the war. We are doing our best to keep at bay an enemy only 90 miles way from our shores, as you of course know, but a considerably large portion of the United States seems to have a greater focus on the current casualties rather than the casualties America and its allies would receive if Communism was allowed to spread.
I am very much surprised by this. We are stopping the destruction of the free world right as it pounds at the front door. However, I am also surprised by the slow advancement and continuous resistance here in Cuba. Camilo’s supporters outnumber us in people, but not in weaponry. However, we are supposed to be “liberating” these people who wish to harm us, but no more than a quarter of the Cuban people oppose Camilo, according to our statisticians here. The persistence of these Communists is beginning to overwhelm the men, regardless of rank it seems.
It is because of the unexpectedly high intensity of the nation’s inhabitants that have been duped into following Communism, I again request the increase of weaponry and manpower. However, due to the negative press coverage of the military action down here, I also request a limitation of press access to certain bases and battlefields. I understand that this would infringe on their First Amendment rights. However, we would only be violating the freedom in the name of saving all freedoms of democracy in Cuba and the United States. Mr. President, I believe that sometimes one freedom must be restricted in order to ensure that not all of our freedoms perish in the victory of our enemies.
Please respond to my request at your own pace, but without conscious delay.
In dutiful service and allegiance,
General Palmer

– Then-classified communiqué from General Palmer to President Johnson, concerning the gradually rising disapproval of the War in Cuba, 6/4/1963

On June 6, Bob Ross was transferred to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Despite now needing to wear dark-lens glasses [to combat light sensitivity, as his eyes were damaged by the bright flames and explosions exposed to him during the aircraft carrier incident], he took up painting when it was offered at the base as a form of therapy. He immediately found it to be a cathartic experience, to create a beautiful image of anything the mind wanted out of just paints and a canvas. Still recuperating, he subsequently took art classes at the Anchorage USO club, but found them unhelpful because “They’d tell you what makes a tree, but they wouldn’t tell you how to paint a tree,” [6] as he would later recall.

– Kristin G. Congdon, Doug Blandy, and Danny Coeyman’s Happy Clouds, Happy Trees: The Bob Ross Phenomenon, University Press of Mississippi, 2014


...Thanks to liberal pickups in last year’s midterm elections, Republicans and northern Democrats in the Senate passed President Johnson’s Voting Rights Bill earlier today. The bill, set to be signed into law by Johnson “very soon,” according to an authoritative source on the Hill, will outlaw poll taxes and poll literacy tests – often used to prevent Negroes from voting – in federal, statewide, and even local elections.

– Knoxville News Sentinel, Tennessee newspaper, 6/8/1963


…the founder of the nationwide fast-food chain has graciously donated materials to five of the Buckeye State's medical schools…

– The Columbus Dispatch, 6/9/1963

On June 10, 1963, the Equal Pay Act was finally signed into law, as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

– Sylvia Ellis’ Freedom’s Pragmatist: Lyndon Johnson and Civil Rights, University Press of Florida, 2013

…In the past month, we have been gaining significant ground, thanks to new members. Many former Che backers are slowly rejoining our faction – the last faction left standing, so I guess it is no longer a faction – but some continue to fight on in opposition to Cam. Several tiny pockets of soldiers – no more than a single village worth of men and women – each claim to be the true successor to Che’s faction, but because of their small sizes they will surely dissolve so long as we ignore then and focus on the Grave Enemy. “Let the stragglers fall into a leaderless void of warfare. Let them cancel each other out,” Cam says. He believes that centralization, consolidating gathering around him will make us strong in the face of the US’s superior firepower…

...I am conflicted because I am happy that we could end the war soon and make Che’s followers join us in that effort, but I am sad because of the destruction that has befallen the land. And because of the many deaths of women and children. Sometimes the smell of the burning corpses makes me retch. An older soldier mocked me for it yesterday, saying I should be used to it by now. Maybe I’m not because, while war is necessary, a part of me thinks it should never reach this level of severity. I pray for the men and women lost, and I pray for my and Cam’s souls as well...

…With Khrushchev gone, the Soviets have resumed clandestine support for us, but Cam still does not trust them. He told me earlier tonight that he would reach out to the Chinese “if the Russians wouldn’t find out. But they would. A sneaky pack of wolves, they are.” Cam is so smart; surely now the tide of this war will turn! I can feel it!

– Excerpts from the 12, 13, and 14 June 1962 entries of The Diary of the Unknown Fighter, published 1996

Marietta > Where To Go > The Big Chicken



[pic: ]

The Big Chicken was built in 1961 [7] for a restaurant that opened in 1956 and was originally called Johnny Reb’s Chick-Chuck-‘N’-Shake. Inspired by the success of KFC, the restaurant’s owner, Stanley R. “Tubby” Davis, created the seven-story tall structure as a way to advertise his restaurant. Almost immediately, the towering landmark, standing tall at an impressive 56 feet, and looking like a stylized red chicken with moving eyes and beaks, became a common reference point for locals, with phrases like “turn left at the big chicken” or “just one mile south of the big chicken” often being used by folks in and around Marietta giving out-of-towners directions. In early 1963, just a few years after construction of the big chicken, Davis retired, and sold the profitable restaurant to his brother. His brother, in turn, converted the restaurant it into a franchise of Kentucky Fried Chicken. In June of that year, Colonel Harland Sanders himself visited the restaurant and heartily approved of the avian apparatus atop the building.

In 1993, after years of deterioration and recent storm damage, the famous landmark was in danger of being torn down. When news of this plan reached the public, the outcry was so great that KFC agreed to rebuild the entire structure and restore it to its former glory. The Big Chicken received an expensive do-over, complete with a new paintjob of stronger, longer-lasting, vibrant red paint, essentially returning it to its former glory by the start of 1994.

The Big Chicken is located at the intersection of Cobb Parkway (U.S. Highway Route 41) and Roswell Road (Georgia State Route 120 Loop). There is a small gift shop inside for visitors and customers who would like to purchase souvenirs, or stop by the Marietta Museum of History for some Big Chicken merchandise.

– [8]

[vid: youtube /watch?v=sYyxX0s-yRU ]

– footage of the iconic Big Chicken in Marietta, Georgia

“In other news, the people of Buenos Aires, Argentina welcomed Colonel Harland Sanders to the city tonight for the grand opening of that nation’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant outlet.”

– NBC, 6/20/1963 broadcast

“IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT IT”: Republican Leaders Weighing 1964 Odds, Speculated Candidates

…Early speculation on how the 1964 primary contests and national convention will unfold for the Republicans has seen much discussion on several notable politicians. According to most internal polls taken by the RNC, Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York and US Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona are the most likely Republican politicians to win the GOP nomination for President next year. However, some Republican leaders and donors are hoping that the newly sworn-in Governor of Michigan, George W. Romney, will run for the job. Others support former Vice President Nixon, who lost a very narrow race in 1960 and could run on the theme of “buyer’s remorse” by highlighting Johnson’s “failures” as President. …There is concern that the GOP’s nominee will require military experience. Nixon’s running mate in 1960, US Congressman Walter Judd, or possibly the diplomat and former US Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., could possibly placate those concerns, as both have extensive foreign policy experience…

The Washington Times, 6/24/1963


…the death has occurred just days after President Johnson sent more American forces to the Vietnam/Laos border. …Already, some pundits on the Hill believe that US Army General William Westmoreland, whom presided primarily over the early aspects of the War in Cuba, could be Litzenburg’s replacement…

– The Washington Post, 6/27/1963

“CAMILO BOMB” KILLS 2 IN FLORIDA: State Residents “Scared,” Others “Uneasy”

…A bomb detonated at the shopping mall… two Americans, a security officer and a janitor, were killed. Their names have not yet been disclosed… A Latino man was arrested fleeing from the scene. Upon being cornered several blocks away from the mall, the man proclaimed himself to be a “co-liberator of Cuba” before shouting “Long Live Camilo” and fatally shooting himself in the head, according to Police Chief… Cuban War veterans are labeling it a "Camino" bomb, meaning a bomb detonated on orders of Communist leader Camilo Cienfuegos, whom began a bombing campaign of DRF/US-held areas in Cuba earlier this year...

– Miami Herald, 6/28/1963

JOHNSON: ...These are not going to be a problem, right?


JOHNSON: Good, good, because I and the American voter will not tolerate bombs going off in their shopping mall or wherever.


JOHNSON: Just get together with Brown and the others down there and get a handle on that island!

WESTMORELAND: Don’t worry, Mr. President, we’ll establish order here by Christmas!

– President Johnson, in a telephone conversation between him and General William Westmoreland, concerning the possibility of further “Camilo Bombs” detonating in American cities in the future, 6/29/1963

Every seven days, the men who came to torture me for the second time that day did so at noon, the same time as the changing of the guard on that day; for some reason that evades me even today, there was a 37-second-delay, a window of opportunity, between the old guard leaving and the new guard arriving. Very unprofessional, but more than helpful for us. After weeks of planning, the time finally came.

When the two bastards came to begin another torture session, I lied close to the edge of my cell, feigning unconsciousness. When they entered my cell, Rogers and Hopkins, the men in my adjacent cell, grabbed ahold of the guard’s guns. I was tired, but I managed to trip them as they stepped away from their own guns. They hit their heads against the stone wall.

20 seconds left

I quickly scurried to get their keys. I took off my shackles. Yes!

14 seconds left

I unlocked my cell door and freed the two next door, then the three in the cell across from me

7 seconds left

I passed the keys to Valladares, who rushed to open the door of the cell with the largest number of inmates, seven angry men in a tiny smelly hovel.

No seconds. The man was coming around the corner.

“John!” Hopkins tossed me one of the guns. I caught it, swung around and shot the guard in the face at point blank range.

I poked my head around the corner. In no more than 30 seconds the rest of the men would be responding to that shot. Executions normally took place tomorrow. They would be barging down on us and we’d be facing certain doom if we didn’t get out of there ASAP.

Most of the remaining cells were yet to be opened, but we couldn’t stay. Valladares tossed the keys into one of the remaining cells and I lead us down the side hallway.

“There!” I pointed to a white door. “When we get out, run into the forest.”

We all bolted. I fired as accurately as I could at the door handle, finally breaking the lock and bolt just as I reached the knob.

To the Cuban guards outside it must have been mayhem, seeing a band of prisoners bursting out of the side entrance like that. They opened fire on us. Rogers fired back but only took out one of them before being shot in the head. Hopkins picked the gun up and continued to shoot from behind one of their own jeeps parked near the door.

I stood at the edge of the forest to ensure the others slipped into the cluster of plants and humidity. They wheezed and huffed through their broken ribs, and limped and even hopped on their broken legs, all with all their might to escape, but only about half of us made it. As Hopkins and I made it into the cover of Cuba’s geography, the commies continued to fire at us, even after losing visual. They just kept on firing into the forest, until finally realizing they were just wasting ammo.

After running for as much as I could I stopped to turn around and check on Hopkins. One of the last bullets fired before they had stopped had hit him. He was leaning against a tree, holding his side, blood spilling out over his fingers. He fainted, and I rushed back over to him. He died before either of us could say anything.

We never regrouped. Once we were out of there, it was every man for himself. And it would be decades until I came across any of them ever again.

It took me two more weeks to return to land under US-DRF control. Two weeks of rebuilding my strength and surviving in the unwelcoming forests and jungles of Cuba. Thankfully, not only had I been taken to one of the few temporary POW camps located on the mainland that had still not been moved to the Isle of Pines, but most of the land I travelled ended up being farmland, though towards the end, most of the land was burned and useless. For two weeks I avoided capture in enemy land, and when I finally reached a safe zone, I remember, I collapsed from exhaustion into the arms of American soldiers, the greatest and noblest fighting forces on Earth.

I was still in Cuba, but at least now I was home.

– From Admiral John McCain’s Boldly Into Hell: A Firsthand Account of America’s Wars in the 1960s and 1970s, Random House, 1987 (July)


…In the wake of increased violence allegedly stemming from Quebec separatists, Diefenbaker is increasing crackdowns on provincial organizations on the grounds of disturbing public peace and safety… This week, Quebecois opposing the crackdowns took to the streets across the province, holding makeshift banners and signs, singing pro-independence songs, and waving Quebec flags…

– The Telegram (Canadian magazine), 6/29/1963

Over the past eight months I have traveled all across the US-DRF zone to understand the situation here in Cuba from every possible angle. What I found was a large variety of perspectives on the War in Cuba. The opinions of soldiers and civilians from all walks of life concerning the progress of the “pending conclusion” war range from idealistically optimistic to hopelessly dismal. Often these conflicting reports depend on region. For instance, the closer one travels to the frontlines, the more foreboding the aura of the situation becomes. One opinion that many there believe is that this war is far from over. The idea comes from simple indisputable facts. One such fact is that Camilo Cienfuegos is still at large, organizing his forces in the deepest parts of the island’s mountains, areas “still to be liberated from his clutches,” as one DRF officer described it...

– From a report by Tad Szulc, The New York Times, 6/30/1963

ANCHOR: In other news, as hundreds of people continue to show disdain for the continuation of strict security measures at international airports nationwide, over 400 Americans organized a protest rally outside the main entrance of O’Hare International Airport today. For more, Hugh Downs reports.

[Footage is aired showing the large group of protesters, long lines, cargo inspections, and pat-downs].

DOWNS (Voice-over): At the doors of the Windy City’s biggest airport, a large clamoring crowd of American citizens from all walks of life are getting their voices heard. At this busy and very public setting, they are chanting, holding signs, and marching in front of the news cameras, both local and nationwide. They are ordering the FAA to loosen or even drop altogether their security measures. I talked to several of them, and many voiced their concerns and frustrations over what is going on at America’s airports.

[cut to two protestors, both male]

MALE PROTESTOR 1: This just ridiculous. They can’t treat people like this, like we’re cattle.

MALE PROTESTOR 2: Yeah, some of us of have important places to get to. We got businesses to run, families to see. This whole mess is making everyone lose so much of their time.

[cut to adolescent protestor]

ADOLESCENT PROTESTOR: There is no threat. The review-thingy came out months ago. Instead of focusing on how to fix that accident that caused that crash two years ago they’re spending their time on wasting our time!

[cut to female protestor]

FEMALE PROTESTOR: It is a complete invasion of privacy. When you travel now, they make you actually open up your luggage, and then they paw their mitts all over your belongings. Just what exactly do they think they’ll find in my, pardon me, my undergarments?! This whole thing is ludicrous!

[cut to footage of travelling into the airport, long lines, tired faces, man sleeping on floor]

DOWNS (Voice-over): But some people seem to be more tolerant of the situation. I asked around inside the airport to get some opinions.

[cut to man]

MAN: I mean, it’s really inconvenient, but I guess the government knows best, I mean, if they know what they’re doing than I guess it is alright.

[cut to another man]

MAN 2: Sir, I had to go through much worse conditions during the War. Those youngsters and some of them oldsters, they don’t know what inconvenience really is. Not at all.

[cut to young woman]

WOMAN: I just really don’t care. I just want to get to where I want to go.

[cut back to protestors chanting]…

– Part of the transcript of NBC News TODAY’s 6/31/1963 television broadcast

[1] Like what happened to him at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico did do IOTL: ...
[2] OTL quote, except with “Cuba” and other non-italicized parts replacing “Vietnam” in the text.
[3] Both Ike quotes are OTL:
[4] Like what Kennedy did IOTL:
[5] Italic bits are taken from Wiki (I believe Kentucky’s history page?), Footnote 154.
[6] OTL, from that book which really is OTL, but is much different in content ITTL.
[7] Roughly two years earlier than in OTL:
[8] The italicized parts in of these last two paragraphs were pulled from here:
Post 9
Post 9: Chapter 17

Chapter 17: June 1963 – December 1963

“[The President’s] emotional state is a matter of continual public commentary, as is the manner in which his personal and official families conduct themselves. The media bring across the President not as some neutral administrator or corporate executive to be assessed by his production, but as a special being with mysterious dimensions.”

– James David Barber, The Presidential Character, 1972 (OTL)

He came out of the fog with his coat flapping in the wind, like an overweight bat out of hell, an accurate description for a con artist in Bayonne, New Jersey.

“Welcome, inspectors,” the pudgy wholesaler and commodities trader in his late 40s said to the men whom had just outside.

The Amek representatives were given a tour of the facilities – a collection of massive warehouses in the most industrialized part of the city. With steam and summertime humidity swirling around the men traversed the interior to inspect the first of several hundred tanks, each one “filled to the brim with salad oil and soybean oil,” the man promised.

The lead inspector approached the first tank and peered in. “Yep, that’s salad oil. Okay, this tank checks out...”

The man’s deception was as simple as that.

Because of a rookie mistake, the inspectors left the warehouse facilities with a document of approval. They had failed miserably to notice that the oil in the tank only went an inch deep – all the liquid below that layer was saltwater hauled in from the Atlantic next door. The inspectors had also failed to even notice the interconnecting tubes to the back of each tank, allowing the man and his knowing and unknowing employees to transfer the oil-seawater mix from already-checked tanks to tanks yet to be checked.

When the inspection was over, Tino De Angelis returned to his office to continue the Scam of the Century.

– Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Norman C. Miller’s, “The Great Salad Oil Swindle,” Coward McCann Books, 1965 (Second Edition, 1979)


[pic: ]
– Tino De Angelis outside his warehouse complex, circa June 1963



– Gallup poll, 6/29/1963


[pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders cameos in “Fun in Acapulco,” an Elvis vehicle filmed in January and released on 6/30/1963 (originally scheduled for a November release but moved up after studio execs realized people were less willing to watch a “summer” film in the late fall); the Colonel agreed to the brief spot after learning that Elvis (who served in the US Army from 1958 to 1960) proudly supported the US military

“The President is increasing the number of troops set to be deployed to the Laos-Vietnam border by 500... The search for the late Secretary Litzenberg’s replacement is still underway, though there are several candidates under consideration...”

– White House Press Secretary George Reedy, press briefing, 7/1/1963


After a recent visit to the U.S., West Germany’s Minister Without Portfolio Heinrich Krone returned to Bonn with a telling assessment of official Washington’s mood. Said Krone: “Everyone is preoccupied with Cuba, Berlin, Laos-and chickens.” Konrad Adenauer confided not long ago that he and President Johnson have had voluminous correspondence during the past two years, “and I guess about half of it has been about chickens.” Last week the cause of all this chicken talk – tariffs – took an unexpected turn. Into effect throughout the Common Market went a raised tariff on imports of U.S. chickens – just when the U.S. thought that [1] tensions were de-escalating around Europe’s farmers opposing U.S. chicken farmers lowering chicken prices across the continent during the past 15 years…

– Time Magazine, 7/2/1963

The National Restaurant Association voted in 1963 to hold its annual convention at its headquarters in the national’s capitol. The Colonel had been to Washington D.C. before, but only to sell his chicken (an endeavor that was not successful until 1953). Joining the Colonel at the “ritzy shin-dig” was Beverly Osborne, a man, only a few years younger than the Colonel, [2] who in 1936 had (with his wife Rubye) founded “Chicken in the Rough,” the fried chicken chain that was KFC’s primary competition in earlier years, with the two franchises eclipsing in the late 1950s. In recent years, however, Chicken in the Rough sales were in a state of continuous decline. At the July 1963 NRA Convention, the Colonel learned that the Osbornes had decided to sell the company.

“But Bev,” the Colonel confronted Osborne, “if you pack up, I’ll miss competing with ya!”

Beverly replied, “I know when I’m beat, Colonel. I’m cutting my losses and retiring.”

The Colonel exclaimed, “Never retire! A man’ll rust out quicker than he’ll wear out! [3] Besides, who’s going to fill your shoes? I can’t be the only chicken salesman in town – I can’t stand monopolies!”

“You’ll be fine, Colonel, there will be plenty of growing chicken franchises willing to take you on,” Osborne assured his friendly rival, “And besides, what about Kroc?”

“If Kroc tried to sell chicken, he’d fail worse than a heifer trying to fly! You’re not like that snake oil seller, you’re decent.”

“Well I’m not throwing in the towel entirely, Colonel. I’m still holding onto my pancake house in O.K. City and a few other assets.”

“Oh,” the Colonel calmed down a bit, “that’s good. Maybe you can expand that into a larger business!”

“Maybe,” Osborne answered unenthusiastically.

The exchange left the Colonel in a bitter mood for much of that evening, according to his wife Claudia. He was already frustrated with the rising tensions between American and European chicken farms that year inhibiting expansion into Western Germany despite his longtime pledge to purchase “local chickens for local outlets,” and the retirement of the Osbornes left him both crestfallen and furious. “He huffed that he would never, ever retire,” she later explained in a TNB Interview, “KFC was his ‘fourth child,’ you could say. Hearing that Beverly was just going to hand over his own child to the highest bidder was shocking to Harland. He told me, ‘Honey, if I get so old and loopy that I try something like that, please slap me upside the head with my own pressure fryer to set me straight.’”

Feeling guilty at “runnin’ Chicken-Rough to ruins,”[sic] the Colonel donated an undisclosed amount of money to the International Franchise Association [4], an organization founded by Dunkin’ Donuts founder William Rosenberg to financially support upstart and growing franchise companies.

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

INTERVIEWER: Over the years you’ve done several collaborations with Frank Zappa. How did that start?

CHONG: Oh, I got to play with Frankie Z for the first time during this Fourth of July concert we both got booked for in 1963. We met backstage right after our parts and we hung out, you know? Smoked some African ganji, got with some groupies, broke into the local zoo, you know, regular stuff. Oh, man! I remember, those koalas were so lazy, we just sat there in the tree with one of them, and one of my bandmates was blowing smoke into its face and it still kept on snoring. I didn’t know koalas could snore but I swear this one was, at least…. Um… where was I? Oh yeah! Frankie was still solo at this point, but he had some really sick tunes. Very groovy. He was inspirational to me, man, and he really helped me hone in on my potential. I learned how to be more instinctive and spontaneous with my music, and it became more natural, more passionate, you know? There’s just something really beautiful about not needing anything. It’s simple when it’s just you and your instrument, the tool of your trade, and that’s all you need to learn who you are and when you discover that, man, you enjoy whatever comes your way. So right after that concert was when my band and I recorded “Please Pass Me By,” and that was our first real hit...

–, 2014


– The Orlando Sentinel, 7/11/1963


Samuel Moore “Sam” Walton, 45, and his younger brother James Lawrence “Bud” Walton, 41, died in a plane accident on Thursday the 11th morning. Both men were businessmen and were licensed pilots whom would often use Sam’s personal small airplane to scout out potential store locations from above [5], a friend of the family explained. According to witnesses on the ground and a statement from Key West International, both men were unaware of a passenger airliner, being rerouted from Key West impromptu, entering their airspace; Sam, the brother at the controls, successfully maneuvered their vessel out of the larger plane’s way, avoiding a mid-air collision, but was unable to stabilize the aircraft, resulting in the vessel plummeting to earth. Neither of the two occupants onboard survived the crash. An investigation is currently underway to determine the exact specifics of the crash.

Sam and Bud worked numerous odd jobs during the Great Depression. Sam served in the Army and Bud in the Navy during WWII. Both men owned and operated a small retail store in Rogers, Arkansas called Wal-Mart Discount City. It is currently unknown what will happen to the store.

Sam is survived by his wife Helen and their children Samuel, John, James, and Alice. Bud is survived by his wife Audrey and their daughters Ann and Nancy.

– The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, obituary article, 7/14/1963

As we looked out the windows of the plane, I felt trepidation despite Margaret’s ebullience. “Juan has done a phenomenal job so far in my opinion,” almost giggled in excitement. Dad was finally meeting the man with whom she’d been corresponding for months. I once joked that she saw him as a hot Latin Einstein; Maggie didn’t deny the sentiment. “He’s promoting labor rights and unions – within reason, of course – rights for women, for children, and for farmers and the homeless” thanks to a new constitution he promulgated in April.

“I’m sure I’ll like the fella – just as long as you’re sure he likes my chicken!” Dad half-seriously replied.

Even with the War still raging on in Cuba, the business world continued on, and Margaret was determined to bring Kentucky Fried Chicken to the Dominican Republic. “ ‘The establishment of corporate relations with the economic fixture of the Dominican Republic will help its good people move on past it dictatorship past,’ ” Dad read his speech aloud, “How’s that?” We voiced our approval as the plane finally landed.

We soon sat down to discuss the specifics of the deal with President Bosch and several business and economics advisors.

“The introduction of KFC to an area has always lead to local growth and development, as you can see on this chart,” I mentioned.

“I just hope I’m still in office at the start of the next fiscal year,” Bosch half-jokingly lamented, “I’ve only been in office for five months, and already they want me gone.”

Margaret explained to us that Bosch’s Presidency was already being threatened by upper-class landowners, industrialists, and the Church for being “too Communist,” as they claimed.

“Just because I care about the people who have less does not mean I am a communist,” Bosch spoke bluntly, “it means I am a humanitarian.”

Dad thought for a moment and they said, “Juan, let me give you some advice. Don’t let the military kick you around.”

Maggie interjected, “But Pops, he could face serious trouble from them.”

“Be a hand that feeds and doesn’t hit, and the dogs won’t bite,” Dad explained.

Bosch answered in Spanish, which Margaret later revealed meant “As you are a Colonel and so have military experience yourself, I will consider this feed-don’t-hit policy.”

Two weeks later, Bosch met with the US’s acting Secretary of Defense. According to his secretary, the first thing he asked was “Why does the US military never overthrow its government?” Bosch took whatever he learned from that meeting back to the Dominican Republic. “Clearing out corruption and political ties is necessary to have complacency,” he later wrote to my sister. Soon after, Bosch promoted Francisco Caamano to lead the military, and met with the leaders of the island nation’s Catholic Church to assure them that he was not a Communist. Of course, that wasn’t the end of things there, but I like to think that somehow, through just the introduction of Dad’s chicken to the island or maybe even more than just that, we helped smoothen that nation’s long transition from a dictatorship to a direct democracy.

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000

The increasingly noticeable atrocities of the Cuban War, and with them rise of the Shoutnik Movement, brought an end to the idealism of 1950s Cold War America. The picturesque innocence of the nuclear family was torn down, images of teens innocently hanging out at malt shops replaced by the images of young men dying in remote jungles merely 90 miles off of sunny Florida’s coast that might as well have been a world away like the jungles along the Laos-Vietnam border. Throughout the Cuban War, fear of Russian retaliation every time the US army advanced replacing one fear with another. Basically, the American people are scared – by 1963, they had worsened into being either numb to the fear or at each other’s throats over it, contributing to the social unrest. Paranoia stoked the fires of discontent and President Lyndon B. Johnson appeared too overwhelmed with the complexities of the office to respond.

– Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012


The chicken war – that silly but symbolic dispute between the U.S. and the Common Market – seemed to have finally ended last week with each side holding a leg. After a dispute that, due to the distraction of Cuba’s issues, dragged on for 13 months, a panel of neutral experts decided that the recent tariff hike on chickens had cost the U.S. $26 million in exports. Though the estimate of losses was only about half as high as the U.S. had argued, both sides could claim victory – the Common Market because the loss figure was much nearer to its estimates, the U.S. because the ruling implied that the Market’s tariffs were discriminatory. [6] Despite that ruling, President Johnson has officially ordered a 25% tariff on potato starch, brandy, destrin, and light trucks [7] from Europe. After months of international tensions over French and West German tariffs placed on US chicken imports to those nations, which were allegedly harming local chicken farmers, Johnson appears to be having the final say in the matter. The U.S. Secretary of Commerce explained that the President’s move is “meant to make up for profits lost during the ‘war,’” and that European trucks are part of the tariffs, instead of some other imports, in order to “give American domestic automakers an advantage over foreign competitors.” Additionally, he explained that with Johnson’s proclamation, executed via executive order, the U.S. had invoked its right under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), “whereby an offended nation may increase tariffs by an equal amount of losses from discriminating tariffs.”

– Time Magazine, 7/28/1963 [8]

Commerce Secretary: European Trucks Tariffs Will Promote Domestic Production And Purchases

Engineering News-Record, 7/29/1963

I think these tariffs are going to hurt America’s car and chicken industries. The tax will cripple these industries by insulating them from any real competition. It’s a competitive market that promotes improving a product. Now I mean no disrespect to President Johnson, but what he’s done is dangerous, reckless, and irresponsible to our economy and to our God-given right to choose who we do business with!

– Colonel Sanders, multiple sources, 7/29/1963


…our correspondent in Saigon, tells us the attack is a possible form of retaliation against US activities along the North Vietnam-South Vietnam border with Laos

– The New York Times, 7/30/1963

…While Lyndon agreed that outright military intervention should be kept on the table “just in case,” Jack disagreed, arguing that it’d be irresponsible to agitate two spots on the map at once. My co-worker, Under Secretary of Defense George W. Ball, believed that “thousands, if not hundreds of thousands” of troops could end up KIA or MIA in Southeast Asia if the situation was severely mishandled. At the time, Jack truly believed that the situation never could rise to those sort of numbers, [9] but he was still cautious of Johnson’s preference to more direct intervention nevertheless. Jack was not alone in mulling over and calling for moderation in the meddling macabre machinations of military maneuvers. Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky suggested Johnson initiate peaceful negotiations with the Laos and North Vietnam governments to keep Communism from tearing apart the precipitous nation of Laos “like it has the island of Cuba.” Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, concurred to the notion of diplomacy over military intervention but disagreed on talks with the North Vietnamese…

– Robert F. Kennedy’s On the Precipice of Change, 1999

What puzzled authorities about the quality of Amex’s Field Warehousing operation was that since De Angelis was theoretically buying so much, they essentially authenticated the existence of much more salad oil than was actually accounted for in the entire U.S., according to an August reports from the Department of Agriculture. [10] Amex, however, was lenient with De Angelis, as he was one of their biggest customers. With Amex’s seal of approval and De Angelis’ talent for offering great deals attracted mainstream companies, such as Bunge Limited, Staley, and Procter and Gamble. The Bank of America also provided loans...

– Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Norman C. Miller’s, “The Great Salad Oil Swindle,” Coward McCann Books, 1965 (Second Edition, 1979)


– The Washington Post, 8/2/1963

CAM BOMB KILLS FIVE U.S. TROOPS, 21 OTHERS: Santa Cruz Del Sur, Cuba “Under Siege” By Resistant Communists!

– The Los Angeles Times, 8/3/1963

Mississippi State Democratic Party Gubernatorial Primary Election Results, 8/6/1963:

Lt. Gov. Paul B. Johnson Jr. – 173,873 (36.65%)
Former Gov. James P. Coleman – 163,577 (34.48%)
Charles L. Sullivan – 133,548 (28.15%)
Robert F. Mason – 3,416 (0.72%)
Total Votes Cast: 474,414
Turnout: 21.78% Total Population



Last month, a draft card burning ceremony in Springfield, Illinois, reached an attendance record of 250. That is the largest assembly for such an activity since the draft board founded in 1948. …This latest youth fad certainly has a more treasonous flavor to it... These youngsters are openly defying the government and inhibiting the government’s ability to raise an army when needed… While many claim the current situation in Cuba has devolved into “a quagmire worse than Korea” to quote the former US Congressman-turned-political lawyer George McGovern, in this author’s opinion, it is still far too early to throw in the towel. A majority of the island has been stabilized, and the Communist leader Camilo Cienfuegos remains at large, resorting to bombings and espionage out of desperation. What the draft card burners call “unofficial occupation” of Cuba is more akin to the US’s time spent in Japan after WWII: we are maintaining extensive security necessities for the betterment and safety of the Cuban people... The youth of today are impatient and they are ungrateful. They are too young to remember or even understand the sacrifices made for them during the Great Depression and the ration-book years of World War II …Fortunately, US Congressman L. Mendel Rivers has sponsored a bill that will impose strict penalties onto those whom betray their nation buy burning their draft cards.

– The National Review, conservative magazine, August issue


– The Washington Post, 8/8/1963


Los Angeles, CA – Stretching his political muscles once more, actor and former Screen Actors Guild President Ronald Reagan appeared on TV on Saturday to deliver a ten minute speech criticizing the Medicare bill currently in congress. Medicare is a proposed health insurance program for Americans over the age of 65 that, if approved, of would be funded by a payroll tax, beneficiary premiums and surtaxes from beneficiaries and general US Treasury revenue. Reagan’s speech was funded by the A.M.A., or American Medical Association, and supported by several hospital and life insurance organizations. In the speech, Reagan claimed the bill will lead to socialism and dictatorship if passed: “already the federal government has invaded the precincts of private business. Now it wants to enforce upon the American people unwanted and unneeded socialized medicine – socialism disguised as medical care.” Reagan went on to claim that the bill will deprive freedom from doctors: “The bill will prohibit doctors from choosing their patients and their place of practice… nobody has the right to dictate the career path and workplace of someone else.” Reagan even criticized its name despite “Medicare” being coined under the Eisenhower administration in 1956. Advocating for private medical programs to be expanded instead, the actor closed with “Compulsory medical programs will be the first step to allowing government to determine what job your son will have.” [11] What Reagan failed to mention was who the bill would help if passed – everyone over 65 regardless of color and creed. There are roughly 260,000 American doctors of medicine [12], but 189 million Americans total, and roughly 17 million of those Americans are over the age of 65. …Reagan also exaggerated the affect the bill will have on physicians and hospitals… Our advice to Reagan: Take a math class and then go back to being in movies, Ronnie – politics isn’t for you.

– Hollywood Reporter, opinion article, 8/12/1963

Dad moved the family around from place to place, um, from the Fort Sill Army base in Lawton, Oklahoma where I was born in 1961, to Orange County, California in 1962, to NASA’s, uh, Lewis Research Center in Brook Park, Ohio in 1963. My Dad actually worked as a draftsman for NASA, designing shelves, storage compartments and the like, for the insides of the ships. He got hired for some Ohio-based promotion amidst a, um, a US Senate panel investigating a fire that had injured somebody in 1962, I believe, and uh, I remember him telling me that his job may not have been the most glamorous, but it was still important, and I remember that he was very proud of his job. He told he paid attention to the Senate hearings and everything back then because if NASA was blamed for the incident, it could lead to layoffs, which would mean we’d be moving again. Now I was only two at this point, but, uh, the fact remains that the places where I grew up were partially the result of the nation’s bigger problems and worries at the time, you know?

– Stephen Hillenburg, Tumbleweed Magazine interview, 2005


[pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders with his great-granddaughter, visiting the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California, 8/18/1963


Washington, D.C. – Just a day after the U.S. House approved of the legislation 310-to-114, the U.S. Senate voted 72-25 in approval of President Johnson’s latest Great Society legislation… the bill creates two new forms of federal health insurance that are additions to the 1935 Social Security Act signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt… U.S. Secretary of Housing, Education, and Welfare Gardner has noted that implementation of the new insurance will require “extensive data processing and…re-configuration of hospital policies” across the country, and advise anyone uncertain of how this will affect them to “ask their doctor”…

– The Washington Post, 8/24/1963


Xenia, OH – A group of local African-Americans protesting outside of the Xenia Police Station are calling for an investigation into the assault of an African-American man, who was severely wounded at a traffic stop gone afoul. The man, admitted to the local hospital, claims he was pulled over without provocation and forced out of his car. When he turned around to get his walker, he was clubbed by the officers, and continued to be beaten after falling to the ground. At least 300 people are gathered around, holding quickly made signs and shouting “Justice For All, Not Just For Whites”…

The Columbus Dispatch, 8/26/1963

The riots were started by the police. LBJ tried to disperse us with National Guardsmen, and they started hittin’ us and beatin’ us so we fought back with our signs and whatever we could. Bedlam and panic set in, and a lot of us got our skulls busted before they went and arrested us for demanding fair treatment. It looked bad for him, is guess, but it looked good for the racists, who kept pointing to it and saying that the Civil Rights Act had changed nothing, that we were still “not ready to join white society” and bulls#!t like that. It was sort of a watershed moment, though, as it caused black people across the country to protest our mistreatment and demand to actually see some justice for a change.

– Anecdote from John R., then-resident in Xenia, NBC Special commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Xenia Riots, 2013


[pic: ]
– Protestors confronted by police in Oakland, California, 8/27/1963

“Folks, it’s high time that some real justice reform happened, and if President Johnson is going to turn a blind eye to it, than the governors and the mayors and even the average Joes are going to have to get up and make sure that peace and safety return to our communities. That police officers remain friends to our communities. And that justice is distributed fairly and equally in this here nation of ours. It’s high time that we live up to the ideals set forth in our Constitution and become the type of nation we’ve always said to be – a fair and equal nation, with liberty and justice for all!”

– Colonel Sanders in Xenia, OH, offering his support for their cause, 8/30/1963


London, UK – …the rise in demonstrations in the capitol against the government’s continued support of what the youth groups are calling the American “occupation” of Cuba continues on despite the U.S.’s Acting Defense Secretary describing the conflict as “practically” resolved at a press briefing last Monday...

The Daily Sketch, 9/1/1963

...but it was actually the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Marvel Comic “the Mutants” that popularized the term “mutant” after its first issue hit the shelves in September 1963… [13]

– James Rolfe, technet video on “mutants” in popular culture,, 9/1/2012

On 3 September 1963, Greece’s legislation elections were held. Support for Karamanlis had dwindled sharply in the face of public disapproval of America’s “warmongering” in Cuba, especially among formerly pro-KKE voters in northern Greece. This development swelled support for the liberal Georgios Papandreou, whose party won 155 seats to Karamanlis’ 114 and the EDA’s 27, securing victory for Papandreou. Karamanlis, whom has actually been out of office since a feud with the King lead to his resignation in June, failed to regain support among the Greek voters to return to office. However, with Papandreou’s liberalism came massive protests from right-wing voters, claiming that the election results a “sham.” As the UK’s Daily Mirror observed, “Clearly, Greece’s political problems are yet to be resolved.”

– Richard Clogg’s Parties and Elections in Greece: The Search for Legitimacy, Duke University Press, 1987

“To the loyal citizens of Mississippi… In light of a recent cam bomb discovered and disabled in the state capital yesterday, and the possible threat of further cam bombs being used to destabilize society, I am declaring statewide emergency in place, effectively immediately and to remain in effect until the tenth of November. Curfew will be immediately implemented… To best maintain security, I have called out state guard to monitor all polling stations in the state during the upcoming governor election... Citizens, answer the call to defend your freedom by reporting any suspicious or possibly unpatriotic behavior, so we can stop the Cuban Communist plans for destruction before they can be executed. Thank you and good night.”

– Governor Ross Barnett (D-MS), official announcement on WJDX radio, state radio announcement, 9/3/1963


…a Majority of Blacks in the state remain unregistered... While Washington, D.C has made steps to open up the democratic process to all Americans, most notably with recent federal Voting Rights legislation, these steps are not enough to enable Blacks to register to vote without intimidation and threats. Politicians across the country, including President Johnson, are condemning Governor Barnett’s recent actions as “an exaggeration of societal safety concern,” and “a desperate attempt to maintain the state’s oppressive status quo,” according to Vice-President Humphrey in a speech yesterday evening...

– The Washington Post, 9/8/1963


…The US Commission on Civil Rights, a bipartisan federal commission created by the Civil Rights Act of 1957 for investigating civil rights concerns, such as literacy tests, poll taxes, and other practices which became unlawful in 1962, are investigating Governor Barnett’s “statewide emergency” measures… Governor Barnett has impounded state voting records and has threatened to arrest any C.R.C. agents whom attempt to access the records [14].

…Activists have been threatened and arrested during attempts to get Blacks registered to vote, with state police claiming they were in violation of the “statewide emergency” in many of the case… Nevertheless, thousands are taking to the streets in efforts to exercise their right to register to vote...

– The Plain Dealer, Ohio newspaper, 9/11/1963


[pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders confronts state police officers who, under Governor Barnett's orders, are preventing Blacks from “breaking curfew” and registering to vote, 9/12/1963


…John Patterson, whom served as Governor of Alabama from 1959 to 1963, accused the President of having “lost touch with the needs of real Americans.” This sounds like the talk of a man testing the waters of a primary challenge... Patterson should look at his own record and history of human decency as well his leadership history before complaining about those of others. …While a supporter of him in the past, Patterson has in recent weeks remained silent in regards to Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett’s ridiculously desperate - and, possibly, federally illegal - actions in his state...

– Journalist Drew Pearson’s critical syndicated newspaper column “Washington Merry-Go-Round,” 9/24/1963

At this time last year we had just occupied the town of Calixto Garcia, and just over three-quarters of the island was ours. But now we have been pushed all the way back to the city of Camaguey. In our arrogance we sought to discourage the encroaching Communist swine by setting fire to the fields they sought to reconquer. From this church tower I can still see the smoke billowing from the fields far off in the distance. The damned stubbornness of the Communists is killing this island. There is the smell of death in the air; it is at times fowl and overbearing. There are so many wounded. Moaning in agony, they spill out of the hospital onto the streets. Smashed clay pots; blood-stained window drapes; blown-away walls; women and children with empty eyes of despair, or scowls of bitterness and hatred. Destruction is everywhere. And yet those damn Communists still will not surrender!

– 9/25/1963 Journal Entry of Mario Zuniga, DRF soldier (translated)


…those polled deemed the situation at home and overseas to be “falling apart” in light of recent events. …70% approve of US presence in Vietnam, but only 44% in Cuba, down from last month...

– In a newspaper article by George Gallup, Director of the American Institute of Public Opinion, 9/27/1963

Mom and Pop were ecstatic when the report came in that after 17 months, their son had come back to them. I was looking at the latest letters they’d sent me and the accompanying pictures of them when my CO walked in with the news.


“Sir yes sir!” I bellowed as he entered the hospital tent. As he stiffly traversed to my bed, I tried to stand up to salute him but failed. It was still difficult for me to sit myself up in bed with parts of me still tightly bandaged. “Sorry, sir. The Commies did a real number on my back. I’ll recover though.”

“At ease, soldier,” he ordered.

I laid back down in relief.

“McCain, you’re being transferred.”

“What? To where? …The L-V B?” Shorthand for the Laos-Vietnam border.

“Nope. Pearl Harbor.”

“…Hawaii? But why?”

He looked me over. I was wearing a back brace and my arms were still wrapped in gauze. “Do I really have to say it, McCain?”

“Well you are my commanding officer, so, to be frank, sir, yes, sir.”

“Alright, fine!” he sighed and sat down in the chair beside me, “McCain, the official ruling is that for the time being you are… not yet able to serve again, uh, due to your current, um, position. You can’t fly a plane for at least another three months or so. You still have to heal and recuperate from all you’ve been through and that includes physical therapy that we can’t afford here. …But we can afford it at the hospital on base in Hawaii. It’s just been built, state-of-the-art, much better than here.”

“I’ll get better, sir. I always do.”

“Of course you will, McCain.”

“You’ll see sir,” I spoke confidently, “I may be going to Hawaii, but I’ll be back in no time, flying with the rest of the men up there, doing Uncle Sam proud.”

“You’ve already done your part, McCain,” he said, “And I hear that tomorrow General Palmer’s going to give you another medal for liberating that POW camp.”

“‘Co-liberating,’ Sir. But sir, a patriot’s duty is never fulfilled. In times of war he must fight to protect his country and in times of peace he must always be prepared to defend his country. This is no ‘part’ to be filled sir; a patriot gives his all. And I’m still here, and I can still give. So as soon as I can, I will resume my duty.”

He grinned, “Then I hope for the best for you, McCain,” and stood up. “Now I’ll get a nurse to help you pack your things. You’re being shipped out at the end of tomorrow.”

We saluted each other – well, I saluted him as best as I could – and he left the tent.

Dammit, I thought. Sure, it was Hawaii, a land of beaches, beer and babes. But my place was in active duty serving my country. I didn’t want to spend however long I had to spend there being a burden to doctors and therapists. I was seriously not looking forward to it.

But as it turned out, going to Hawaii was the greatest thing to happen to me.

– From Admiral John McCain’s Boldly Into Hell: A Firsthand Account of America’s Wars in the 1960s and 1970s, Random House, 1987


Florence, KY – Roy Wilkins, the Executive Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, met with Col. Harland Sanders, the former governor and wealthy businessman whose face adorns the iconic “K.F.C. bucket” logo, at his company’s headquarters for an hour-long meeting. After which Mr. Wilkins held a press conference to praise the Colonel’s work and “personal role” in advancing the Civil Rights movement. He pointed to Col. Sanders’s pro-civil rights rhetoric and actions, the businessman’s endorsements and financial backing of pro-Civil Rights productions and laws, and his active role in making it easier for colored people to achieve work in the business communities above and beyond custodial and entry-level cooking staff. A report found that, as of December 1962, an above-average number of African-Americans are employed throughout Kentucky Fried Chicken, and over 30% of the company’s employees are women, no doubt a statistic influenced by the Colonel’s daughters playing major roles in the company’s expansion and development.

Mr. Wilkins is an active leader in the Colored community, and a man who champions for social change coming about by means of the legislative system. Such a stance may then raise the question why it Wilkins has been giving so much praise to Col. Sanders and not President Johnson. This is because while the President has made many valiant moves to assure civil rights, most notably the Civil Rights Act passed last year, Johnson is not been nearly as passionate and vocal as the Colonel over the social suppression of the Black man in America.

For example, when the white men started a riot over the peaceful protesting outside Xenia Police Station in Ohio, it was the Colonel whom visited to lend his support. Reverend King, a friend of the Colonel, joined him in calling for peace and justice to prevail, and both visited the wounded victims of the white man’s violence at the local hospitals soon after. And what did President Johnson do? According to the Washington Post, he was busy having lunch with Prime Minister Diefenbaker of Canada.

– The Pittsburgh Courier, an African-American newspaper, 10/2/1963

A COLONEL COMES HOME: Harland Sanders Stumps For Nunn, Other State Republican Candidates

Paducah, KY – As it was at this time last year, the Colonel is resuming the role of politics barker, albeit this time it is for the Republican nominee for Governor of Kentucky, Louie B. Nunn. Sanders’ son, Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr, reported his father preferred travelling and meeting real people to staying in stuffy board rooms. “Every four years, he gets to go down the old roads he remembers as gets to see how they’ve changed.” The Colonel seems to be blanketing the state for Louie Nunn. “Businessmen have to stick together,” the Colonel remarked yesterday at a rally in town. …Fiscal policy is the dominant issue in the race, with both the Colonel and Nunn criticizing Governor Combs raising state taxes in 1961 to pay for further state services…

The Paducah Sun, Kentucky newspaper, 10/3/1963

He [John Y. Brown] left such an impression on the Colonel that Sanders agreed that Brown would take over the franchising of a barbecue chain the Colonel was planning to establish. Brown acquired financial backing from Jack Massey, a millionaire businessman in Nashville, and set about opening his first store and studying the barbecue business [15]. By October, Brown began to believe that barbeque only had regional appeal and it was better to focus on the chicken (which he often called “the moneymaker”), a belief that Harley and I scoffed at. Brown what completely missing the entire reason why K.F.C. had grown to become a multinational enterprise – because something from Kentucky was seen as exotic in places far away from the commonwealth. So Harley told Brown to think outside the box and travel around to find a community with a palate that would welcome barbeque… I saw Brown as an impatient man too willing to give up on the assignment, but despite this the Colonel still saw potential in him for whatever reason. Maybe Brown reminded the Colonel of a younger version of himself, or maybe he saw the admittedly difficult assignment as a test of his abilities…

– Dave Thomas’ Under the Colonel’s Wing, Mosaic Publishing, 1982

IOC Session No. 61
Date: October 18, 1963
Location: Nairobi, Kenya [16]
Subject 1 of 2: bidding for hosting the 10/12-27/1968 (or XIX) Summer Olympics
Mexico City, Mexico – 31 (Round 1)
Lyon, France – 14 (Round 1)
Detroit, USA – 11 (Round 1)
Buenos Aires, Argentina – 2 (Round 1)
Result: Mexico won on the first round
Subject 2 of 2: bidding for hosting 2/6-18/1968 (or X) Winter Olympics [17]
Grenoble, France – 15 (Round 1) – 18 (Round 2) – 27 (Round 3)
Calgary, Canada – 12 (Round 1) – 19 (Round 2) – 24 (Round 3)
Lahti, Finland – 11 (Round 1) – 14 (Round 2)
Sapporo, Japan – 6 (Round 1)
Oslo, Norway – 4 (Round 1)
Lake Placid – 3 (Round 1)

REPORTER 1: …We take you live to the scene now.

REPORTER 2: …the crowd behind me are supporters of the Wall Street Three – shoutniks Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger and Abbot Hoffman – members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a pro-voting rights and anti-war organization, whom the HUAAC have subpoenaed to testify at another one of their hearings. Their testimony concerns an incident in on August 4 of this year, when the three men led members of the organization to the gallery of the New York Stock Exchange to throw fistfuls of real and fake dollar bills onto the traders below. While the men were not arrested as they left the premises peacefully when asked by security, some are accusing them of inciting a riot and conspiracy to cause, quote “financial mayhem,” unquote. …Inside the hearing room, the HUAAC are reiterating their stance of denouncing the shoutniks and their activities as being un-American and possibly unlawful…

– CBS Morning News (founded 1963), 10/21/1963 report

“Well, sir, I think that burning your draft card is downright treasonous. Why if I was their age I’d gladly take their place on the battlefield and fight for my country. I also don’t approve of their more bothersome crowds – the ones that are unruly and disruptive and smell very funny. But to be fair to them, like my youngest daughter and even some of my granddaughters want me to be, I’m being thinkin’ a lot about what they’re doin’ and I think that if you disagree with your country’s actions, you have every right to make your concerns known, but still think there are more sensible ways to go about it. Burning your draft card and shoutin’ isn’t gonna win over other folks my age. And some of it is just too messy – not at all as organized as the Civil Rights movement, that’s for sure. And also, the actions of the shoutniks are detrimental to the war effort because they inhibit and downplay the valiant and brave hard work of our soldiers. And I don’t think that’s right.”

– Excerpt from Colonel Sanders’s guest spot on Meet the Press, 10/21/1963


– The Mercury News, California newspaper, 10/28/1963

CAM BOMB KILLS 3 AT D.R.F. HQ IN HAVANA: No Passersby Injured As Bomb Topples Building’s 2nd Floor

– The Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/2/1963


– The New York Times, 11/4/1963

…To recap, President Johnson was wounded during an attempt on his life in New York City earlier today, when the President was exiting a hotel shortly after attending a meeting with Senator Jacob Javits and the city’s Mayor Wagner… The President has been taken to the close-by Metropolitan Hospital, along with Secret Serviceman Abraham Bolden, whom may have also been injured during the attack… …we’ve just received another bulletin…the man accused of shooting the President has been identified as a one Thomas Arthur Vallee. Vallee was shot and killed by Secret Service agents as he attempted to flee the scene of the incident… This is the second known attempt on the President’s life since the De La Beckwith Plot was uncovered last year...

– Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News, 11/4/1963


[ pic: ]
– Thomas Arthur Valle (11/15/1933-11/4/1963)

The doctors say the first bullet missed his vital organs… Johnson has decided to give a special award to Serviceman Bolden for taking that second bullet for him… Billy Graham [now a frequent White house guest] visited the President at the hospital again. The two men prayed together in silence for several minutes. Johnson believes the prayer his helping him with the recovery…

– Excerpt from the Diary of Mildred Stegall, personal secretary to Lyndon Johnson, 11/5/1963 entry


Jackson, MS – Lieutenant Governor Paul B. Johnson Jr. was elected Governor over Republican challenger Rubel Phillips in yesterday’s election, the outcome being officially announced earlier today at 2:05 AM. While Johnson was initially predicted to win in a landslide, Phillips slowly gathered momentum to reach a high mark of 45% approval in polls on October 30, but the Johnson campaign was dismissive of his chances. Between then and election night, Phillip’s numbers dropped down to 35% approval. On election night, though, Johnson received 58.7% of the vote (roughly 213,651 votes) while Phillips received 41.3% of the vote (roughly 150,320). Johnson arguably won thanks to backlash to the Civil Rights Act despite Phillips running a strongly anti-Lyndon B. Johnson campaign that in retrospective was possibly too single-issue to be effective at the statewide level. Phillip’s campaign also suffered a serious blow the day before the election when President Johnson was shot and injured in an attempt on his life, making his rhetoric seem too “incendiary,” according to one poll official in New Orleans...

The Daily Mississippian, 11/6/1963


Frankfort, KY – Governor Combs has proven himself popular enough to become the first Governor of Kentucky to win a second full consecutive term since James Garrard was re-elected in 1800, 163 years ago. Combs defeated Republican challenger Louie B. Nunn in last night’s gubernatorial election by a 0.5% margin. Combs popularity numbers were likely helped by the passage of the April 1963 state Civil Rights Act, which met approval among minorities and union workers. Nunn, whom remained silent on his own opinions regarding civil rights, won over upper-class and white-collar voters, plus many conservatives. Appearances by former Governor Colonel Sanders also helped drum up support for Nunn in the last few weeks, leading to such a narrow margin. Still, the candidate himself and his generic and rather theme-less campaign “are more to blame for the G.O.P. loss than the Colonel” says state representative J. B. Breckinridge. Evidence for this being the case is found in the very close race for Lieutenant Governor, in which Bernie Lawrence (R) seems to have edged out Harry Lee Waterfield (D)...

– The Kentucky Gazette, 11/6/1963

Kentucky General Election Results, 11/6/1963:

For Governor:
Bert T. Combs (Democratic) – 458,175 (51.71%)
Louie B. Nunn (Republican) – 427,872 (48.29%)
Total votes cast: 886,047
Turnout: 29.16% Total Population

For Lieutenant Governor:
H. Bernie Lawrence (Republican) – 429,560 (50.82%)
Harry Lee Waterfield (Democratic) – 415,697 (49.18%)
Total votes cast: 845,257
Turnout: 27.82% Total Population


Nunn lost in an upset due to additional support for Combs rising in the final weeks in connection to the sympathy vote for LBJ surviving another assassination attempt. As Nunn was an open critic of Johnson, this and his lack of a response after the shooting, were quite possibly seen by some voters as being insensitive and callous. Sanders was not blamed for the loss. In fact, his presence was credited in winning the G.O.P. the lieutenant governor’s seat, and in how and why it was such a close race to begin with. GOP leaders were impressed that the Colonel could stir such support. Support from the Colonel seemed to have had a similar effect in Mississippi as well. There, Ruben Phillips was almost elected, and would have made him the first Republican Governor of the state since 1876.

– Lowell Harrison and James Klotter’s A History of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1997

I lost because I was out n*%%ered by Combs. I should have run a campaign like Byrant, but I was so sure the Colonel’s endorsement would win enough n*%%ers over. Well, now I know better than to rely on a chicken salesman for something like this – so help me, I’m never again gunna be outn#%%gered!

– Louie B. Nunn (according to a Marshall Frady biography from 1972), 11/7/1963 (note: Nunn and others would later deny that he ever said this, making its validity somewhat disputable)


[ Pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders makes a surprise cameo as himself in “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” in which Spencer Tracey’s character impatiently asks him for directions only for the Colonel to take too long to give them; filming lasted from April 1962 to early 1963, while the film was released on 11/10/1963

Naturally, Johnson used the attempt on his life to his advantage, using it as validation of his legislative proposals, telling Senate leader Mansfield “Ignorant radicals turn to guns when they run out of words. Smart and level-headed people will just go and get more words!” Shortly after the assassination attempt, for example, Johnson met with Senator Harry Byrd. Byrd was opposing the President on a proposed School Voucher Reform Bill, I believe. Johnson argued to Byrd, and I quote, “the bullet did not do its job… but how do we know that the next crackpot won’t be so unlucky? I may not have that long to live! If I die in this office, do you really think Hubert won’t capitalize off the sympathy from it to get a much more powerful bill passed instead?” The tactic worked because it was a phone call from the hospital, and Senator Byrd was still one of the few Senators yet to personally drop in to check on Johnson, and so Byrd did not actually know how well the president really was. …Lyndon would publicly brush the incident off as not that big a deal. But the truth is, I’ll admit, Lyndon was truly horrified by what was now the second serious attempt on his life.

– Mildred Stegall, personal secretary to Lyndon Johnson, RNN Interview, 1979

The inspectors returned with police and without warning, Commodity Exchange Authority representatives in tow. De Angelis hurriedly descended the main staircase and for over 30 seconds tried in vain to keep the men at the door before the search warrants were brought out.

“Somebody tipped us off about you, Tino,” one of the cops allegedly explained, “Seems you got careless. Tried to bribe some men you didn’t know were the honest type. And you made a couple of delivery mistakes that suggested you keep two sets of books, too.” [18]

The inspectors made their way in, now knowing to look closer at the tanks this time. One of the inspectors went for a dramatic action and spun the release valve on one of the smaller tanks, causing a flood of clear liquid to cover a part of the room. The man tested the liquid. “It’s almost entirely seawater!” The man exclaimed over the discovered proof of their suspicions. De Angelis claimed to have $150 million in salad oil; he only had $6 million.

On November 20, De Angelis was escorted into the back of a police car.

On November 21, De Angelis’s company filed for bankruptcy, at which point investors discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars were unaccounted for.

On November 22, 1963, my report was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal hit the press.

– Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Norman C. Miller’s, “The Great Salad Oil Swindle,” Coward McCann Books, 1965 (Second Edition, 1979)

EXTRA! 90% OF SOYBEAN STOCK WORTHLESS: N.J. Trader Arrested For Falsifying Records After W.S.J. Exposé

The New York Post, 11/22/1963


[pic: ]
– Dow Jones Industrial Average, early October to late November (note the November 3-5 dip following the second Lyndon Johnson assassination attempt)

On Saturday the 23, the futures market crashed… The next day the NYSE, worried about potential U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission involvement, suspended two companies closer to De Angelis, “Williston and Beane” and “Ira Haupt & Co.” from trading. This only made things worse, as these two brokerages’ customers became desperate as they didn’t know if they would get back the money in their accounts. Word started spreading as traders investigated the suspension, and desperately tried to get their holdings out of those companies. While Williston and Beane were easily bailed out, things were more complicated for Ira Haupt & Co. The president of the New York Stock Exchange, G. Keith Funston, sought to avoid a massive crash caused by the 20,700 customers of Ira Haupt fearing their holdings were worthless now that the trading the brokerage firm did on De Angelis’s behalf meant that it owed various banks over $37,000,000 that it could not pay.

With stockholders in a panic, NYSE officials halted trading altogether. The Stock Market remained closed amidst protests of people worried of their money, and did not reopen until Monday the 25th, at which point the market traded below expectations. The closure of the NYSE had not given temporary breathing room, and the scandal’s affects were still being felt. The collapse discouraged investment by small investors. On the 26th, the US Securities and Exchange Commission convened and decided to intervene, reducing the NYSE’s power. The NYSE attempted to solve the problem via imposing a $10 million assessment on exchange members and using that money to make Ira Haupt & Co.’s customers whole, only for the SEC to delay the plan’s implementation over distrust of the NYSE. Creditors, meanwhile, reeled as American Express and other lenders lost millions.

– John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Salad Oil Recession: The Causes and Effects of the Black Weekend of 1963, Excelsior Publishers, 1971 [19]

“Walter, chaos still reigns supreme here on Wall Street. The NYSE and banks across the country closing early has many spooked, as seen today when in just 45, the Dow dropped 50 points, about 10%, and 50 million shares were sold. I’m also being told that the exchange may close early today, but those stories are yet to be substantiated.”

– CBS reporter, early 11/25/1963 broadcast

“Who the hell is Tino De Angelis?!” the President bellowed.

“He’s a commodities trader,” Commerce Secretary Luther Hodges explained as numerous aides scurried in and out of the room with papers containing background information and statistics, wheeled in a second television set and plugged in several more telephones, all in an attempt to rectify, or at least minimize the economic debacle. “According to what this Norman Miller fella’s reporting, this Tino fella’s been buying and selling vegetable oil futures all over the world, and last started to corner the market for soybean oil. A majority of the world’s reserves were apparently transferred in and out of his New Jersey headquarters.”

“Soybean oil?”

“It’s used in salad dressing.”

“I know what it’s for, Luther! I just can’t believe this all went by undetected!”

“That’s what swindler, do, Lyndon,” noted Trade Representative Lovett.

Hodges continued, “Actually, Mr. President, it seems we’ve run into him before. The man’s company, Allied Crude Vegetable Oil Refining Corporation, took advantage of the National School Lunch Act and the Food for Peace program to overcharge the government $31,000 and deliver over 2 million pounds of uninspected meat to schools. He ended up bankrupt but soon bounced back with this endeavor, it seems.”

“And according to our records, he swindled my department out of over $1million in 1960 – that was under my predecessor, sir,” Agriculture Secretary Jim Folsom added. Folsom did not mention how in 1962 his department had predicted exports of the oil would reach record levels later that year, possibly contributing to De Angelis’ active efforts to corner that market.

Johnson, Lovett, Hodges, Folsom and Secretary of the Treasury and former Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization Henry H. Fowler continued to peruse whatever information could be found, though according to Fowler, most of what they “worked on” came from Norman Miller’s tell-all. They soon became aware of how De Angelis had obtained massive loans from various Wall Street banks and companies, and used the cash to buy all of the futures on the oil. This way he would not only own a large quantity of soon-to-be expensive oil, but also cheap futures that would soon be worth a considerable value when the prices went up. [20]

“Christ, this man singlehandedly gutted American Express,” uttered the President. American Express, or Amex in the stock world, was a respected name in traveler’s checks and credit cards in those days.

On the TV, a reporter claimed that the revelations has “crippled” N.Y. Stock Exchange. This was in response to the news that investors in 51 banks had been bamboozled out of a total of over $175 million (around $1.2 billion in 2000 dollars).

Hodges glanced over to the set, and then to the Commander-in-chief, standing but hunching, arms gripping the table as his eyes worriedly danced around over the papers. “Our response, Mr. President?” Hodges asked.

Johnson picked up head up and thought for a moment before stating “we’ll increase spending to promote confidence in the economy again, and you know that tax cut for the middle class we were planning to work on after re-election? We’re doing that now!”

Despite Johnson’s best (and in the case of his more Keynesian measures, worst) efforts, the U.S. energy markets would stay down, resulting in a new economic phenomenon that would be given the label “stagflation”…

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018


The Wall Street Journal, 11/29/1963


[pic: ]

– Sanders in a cross-promotion of KFC and the 51st Grey Cup, held on 11/30/1963

Seeing the “angry mobs” on TV, NYSE officials pointed all of the blame of De Angelis for the failure of the member firm. The stock market would hover at low levels for the rest of the year.

De Angelis brought down a couple of commodities brokers foolish enough to let him trade on margin, made huge dents in a few banks foolish enough to lend him money, wrought havoc on both commodities exchanges and stock exchanges when his scheme finally unwound, and even knocked out about half of American Express’ market cap. [21] He took advantage of government subsidies and programs, provided uninspected goods, cheated on his contracts, falsified reports, covered losses, embezzled money, and so forth. At every step he was trying to beat the system, and as a result, caused financial losses for thousands. [22]

– John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Salad Oil Recession: The Causes and Effects of the Black Weekend of 1963, Excelsior Publishers, 1971

I remember reading in the newspapers how American Express’ stock immediately dropped 50% as the company lost over $50million from the scam. Many banks suddenly closed to avoid a rush, while others tried to downplay the news. Despite their efforts, by Monday the 25th, the 1963 recession had arrived. I remember the Colonel took rather well. His continued distrust of stock had actually helped save the company from really taking a hit from it, but he was still upset to see how the economic dip hit his customers. He felt better, though, knowing that Ray Kroc had to borrow even more money, and lay off many workers that would ultimately end up working for us, just to keep McDonald’s out of the red. Not exactly a silver lining, but, still.

– Pete Harman, 60 Minutes interview, early 1992


Baton Rouge, LA – Last night’s Democratic primary for governor saw John J. McKeithen, Public Service Commissioner of the state’s Third District, use race-baiting tactics [23] to win first place behind U.S. Congressman Gillis Long. McKeithen accused Long of being too close to President Johnson (dubbing him “the Washington candidate”) and being too liberal for Louisiana. Both men won over staunch segregationist Shelby Jackson, and fellow segregationist Robert F. Kennon, who lost votes to both Jackson and noted taxi-driving KKK member Addison Thompson. Nine men in total were on the ballot. The following list is approximately the distribution of the vote:

J. J. McKeithen – 318,173 (35.1%)
Gillis Long – 275,568 (30.4%)
R. F. Kennon – 127,813 (14.1%)
Shelby Jackson – 102,432 (11.3%)
Louis J. Michot – 38,072 (4.2%)
Claude Kirkpatrick – 29,007 (3.2%)
Wolford Thompson – 7,252 (0.8%)
Hugh Lasseigne – 4,532 (0.5%)
Addison Roswell Thompson – 3,626 (0.4%)
Total votes cast: 906,475

Ambassador deLesseps Morrison had considered running, but ultimately declined to due to “pressing diplomatic duties.” Pundits noted that the President being wounded in an assassination attempt a month before the election produced a sympathy vote-based boost for Long’s numbers but did not damage McKeithen’s, who continued the race-baiting rhetoric but dropped his criticisms of the President “out of respect,” according to a reliable source close to the campaign. McKeithen celebrated the results by…

– The Times-Picayune, Louisiana newspaper, 12/7/1963


– The Financial Times, side article, 12/17/1963

Lyndon was increasingly unnerved after the second assassination attempt. He was, I’d say, somewhat paranoid because both Thomas Arthur Vallee and Byron De La Beckwith were these loner types, both were John Birch Society members with alleged mental problems, um, and both were ex-marines who possessed a large number of rifles, which caused Lyndon to consider pushing to some major gun reform… At the White House Christmas party that year, Lyndon was at the center of an incident that would become, I want to say, uh, legendary, among the White House staff for years. After a few cups of eggnog, perhaps one or two too many, Lyndon started looking over at the tree, his eyes kept darting back over to it. Suddenly, he dashed over to that side of the room and tackled the Scotch pine! Jumped right onto it. The whole thing started to fall down, but the Secret Service rushed in and caught it, and they quickly helped the President to his feet. Lyndon later explained that he was certain that an assassin was hiding behind it. So, yeah, the attempt on his life did certainly get to him. He even started to believe that a right-wing conspiracy of some kind was out to get him, because, as I later found out during a talk with, um, Clark Clifford, at who had just become the Secretary of Defense late in that year, that at some point during the winter recess, President Johnson ordered FBI Director Hoover to look into any connections between Vallee and De La Beckwith, and to investigate the Klan and other such groups...

– Homer Thornberry, White House Council in 1963, New York Times interview for article, 1985

“Released on Christmas Day, 1963, “Dr. Strangelove, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” better known simply as “Dr. Strangelove,” was a satirical take on the Cold War. Ignoring the then-ongoing Cuban War, the plot focuses on a fictional and more direct international crisis between the US and Russia...


And how does it end?”

[clip shown]

“That’s right, with all the characters in the war room having a pie fight! (pause) Don’t worry, I’ll explain… Meant to symbolize the chaos of inbound and outbound missiles during a nuclear exchange, the scene had to be reshot at least two dozen times as too often the actors would break character by smiling and blurting out some laughter during the melee. And Mr. Kubrick did not approve! Early test footage shows the pies as being too thick, blocking out the actor’s faces. In the end, Kubrick went through over 700 pies for the 3-minute conclusion, which, to many uneducated viewers – and by that I mean shitheads who can’t understand dark satire and symbolism – was the only clear sign that this was in fact a dark comedy. And those idiots should consider themselves lucky, as this wasn’t even the original ending. The whole bit was nearly scrapped due to Kurbrick’s frustration with the actors. It didn’t help when President Lyndon Johnson was shot in New York half-way through filming the scene, as some felt throwing a pie in the commander-in-chief’s face would be too inappropriate in light of that. However, due to the President quickly recovering and even downplaying the severity and seriousness of the assassination attempt in the following days and weeks, Kubrick kept the scene in, leading to one of the most serious comedies ever made ending with what has got to be the most serious pie fight ever put to film...

– Transcript of a review by Brad Jones, a nationally famous film reviewer and the protégé of Roger Ebert, uploaded to, 12/12/2012

“Christmas ’63 came and went with our soldiers still getting butchered in Cuba. We were lucky, though, that the President’s criticism of the media only made the media more inclined to showcase the war’s carnage. The media’s depiction of Cuba helped more people understand the horrors of war. Funny. For every country, a generation always comes along that needs to be reminded that war is not at all like how their nutty grandpas says it’s like, the nostalgia-happy fool. And each time the new generation figures its out, it’s a complete shock to the oldsters. Every single time.”

– actor and social justice activist Peter Duel (1940-2018), LBC interview, 1984

We welcome you to relish in the first edition of Tumbleweed Magazine. …This magazine is the result of failure to properly represent Americans of the post-WWII Generation variety in mainstream media. The atrocities of the Cuban War has opening our eyes to the need for peace… Music, as seen throughout mankind’s history, can unite people and its expression can confront and contribute to the decay and destruction of negative social plague prevalent in the societies of our country and our planet. Music is a tool, a rallying cry, an entryway into what makes us human… Our mission statement: to bring news of the music world unadulterated by neither the radicalism of underground print nor the censored cautiousness of your parents’ newspapers, and to look for ways to improve society and the world along the way… We have christened this vessel “Tumbleweed” to honor not the Roy Rogers tune but the rootless wanderlust of that plant-based structure found forever roaming across of the American West in an anachronistic imitation of Jack Kerouac...

Enjoy expanding your mind,
Calvin Trillin & Bern Sanders [24]
Head Co-Founders

– Excerpts from the Introductory Page of Tumbleweed Magazine, First Issue (Dec. 1963)

…over in the states, apart from continued presence in Cuba fanning the flames of anti-war youth and being injured in an attempt on his life, things were going swell for President Johnson – then a New Jersey swindler caused the stock market to collapse, rattling the economy and sending out shockwaves felt across the globe…

– Excerpt from A Year in Review, BBC World News Report, 12/30/1963


[pic: ]
– A Kentucky Fried Chicken holiday bucket lid, c. Dec. 1963

[1] Italicized part taken directly from here:,9171,874857,00.html (link found on wiki article for “Chicken Tax”)
[2] Chicken in the rough co-founder was born c. 1897 based on this article:
[3] Famous quote from real life.
[4] More info on this OTL organization found here (there’s no wiki article on this for some reason):
[6] Italicized parts are directly from here:,9171,875410,00.html (link found on wiki article for Chicken Tax)
[7] I’m actually uncertain if I should keep trucks on this list due to the fact that, according to source 15 on wikipedia: “audio tapes from the Johnson White House, revealed a quid pro quo unrelated to chicken. In January 1964, President Johnson attempted to convince United Auto Worker’s president Walter Reuther not initiate a strike just before the 1964 election and to support the president’s civil-rights platform. Reuther, in turn, wanted Johnson to respond to Volkswagen’s increased shipments to the United States.” So I’m trying to think of some reason for why Johnson here would pick light trucks, and if not, then what would he impose tariffs on instead, since machinery was Europe’s main export at this point in time IOTL/IATL. Anyone have any ideas for this? (I’d greatly appreciate any feedback.)
[8] For more information on the Chicken War and how it started, simply peruse its wiki article:
[9] OTL JFK sentiment found here:
[10] Italicized info found here:
[11] Sentiments based on this youtube video: watch?v=Bejdhs3jGyw
[12] statistic located here:
[13] the original name for the X-Men comics; just a seemingly minor butterfly...
[14] George Wallace actually threatened to do this IOTL according to his wikipedia page
[15] Italicized parts from here:
[16] Held in Baden-Baden IRL over Kenya having political tensions with Portugal and South Africa; here (due to far-reaching butterflies, I guess (it’s a minor change, though, so I suppose it’s acceptable, right?)), they tolerate them enough the meeting to proceed there as planned.
[17] Held in January 1964 IRL due to tensions mentioned in Note 14 pushing back the bidding.
[18] This is actually how they got him IOTL, through some simple delivery errors!
[19] I’m basically just paraphrasing passages from here, just so you know: . For more detail on what went down in OTL, see the following article:
[20] Quote taken from wiki quote found on this thread, which must receive credit for this idea as I would not have known about this OTL Scandal were it not for this thread:
[21] Italicized part here taken from this page:
[22] Italicized bit from here:
[23] McKeithen allegedly used such rhetoric in the runoff election in OTL:
[24] If a 21-year-old Jann Wenner is not too young for founding a magazine (The Rolling Stones) IOTL, then a 22-year-old Bernie Sanders co-founding a magazine ITTL should not be too young or too unrealistic, either…right?

2/15/19 Edit: fixed a typo.
Post 10
Post 10: Chapter 18

Chapter 18: January 1964 – April 1964

“Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.”

– St. Francis of Assisi

“During the Christmas break, I talked with my family over an idea that I’ve had for quite a while now, and they agree with me that is sounds like a real good one and I hope you all agree. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am declaring myself a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. I’m running because, America, we need a leader with a plan. We need a leader who will reverse the big money and big business domination of government. We need a courageous leader who will stand up and fight the necessary political battle [1] to protect the checkbooks of the average American and remove corruption from our markets. And we need a leader who will and can assure peace at home and abroad, and without falling back on bloodshed to do it. President Johnson has failed at all of these endeavors… As President, I will to withdraw troops from Cuba within 90 days of being sworn in. I will instigate a Senate investigation into Wall Street’s action to determine the true causes of this Salad Oil Recession. I will take a stand in the name of peace and national defense and meet with Soviet Premier Shelepin to work on an agreement to scale back our mutual buildup of nuclear weapons. I will not falter in upholding a national mission of allowing nations to prosper freely and determine their own futures for themselves, without pressure from foreign nations attempting to pull puppet strings. But I cannot do it alone. I will need your support if we are to make the peace of Washington listen to the voices of all of the American people demanding for peace abroad and peace at home. Together, we will make a difference. Together, we can win this. ...Thank you all, and remember – vote Morse, or it’ll only get worse!”

– U.S. Senator Wayne Morse (D-OR), 1/2/1964


Birmingham, AL – John M. Patterson has announced his decision to run an active campaign to challenge President Johnson for the 1964 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Patterson, the fiscally moderate, socially conservative Governor of Alabama from 1959 to 1963, proclaimed “patriots never cower in the face of the toothless snarls of Washington’s fat cats.” Patterson’s national profile was raised in 1961 by his opposition of the Civil Rights Act, and has repeatedly criticized the President since then. The former lawyer and state politicians, who has many connections to the state's biggest political donors, has claimed nationwide integration was “a mistake,” citing last year’s Xenia Riots as an example of “forced legal integration lead[ing] to voluntary social segregation.” Patterson also stated that parts of the country are not yet ready for segregation, and that other regions of the nation “work better with segregation.” A major platform of his campaign is his pledge to “allow segregation to be returned and retained in the places that need it most.” Patterson plans to run in the Democratic primaries in order to “prove that the Democratic voters are not happy with how their party is being run,” and is also reportedly planning to woo over delegates at the Democratic National Convention scheduled for early July.

The Birmingham News, Alabama newspaper, 1/3/1964

"I ran on the platform purely because I thought it was the only way that I would be able to defeat Johnson at the Convention, become President, and bring our boys home from The Cuban Quagmire unless the island could be won by the Fourth of July, 1965."

Do you regret it?

"I'm an old man. I have lots a things to regret. That's one of them."

– John Patterson, 2001 interview

“I support fairness and equality among the races that make up this great nation of ours, and I support Lyndon Johnson for President.” (public)

“If I play my cards right, 1968 or 1972 will be our year, Lurleen!” (private, according to Lurleen Wallace in a 1981 LBS interview)

– Governor George Wallace, 1/4/1964

5 January 1964: On this day in history, Pope Paul VI of Rome and Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople meet in Jerusalem, marking the first time since the 15tth century that the leaders of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches meet in the same room; they discuss strengthening relations and ways of addressing universal concerns in was is described as a “respectful [and] professional” discussion and meeting.


Father had been flying in the Cuba War since 1961, but was shot down and captured in 1962 after being part of the operation that took out the Cuban communist leaders Fidel and Raul Castro. In the POW camp, my father was subjected to intense physical and psychological torture, but after months of imprisonment, he orchestrated an escape plan with the other prisoners-of-war, and successfully fled into the jungle wilderness of the Cuban interior. He finally made it back to American territory in 1963, but was in serious need of medical attention. Due his courageous service he was awarded the Purple Heart, and sent to recuperate at The Chester Nimitz Medical Center at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which opened in April of 1962 after President Lyndon Johnson expanded medical services available to military personnel in Oahu. Father, still serving in the US Navy, could have easily retired – he had done more than had been asked of him – but, as he would often say, “I was not leaving until the job was over, and defending America is a job that’s never over.”

In January 1964, my mother, Ann Dunham, having finalized her divorce from my biological father (Barack Obama) about one month prior, was set to begin a new set of classes at the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center when she first met Father. They told me they met at a busy water fountain in a park off of the base. Father had been lightly jogging to redevelop his muscles and mother was taking me out for some fresh air. They ended up making small talk with each other while waiting for their turn to drink.

“Cute kid,” he commented on her two-and-a-half-year-old (me).

“Nice medal,” she spotted it around his neck, peaking out from under his white sweat-covered cut-off.

“I usually never went out with men like him,” Mom would later explain, “I hated war and tended to avoid anyone who contributed to it. But John was different. We kept talking and we soon discovered we had a great deal in common – we both came from families that moved around a lot, we both wanted to take charge of our own destinies, we both liked the same things here and there. And he had a great smile. We soon they felt this spark, I guess, and before leaving he convinced me to give him my number.”

Father would later confess that when he first met us, he had assumed Mom was my babysitter. Him “sticking around after learning the truth,” as Mom put it, was a major factor in her going out on more than just one date with him…

– Barack McCain’s Lessons From my Fathers, Sunrise Publishers, 1993


[ pic: ]
– John McCain and Ann Dunham in Hawaii, c. early 1964

On January 8, 1964, Johnson gave his third State of the Union address, which, along with producing a few notable quotes such as “unity will lead to prosperity, and prosperity leads to societal greatness,” focused largely on his thoroughly-researched economic plan to combat the sudden national recession. Prior to the speech, he confided to Jenkins that “[A president] making an economic speech is like a fellow peeing down his leg. It makes him feel warm but nobody else knows what the hell he’s doing.” [2] Indeed, polls taken shortly after the address showed that most polled were still very worried about their jobs and the cost of goods and services. These results demonstrated that Johnson was slipping on domestic policies as well as on foreign policies, including fiscal and economic concerns. Thus, the speech, while receiving fairly positive reviews from pundits, was considered a "failure" by the White House's inner circle for failing to comfort or reassure a worried public…

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Pursuit of Power, A. A. Knopf Inc. New York, 2012

Johnson was facing a massive public loss of faith in the market combined with major companies failing left and right - and all because of one swindler from New Jersey and his lies concerning oils used for salad dressings and mayonnaise. American Express was facing hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits and had been forced to place its subsidiary into bankruptcy (reimbursement calls were still being explored at the time). …Eventually, after further, less important details were sorted out, Amex was forced to take a massive loss on their warehouse contracts. Trading firms that were smaller in size but still fiscally wounded by the scandal were eventually snapped up by larger players... The foreign markets that had been closely tied to the US, such as Canada, the U.K., and to a lesser extent France, suffered as well, in an economic version of the Domino Effect. The U.K. suffered a minor recession, along with Canada, because the leaders of those two countries, Douglas-Home and Diefenbaker, respectively, had tightened economic ties with the US under L.B.J.; conversely, other Western states such as the Netherlands and Italy were less affected, especially Germany, due to the 1961-1963 Chicken Tax War... While economists believed the economic struggle’s conditions would lead to a relatively quick recession, it would still be a rather difficult (yet still not unsolvable) recovery…

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Power of the Presidency, A. A. Knopf Inc., 2018


…Long, 40, achieved roughly 53% of the vote against John J. McKeithen’s 47%. ...Gillis William Long is a member of the famous Long political family of Louisiana; he is a nephew of Governor-turned-Senator Huey Long; when Gillis was in high school, another uncle of his, then-future Governor Earl Long, was running for Lieutenant Governor, and young Gillis gave campaign speeches at Gillis’ school on Earl’s behalf… Long served his country valiantly during WWII, receiving a bronze star, five campaign stars, and the Purple Heart before serving at the Nuremburg trials and retiring at the rank of captain in 1947; military service delayed his graduating from law school by roughly a decade… McKeithen was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from the 20th district from 1948 to 1952, and has been a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission since 1955. McKeithen also served his country during WWII, rising to the rank of first lieutenant while in the 77th Infantry Division in the US Army's Pacific Theater of Operations; for his service, he was awarded two Bronze Star Medals and the Distinguished Service Cross…

– The Times-Picayune, Louisiana newspaper, 1/11/1964

12 January 1964: On this day in history, the Zanzibar Revolution results in the predominantly Arab government of Zanzibar being overthrown by African nationalist rebels; occurring in less than 24 hours, the revolution ends 200 years of Arab dominance over the island region in eastern Africa, and heightens fears among western powers that communism is slowly spreading into Africa; the new government’s alleged communist ties lead to British and American citizens being evacuated from the territory, with a United States Navy destroyer evacuating 61 U.S. citizens.


…1964 started with San Francisco Giants announcing on the 15th their decision to make champion outfielder Willie Mays the highest-paid player in baseball by signing him on to a new $105,000 per season contract…

– John Helyar’s Lords of the Realm: The Real History of Baseball, Ballantine Books, 1994

Conservative pundit William F. Buckley is the one most often credited with coining the term “Jell-O,” as its first recorded use was when the political commentator appeared on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network on January 18, 1964. Buckley denounced the shoutniks as being “as soft in the brain as the Jell-O their generation grew up on,” only for activists such as Diana Oughton and Bern Sanders to begin using the phrase in a positive manner to suggest that the younger generation was not as "rigid and...stiff as the intolerant leaders of yesteryear," in a jab at continued anti-integrationist politicians (Tumbleweed Magazine, February 1964 issue). Jell-O had reached peak popularity by the start of the decade thanks to its consumption by children born in the 1940s, during and immediately after World War Two. During this time, young mothers didn’t have the supporting community structures of earlier generations, so marketers were quick to promote easy-to-prepare prepackaged foods [3] like Jell-O. The label “Jell-O generation” soon became nationally known, and actually helped the Jell-O company’s earnings, as Jell-O’s sales had begun to significantly decrease in 1962 and 1963 due to multiple factors, including economic issues and changing societal tastes. This boost, however, was only temporary, as sales returned to declination at the start of the 1970s as society's preferred foodstuffs continued to change and evolve. Many Jell-O dishes, such as desserts and Jell-O salads, became special occasion foods rather than everyday items. Marketers blamed this decline on decreasing family sizes, a ‘fast-paced’ lifestyle and women’s increasing employment [3]. In response to this apparent “rejection” by more politically-liberal consumers, many producers of gelatin dessert (with Kraft Brands, holders of the “Jell-O” trademark, being a very noticeable exception) began to appeal to more conservative demographics and in turn develop pro-conservative atmospheres in their workplaces and advertisements, leading to some controversy later on...



Phoenix, AZ – At a planned press conference held outside the patio of his surprisingly modest ranch home, US Senator Barry Goldwater officially announced early today that he will run in the Republican Presidential primaries, calling for limited government and for Americans to uphold personal responsibility. “We are a strong, independent, and determined people, and the government has no right to hold us back.” The two-term Senator from Arizona also discussed his view on foreign policy, claiming “Cuba is in an awkward state of limbo,” and informed reporters that he supports “increasing military action in Laos to cut off the military activities carried out there by members of P.L.A.F., or People’s Liberation Armed Forces. This is the army branch of the North Vietnam political entity known as the National Liberation Front, also known as the Viet Cong. Their activities in South Vietnam include arming communist insurgents, seeking out American sympathizers, and sneaking troops and various supplies into South Vietnam in order to undermine and destroy democratic and freedom-loving institutions across those areas. The people in control of the White House also need to address the fact that the North Vietnamese government and military are being supplied by Communist China.” …Goldwater concluded the press conference by telling voters to “beware the empty promises of the radical left. The biggest lie you'll ever hear get spewed out of D.C. is 'The Feds are here to help.” ...Polls from Gallup and other polling institutions suggest that Goldwater is a top-tier candidate, and that his biggest opponent in the upcoming Presidential primaries may be Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, or possibly even Governor George W. Romney of Michigan or former Vice President Richard M. Nixon of California...

Associated Press, 1/20/1964

Our 579 locations worldwide produced a net total of US$[REDACTED] in all 1963 sales, giving the company a net gain of US$[REDACTED] from 1962. …Our least successful outlets were the 37 in Mexico, the 3 in Brazil, and the 25 in France. Solutions for rectifying this situation, as suggested by the respective regional managers, are as follows:

Option 1: refocus advertising expenses from well-established regions to Mexico, Brazil and France.

Option 2: perform survey to better understand local wants and needs.

Option 3: cut our losses and close the least productive of these outlets.

– Annual KFC beginning-of-year sales report, KFC headquarters in Florence, KY, 1/21/1964

Execute Options 1 and Option 2. Option 3 would leave those employers jobless and those customers without a high-quality source for quick, hearty food. I’d rather make less profit than no profit at all. Make the people happy, and that will lead to fortune for all.

– Colonel Sander’s response to above report, private memo, KFC headquarters in Florence, KY, 1/21/1964


...recent hypothetical polls have suggested that the New York moderate (in the Governor's seat since 1959) could narrowly or comfortably defeat President Johnson in a November head-to-head matchup. Some critics of Rockefeller, though, believe that he will have greater difficulty winning the Republican party's nomination at this summer's GOP National Convention at the Cow Palace in California...

– The New York Daily News, 1/25/1964


[pic: ]
– A KFC outlet in Bozeman, Montana, shortly after its grand opening, c. 1/25/1964

[video: hQSkjHysqKk ]
– Colonel Sanders celebrating Australia Day in a commercial for KFC Australia, 1/26/1964

INTERVIEWER: Well what about Gordon Lightfoot? The two of you did jam together a few times, yes?

CHONG: Yeah, only a few times. The guy had a lot of talent, we did some collaborations in early 1964 and onwards, but he wasn’t into smoking. To him, music itself was a powerful drug. At least that’s how it started out at first. I mean, Gordie loved what he was doing, but he actually struggled with actually making a lot of his songs. We’d tell him to let loose, but we meant with tokes. Instead Gordie became quite a womanizer as the years went on. But who am I to talk?

–, 2014

With Pat’s permission, Nixon began 1964 by quietly creating a staff of workers, specialists and advisors to help him run for the US Senate, seeking incumbent Democrat Clair Engle’s seat. At the same time, he supported the notion of a possible Draft Nixon movement in the Republican Presidential race. The Senate primary had just been scheduled for August to redirect focus in the state to both parties’ presidential primary in June, while the R.N.C. was set for July. This scheduling meant that if Nixon put off the Senate run in the face of a rising draft movement, he could jump into the race for the Senate nomination as late as the last minute if the bid for the Presidential nomination failed. Despite losing the gubernatorial primary in an upset two years ago, Shell’s loss caused some Republican supporters to express interest in backing a Nixon-Johnson rematch, given the experience of "buyer's remorse" paired with how close Nixon got to winning just four years prior. Personally, though, Nixon did not believe that any incumbent would lose at a time of war, which is what he called the situation in Cuba even if the Johnson administration refused to acknowledge that Communism still plagued the island. Furthermore, Nixon surmised that Johnson would seek to develop a rally-around-the-flag effect of some kind to overshadow the “buyers’ remorse” type of campaign that Nixon agreed he would most likely run on; still, Nixon wanted to keep all of his cards on the table, and did not confirm or deny any decisions in a concrete manner for a good while. Instead, he simply waited to see how things unfolded along further first…

– John Ehrlichman’s Witness: What Went on Behind Closed Doors, Folkways Books, 1998


Washington, DC – …The legislature of President Johnson’s home state of Texas narrowly approved ratification over the weekend, brining the total number of states to 33. …Congress proposed the 24th Amendment on February 10, 1963 and submitted it to the states 30 days later. Only five more state legislatures need to ratify the amendment in order for it to become part of the US Constitution. While the state legislatures of South Dakota, Maine, New Hampshire, Delaware and Missouri and even Georgia are set to attempt ratification later this year, Governor George Wallace is seeking to make Alabama become the next state to ratify despite heavy opposition from his state house of representatives …If ratified, the Amendment will ban poll taxes from all U.S. election, and reinforce the conditions of the 1962 Civil Rights Act and the 1963 Voting Rights Act, “making them rightly ingrained into the U.S. Constitution…” according to US Vice President Hubert Humphrey, whose home state of Minnesota has already ratified the amendment… Poll taxes are still not illegal in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia; this fact means that 38 states must ratify a US Constitutional Amendment because five state governments refuse to pass basic state laws to benefit American voters in those states…

– The Washington Post, 1/29/1964

After surviving the experience of getting shot, Johnson was determined to implement gun reform, only to face a myriad of problems concerning such an endeavor when discussing the idea with several congressmen in late January. First of all, when Congressman Emmanuel Celler brought up mental health, it was shot down by most in his own party as being a moot point, as suspected mentally unwell individuals were kept far away from society and guns via asylums.
Secondly, mail order weaponry would require a strong centralized handling of purchases and transports made across state borders. Conservative congressmen believed that such government overreach would be a severe invasion of privacy and a suppression of businesses. "Attacks" on the most common form of gun purchasing, local purchases at stores, were seen as unnecessary to them due to an assumption the conservative congressmen made – that businessmen would be held responsible for selling weapons to an unwell individual by their other customers shifting to other places of business in the US's free markets.
Finally, the most prevalent obstacle to Johnson's gun reform efforts was a general disinterest in such reform. While Johnson had become the first sitting U.S. President to survive a bullet entering his body, the fact remained that he had survived; in the end, nobody had to mourn. Nevertheless, Johnson’s vocal support for a “nationwide analysis” of America’s gun policies persevered, with its most immediate legislative victory being the Interstate Firearms Shipment Regulation Act, introduced by Senator Thomas J. Dodd in 1965 and signed into law in 1967. But in 1964, the best Johnson could do was focus on the mental well-being of veterans. The President surmised that his would-be killer was unbalanced and argued that Vallee, as a former Marine, should have been more regularly checked on by appropriate medical personnel.
Thus, while gun control measures remained as-is for the time being, the US Veterans Department ultimately saw its 1964-1965 budget double for veterans treatment.

– Journalist Rachel Joy Scott’s The American Gun: A Love-and-Hate Story, Technic Publishing, 2021

February 1, 1964

To: The President

From: Director Dulles

Our men have confirmed that General Nguyen Khanh prevented an assassination attempt on South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem at 2300hrs yesterday. The perpetrators reportedly belonged to the Viet Cong, and Khanh has pursued them into the central highlands. Capture or destruction is likely as Khanh knows the terrain well. I suggest we convince Diem to promote Khanh, as this is the third plot to remove Diem that he has successfully deflected…

– Private telegram from the Pentagon to the White House; discovered, declassified and disclosed in 1992

I said to Lyndon, “It’ll be best for this administration to avoid making the rising conflict in Vietnam another American War. This is their war, the Vietnamese people. We can give them aid, we can even give them advisors and experts. But they must win it or lose it themselves. If it was up to me, I’d be fully prepared to let this be something they lose instead of something that we lose.”

“And let the Chinese take another step in taking over that entire region? F@#k that!” was his response.

“Johnson, if we go in there, we’ll drive the nationalists right into the arms of the communists. We can’t afford to internationalize the conflict by attacking or invading or even bombing the north, [4] because that won’t work, Lyndon. It won’t work.”

Johnson replied, “If we handle the Viet Cong the right way, it will work, Jack. It will work, I tell you!”

Clifford interjected before another shouting match began with “Well first we have to unite the South Vietnamese behind a leader they all like. Diem’s in our pocket, but he’s not in their hearts, so we can either find another stooge or try to win the people over.”

I backed the first choice, but the President went with the second, believing Diem to be too valuable to oust. The situation was precarious, and any changes in command could disrupt alliances and trust, he reasoned.

"So how deeply do you want us to get involved, Cliff," I asked Johnson's advisor when Lyndon wasn't around.

"For the time being, we're going to try and keep the levels of our boys over there as is," he said. I couldn't tell if it was a lie.

– Jack Kennedy’s On the Precipice of Change: The Complete Memoirs of Jack Kennedy, Tangent Writer’s House, 1983

By February, the upcoming trial of Tino De Angelis had become a media circus. Paparazzi invaded De Angelis' home life, hounding his relatives for the inside scoop on "Tino the Trickster," the man that the major companies he had duped were happy to dub a one-man market-wrecker. Photographers and reporters hovered around court houses and lawyer offices like vultures keeping their eyes on a dying animal lost in some hopeless desert, waiting for their next chance to flash their bulbs and barker out their questions. ...De Angelis faced multiple charges, the largest of which were counterfeiting receipts, attempted bribery, and commodities fraud. When bail was set at $200,000, De Angelis claimed he did not have that kind of money. Just weeks later, however, an investigation led by the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey David M. Satz Jr. revealed De Angelis had hidden over $500,000 in a Swiss bank account. This led to a charge of contempt being tacked onto his list of crimes, since he had already declared bankruptcy. The press ate up the story, along with the follow-up that De Angelis was looking for a new defense attorney after his previous one left over Tino's tendency to lie and deceive even the people who were on his side, either out of mistrust or sheer stupidity...

– John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Salad Oil Recession: The Causes and Effects of the Black Weekend of 1963, Excelsior Publishers, 1971


[pic: ]
– De Angelis’ reaction to hearing the charges brought against him, c. February 1962


– The New York Times, 2/10/1964

Host WALTER CRONKITE: …we take you live to our CBS correspondent in Georgia, who is now at the scene of the melee. Hello? How are things down there?"

CORRESPONDENT: Walter, people are in a state of panic here after snipers began firing at civil rights leaders, uh, Reverend King, and several members, including members of the NAACP and other Civil Rights groups [pause]. Oh, just a moment, Walter, hold on. [pause] I have an update, Walter: according to the medical personnel, Dr. King, and organizers Hosea Williams and James Forman were hit by sniper fire alongside two security guards, whom reportedly moved to protect them during the shooting. That's according to an anonymous source who works at the hospital. Now, it is still unclear, however, how severe each of their injuries are, but they all have been taken to the Atlanta Medical Center, uh, hospital, uh, which you can see behind me, um, and, uh, we’ll soon be heading over there to learn the latest developments in this terrible turn of events. Walter?…

– CBS broadcast, 2/10/1964

…our correspondents in New York City; Washington D.C.; Oakland, California; and other cities are reporting escalating incidents of civil unrest as the nation anticipates the hospital releasing more information concerning the health conditions of the three Civil Rights leaders… In St. Louis, hundreds are taking to the streets in outrage, with peaceniks leading a sit-in at the city's local colleges, and a small riot developing in the northern side of the metropolitan area...

– NBC broadcast, 2/11/1964

“I was walking in the back… Dr. King got nicked in the shoulder thanks to his bodyguard’s ribcage affecting the bullet’s trajectory. Forman survived his bullet to the chest because it slipped right on past the vital organs. But Hosea…Hosea was walking ahead of all of ’em, eager to return to H.Q. to set up plans for combating continuing unfair employment and housing policies. He never got to see how that’d play out.”

– retired politician A. J. Young, ABC interview, 2014

“Hosea Williams was an inspiring and courageous champion for Civil Rights, and the actions of his fierce bravery, his consistent pragmatism, his undying patriotism, and his tragic sacrifice will be felt for generations to come.”

– President Lyndon B. Johnson in a Special Address to the Nation, 2/12/1964

“People who say that violence isn’t the answer aren’t answering the same question as the rest of us! In order to communicate with savages who cannot speak your language, you need to speak their language. And violence is the language of the white man!”

– Malcolm X, 2/12/1964, multiple sources

RIOTS RETURN TO CITIES NATION-WIDE!: Rev. King Urges Peace as Rage Engulfs Urban Areas

...from coast to coast, from Los Angeles to Boston, flames are engulfing communities as civil disobedience takes a violent turn in response to the latest incident of race-based violence...

– The St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota newspaper, 2/13/1964

In February, Jim returned from the Oasis. He saw the escalation of riots in US as a harbinger of the obstreperous rumpus yet to come, and soon called upon his followers to relocate the church to California, where he was certain we would acquire more followers, as the number of people willing to join to escape the turmoil unfolding across America was surely on the rise…

– Marceline Jones (1927-2018), 1990 interview


...the situation is de-escalating in a majority of cities as cooler heads prevail and communities look to what will come next - recovering from the damage brought about over the past several intense and troublesome days...

– The Star-Tribune, Minnesota newspaper, 2/15/1964

DEGAULLE OPENLY THREATENS TO WITHDRAW FRANCE FROM NATO: Demands France Be Given “More Equal” Say in Military Strategies

…Over the years, the French President has butted heads with almost every single founding member of NATO, though tensions with the US over the Suez Crisis have cooled ever since Eisenhower left office. …the announcement has led to some protests and counter-protests at universities in Paris and Nice, with many French students whom believe the nation’s funds should go to improving social programs, not weaponry, supporting the withdrawal. "I dare him to withdrawal," says one political science graduate student from Marseille, "I want to see him call his very obvious bluff"…

The Sun, UK newspaper, 22/2/1964


Washington, DC – US Senator Clinton P. Anderson, chairman of the US Senate Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee, handed down a guilty verdict to the companies responsible for the production of NASA’s cockpit materials (primarily, North American Aviation), after the committee determined that the materials, not human error, produced the damage to NASA property and the hospitalization of astronaut Scott Carpenter via a fire that broke out at Cape Canaveral on February 7, 1962. The ruling settled a 24-months-long debate over whom was at fault for the fire… An inspection of the quality of materials agreed to in NAA’s contract with NASA, and a critical review of NAA’s management, delivery systems, and quality services, revealed inconsistencies with the qualities of materials promised and the qualities of still-unused materials that NASA had received… NAA and other companies will likely receive generous fines for what could be viewed as a breach of a federal government contract...

– The Miami Herald, 2/22/1964

MORE TROOPS TO BE SENT TO VIETNAM-LAOS BORDER: L.B.J. Vows to End North ’Nam Aggression; Exact Troop Numbers To Be Announced “Soon”

The New York Post, 2/23/1964

…In an astonishing move, President Johnson today doubled the number of American troops that will be stationed in Southeast Asia… Many of these soldiers are veterans of Cuba who have re-enlisted, but most of them are soldiers who are being transferred directly from operations in Cuba...

– Chet Huntley, the Huntley-Brinkley Report, 2/25/1964

"Cliff, you son of a bitch!"

– U.S. Secretary of State Jack Kennedy, 2/25/1964 (allegedly)

I’m not alone in worrying about Lyndon’s mental health. Ladybird confided in me today that, very recently, he has begun researching some strange rumor he heard about concerning Presidents dying in office - something called The Curse of Tippy-canoe [sic]…

– Excerpt from the Diary of Mildred Stegall, personal secretary to Lyndon Johnson, 2/29/1964 entry

…The 1931 edition of “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” is the earliest known treatise to document the 20-year peculiarity, and was discussed in newspapers again in 1940, 1945 and 1960. Additional writers, including Ed Koterba in his “Assignment Washington” column, suggested either seriously or in jest that the “curse” stemmed from then-Governor of the Indiana Territory William Henry Harrison’s actions against the Shawnee during the 1810s, culminating in the “prophet” Shawnee leader Tenskwatawa cursing Harrison. The prophet allegedly proclaimed that Harrison, and all future US presidents elected in a year ending with the same last number as the year in which Harrison wins election to the Presidency (1840, and thus the "number" zero), will die in office. The “curse” notion holds little water when one considers how Tenskwatawa had no way of knowing Harrison would become President in thirty years unless he truly was prophetic.

Nevertheless, the "curse" was, at the very least, an imaginative explanation for a real-life statistical curiosity, as everyone who had ever won a U.S. Presidential election in a year ending in zero had in fact died while still serving in that office. Harrison won the Presidency in 1840, then died roughly one month into office; Abraham Lincoln won the Presidency in 1860, then was assassinated while in office; James A. Garfield won the Presidency in 1880, and was assassinated in office less than a year later; William McKinley won re-election in 1900, and was assassinated while in office not too long after; Warren G. Harding won the Presidency in 1920 and died in office in 1923; and Franklin D. Roosevelt won a third time in 1940 and died in office in 1945. And most recently, Lyndon Johnson had won the Presidency in 1960.

The Shawnee, who mainly centered in the Ohio valley at that time that the alleged curse was cast, were then repeatedly relocated westward until ending up in Oklahoma by the end of the nineteenth century. While Johnson was typically a level-headed man when it came to superstitions, he nevertheless may have become convinced that the curse was real after surviving two assassination attempts in 1962 and 1963, and possibly came to believe that the only way to end the curse was to make right the wrong made to the Shawnee. These suspicions would explain Johnson’s major upheaval in federal-tribal relations.

In 1964, only two Shawnee tribes were federally recognized: The Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. The Loyal, or Cherokee, Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma was a contender for a third recognition. In early March 1964, President Johnson quietly met with Nipo T. Strongheart (5/15/1891-12/31/1966), a Yakama Nation Native American advocate whom played a role in the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, for undisclosed purposes. Soon after, for reasons not explicitly known, Johnson called for the federal recognition of four more Shawnee Tribes: the aforementioned "third" Oklahoma Tribe, plus the Piqua Shawnee Tribe of Alabama, the United Remnant Band in Ohio, and the Blue Creek Band of Indiana. This action was praised by politicians on the left, whom saw it as a return to the policy established under FDR and as a rebuke and reversal of Congressional efforts to assimilate Native Americans by terminating the legal standing of dozens of tribes via judging members to be ready to become independent American citizens (efforts that allegedly aimed to destroy Native American languages, histories, and cultures in an attempt to hide the atrocious anti-Native Americans policies and actions of past state and federal administrations).

Upon hearing about the President’s declaration, Congressman Ben Reifel (R-SD), the only Native American in Congress, was inspired to introduce with Congressman Emmanuel Celler (D-NY) the Indian Civil Rights bill. The bill called for the application of the U.S. Bill of Rights to “Indian Country,” a guarantee which Native Americans on reservations had not enjoyed; in short, it would make tribal government more akin to modern American court systems. The true impetus for the bill, however, was most likely efforts to address the noted corruption and disorganization of the tribal courts, and to correct a major legal oversight - that tribes were subjected to the US Constitution while their courts were not covered by the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

Regardless of its origin, Johnson was a vocal supporter of the bill and pushed for it to be passed before the year was out. It became law in early 1965…

– Presidential Skeletons: Paranoia, Secrets, Curses and Other Bizarre White House Tales, Penguin Publishing, 1993


Washington, DC – US Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford refused to answer questions at a press conference today concerning US military presence in Vietnam. Clifford refused to clarify the short- and long-term goals and purposes of American intervention in the “growing destabilization of the vital region,” as the Defense department has described the situation abroad. The growing split in troop deployment between Cuba and Southeast Asia led to reporters asking which country is “our current top priority.” Other reporters repeatedly inquired "when will our boys return home?” For many questions like these, Secretary Clifford uttered the phrase “I cannot answer that on the grounds of national protection” no less than seven distinct and separate times…

– Journalist Drew Pearson’s critical syndicated newspaper column “Washington Merry-Go-Round,” 3/1/1964

THE SHOUTNIKS GO TO COLLEGE: What Are The Issues Behind The Rise In Youth Protesting?

University of Berkeley, CA - From the conditions soldiers face in Cuba and the Laos-Vietnam conflict, to the rise in racial tensions such as the Xenia riots and Hosea Williams riots sparking nationwide accusations of police brutality, the Shoutniks are being heard. Where they are being addressed, though, depends on who’s hearing them.
For some, these issue are being brought up at the local government level, with sit-ins a mayors' offices or peaceful protests at state capitals. For more academic young minds, it's the many departments on college campuses that are attempting to diffuse tense situations with mediation, negotiating resolutions peacefully in a way one hopes can be replicated on larger scales.
Even sporting events being pulled into the melee. Just last week, shoutnik activists took the field during half-time at a football game at Rutgers University (which the home team, the Scarlet Knights, won 10-2) to demand the audience write to their representatives about defending civil rights.
For other young activists, their audience is of the more political persuasion. For example, this summer, activists David R. Rudd of New York (age: 25) and Mario Savio of California (age: 21) will attend the Democratic National Convention after canvassing swaths of counties to shore up potential Morse voters during the upcoming Democratic primaries.
“Change can begin to happen anywhere in American society, even in politics. At the very least, Morse should be able to influence the party’s platform to make it more pro-peace and less dangerous belligerent to other nations,” Savio explained. "Any small contribution to improving this country's treatment of its next generation of leaders can have a positive and long-lasting ripple effect, and so any little contribution at all is greatly appreciated by people like David and I."
Rudd described to us how even his younger brother Mark is getting involved: he’s running for student body president of his high school to oppose its allegedly "biased" history books and assignments. "He wants to be able to look back on all this with pride. Either pride that he helped change things for the better, or pride that he at least helped to try and change things."
Shoutniks and the political, economic, and social issues of their generation have also been dominating the music scene almost as prevalently as Elvis was not too many years ago, with young performers ranging from the simplistic notes of Tommy Chong and Company and the eloquent ballads of Gordon Lightfoot to the more aggressive energy of the newcomers Frank Zappa and Bob Dylan. These songs often touch on the value of human life, on the beauty of love, and importance of tolerence, history, and cultures around the world.
Regarding publications and literary movements, both musical and political angsts are being related to and expressed through a new journalistic publication called Tumbleweed, which puts the concerns of the young to print. Already catching the attention of the waning House Un-American Activities Committee, the magazine's co-founders express no fear of government reprisals. "We simply direct our critics to the language of the First Amendment," co-founder Bern Sanders curtly tells us in a brief discussion at his office. "These youth activists want to see systemic change to dismantle America's racist institutions and economic reliance on warfare. There is nothing anti-American about wanting to make America better off than it is right now, in this current climate."
Like in recent music recordings, the growing generational divide of our time is also being reflected in the films produced in this past year, causing many parents and older Americans to reject these films due to their unconventional aesthetics. One middle-class father of three explained, “I don’t let my children go to the movies alone anymore because I don't want my children exposed to that junk. You can tell the shoutniks are just socialists in disguise because they openly oppose American authority figures. Never before have I seen a generation behave so disrespectfully to the President, so unruly, so anti-American. Has any country ever had a generation so willing to turn traitor before?”
Bern Sanders offers a different view: “We are told, from the moment that we can comprehend it, that the United States of America is a land of opportunity, where anything is possible. And 'anything' includes making America a land of peace, love, and equality and no longer a land of war, hatred and systematic socio-economic oppression.”

Time Magazine, 3/2/1964 report

Louisiana gubernatorial general election results, March 3, 1964:
U.S. Representative Gillis Long (Democratic) – 446,478 (57.73%)
Shreveport oil businessman Charlton Lyons (Republican) – 307,964 (39.82%)
Mr. Thomas S. Williams (States’ Rights Party of Louisiana) – 18,948 (2.45%)
Total votes: 773,390
This was the first truly competitive gubernatorial general election in Louisiana since Reconstruction.
At 40 (but 41 on inauguration day (May 12)), Gillis Long was the youngest person elected Governor since Gillis' uncle, Huey Long was elected in 1928 at the age of 35.



Concord, NH – In the first contest of this year’s Presidential campaign, US President Lyndon Johnson (Democrat) and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller (Republican) won the first-in-the-nation primary elections of their respective parties earlier tonight. Johnson deflected two challengers – Senator Morse, running to the President’s left – and former Governor Patterson, running to the President’s right. Surprisingly, a write-in campaign for an undeclared candidate, former Senator Lodge, defeated Senator Goldwater for second place…

Democratic primary results:
Johnson – 80.11%
Morse – 14.54%
Patterson – 4.82%
Other – 0.53%

Republican primary results:
Rockefeller – 38.12%
Lodge – 36.71%
Goldwater – 20.25%
Nixon – 2.60%
Smith – 1.23%
Others – 1.09%

– The Los Angeles Times, 3/10/1964

…I established Muslim Mosque Inc. on March 12, 1964, just four days after leaving the Nation of Islam, much to the ire of my former allies…

– Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, New York Grove Press, 1990

…Malcolm X’s life was repeatedly threatened. In February, Malcolm discovered a bomb strapped to the bottom of his car [5]. In March, Elijah Muhammad told Boston minister Louis X that “hypocrites like Malcolm should have their heads cut off,” [6]. The threats and intimidating escalated with threatening phone calls beginning soon afterwards. In March, Malcolm X's house was partially burned in a fire [7], causing Malcolm to relocate his family to a friend’s home for the sake of their safety. In light of these dangers Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. reportedly "saw what could be called 'karma,' but he but took no joy from it," according to his son Martin Luther King III. More directly, King expressed mixed feelings toward Malcolm X, agreeing with his style, calling it highly effective and articulate, but not with his substance, once commenting “I have often wished that he would talk less of violence, because violence is not going to solve our problem.” Furthermore, King believed that with only a message of violence, Malcolm was not “offering any positive, creative alternative…urging Negroes to arm themselves and prepare to engage in violence, as he has done, can reap nothing but grief.” [8] Meanwhile, Malcolm began purchasing more guns in preparation of the intimidation tactics rising even futher...

– Herb Boyd and Ilyasah Shabazz’s Malcolm vs. Martin: Violence and Peace After the End of Segregation, Chicago Third World Press, 2013

[ video: pwURoueDzFo ]
– Colonel Sanders in a KFC commercial, c. March 1964

And here’s the latest from France… University student groups have organized demonstration across their country today in protest of the French government approving of French President De Gaulle’s move to send further military aid to Cuba’s attempts to quash remaining Communist guerilla fighters in the island nation’s jungle interior. The move comes weeks after De Gaulle ceased rhetoric critical of NATO, which had also stirred up activism reactions among France's academic student bodies earlier this year... With the French markets suffering from the US’s Salad Oil Stock Collapse in the form of numerous layoffs, many of these student activists believe that the De Gaulle government is ignoring the people who are most in need of federal assistance… De Gaulle has been critical of these protestors, and recently dismissed their calls for French withdrawal from assisting the US in anti-communist operations in Cuba by compared Cuba to WWII-era France. “We did not rest until every Nazi was out of France. We will not rest until every Communist is out of Cuba. France will never abandon its fellow lovers of freedom.” ...France’s withdrawal from Indochina aside, the French President remains confident that he still has the support of the people despite his significant drop in recent approval rating polls…

– BBC report, 3/17/1964

…According to Harley Sanders, “They were invited, along with other members of the press, to sample Colonel Sander’s Country Style Ribs--the first new entré” to the company’s standard “core” menu in three years [9]. Upon their overwhelming approval, the Sanders family got right to work releasing the new item to the rest of the populace. The [1964] introduction of the barbecue spare ribs in select KFC outlets saw “tremendous” operating problems [10] during the first few months, only for Harley’s sister Mildred Sanders to “turn things around” by the end of March by ordering newer machinery, developing quicker delivery methods, and utilizing worker input and suggestions to carefully micromanage the production process in order to discover how to best avoid sacrificing quality for efficiency.

Ray Kroc, not wanting to be outdone by the Colonel, sought to copy the Colonel’s ribs’ success, but because his uniform franchises were designed for mass production and not for the introduction of new foods or new food production methods, attempts to implement their own version of it were slow. Early forms of a McRib Burger were eventually released to limited test locations along the west coast in the fall of that year, missing the crucial summer season, when barbeque consumption rates are highest. When the McRib Burger received poor reviews, Kroc quickly cut his losses – he scrapped the entire endeavor, with the remaining McRib Burger meat being sold to local steakhouses and butcher shops for a slight profit…

– Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012


[ pic: ]
– A standard box of KFC Country Style Ribs, c. March 1964


Stanford University, CA – The biological sciences department at Stanford University is at the center of controversy as the dean of the department found himself unable to exit his office today due to a collection of shoutniks blocking the doors and windows. While no violence was reported, the dean nevertheless called the police to the scene of the "disruptive incident," as it was initially reported to police and campus security personnel …Last week, reports revealed that the dean had accepted funds from the US military for “biological research” to be conducted at the university's biological sciences department …The young activists are claiming that the “germ warfare money” is an act of “medical abuse” and have threatened to make a citizen’s arrest if the dean does not return the “blood money” funds. At the time of this publication, the standoff between the activities and local law enforcement is still ongoing…

– The San Francisco Chronicle, 3/29/1964

"I'm proud of those young men and women for actively protesting this academic mistake. They made their voices heard, and in a manner that has resulted in nobody getting hurt."

– US Senator Wayne Morse (D-OR), 3/30/1964

“I think that students definitely have a right to protest, that’s a right protected by the constitution, but like I’ve said in the past, I think they should learn how to compromise and behave in a civil manner when at the negotiating table. There’s something off about being violent for the sake of peace… I think the shoutniks should be more like the beatniks – reasonable and not disrespectful – or neither side will be able to get anywhere!”

– Colonel Sanders during a guest spot on Paul Harvey News and Comment, ABC Radio Network program, 4/1/1964

“It was not until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Butts v. Virginia Board of Elections (April 1964) that all state poll taxes (for state elections) were officially declared unconstitutional as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and eased the passage of the Twenty-Fourth Amendment.”

– From The 1960s: A History, Scholastic, 2007

PUB BOMB LINKED TO IRA: Act Possibly Influenced By Cuba’s “Cam Bomb” Campaign

…The IRA has increased its level of violence in recent weeks, largely over the U.K.’s financial investments in the Cuba War and quite possibly inspired by events unfolding in France and much of the United States…

– United Press International report, 4/4/1964

YOUTH ON THE WARPATH IN QUEST FOR PEACE: How America’s Next Generation Is Affecting Us Now

…Stanford’s Dean is being supported by the teachers and local community for the job creation, but is being heckled and jeered at by shoutniks for expelling the students whom orchestrated the barricading of him in his office last month. The dean has defended the action, claiming "these youngster must learn that now that they are legally adults, their actions have consequences"… In light of all charges being dropped against the first "round" of students that were arrested, and the return of controversial grant money being hailed as a victory by some on the left, some supporters of the shoutniks are calling the situation a "victory." For example, activist Bernardine Dohm remarked on April 5, “This is a movement not confined to this campus, or even to this state. This is a cultural phenomenon, and it will not go away any time soon.” Additionally, one of Dohm's fellow activists, Ted Gold, was bolder in his summation of recent years, predicting “only good things will come for us from here on out.”

Newsweek, April 1964 issue

"America is in crisis, folks, but just because President Johnson is doing nothing about it doesn't mean y'all shouldn't do something about it, neither!"

– John M. Patterson (D-AL), campaigning in Kenosha, WI, 4/6/1964


…In tonight's Democratic Wisconsin primary, former Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson won roughly 40% of the vote, defeating the state's "favorite son" stand-in for President Lyndon Johnson, state Governor John W. Reynolds, by 5%. This was possibly a rebuff of Johnson’s Cuba Policy, which reportedly has Johnson backers worried. “This victory,” Patterson declared earlier tonight, “Prove that the people disapprove of the actions of this administration, especially when it comes to the really important issues.” Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon was unable to get on the Wisconsin ballot, but nevertheless received 1.7% of approved write-in votes. …On the Republican side of the night, an “unaligned” favorite-son candidate, US Congressman J. W. Byrnes, surpassed leading candidates Goldwater and Rockefeller with a plurality of the vote…

– The Milwaukee State Journal, Wisconsin newspaper, 4/7/1964

TOM JONES, CELOPATRA DOMINATE OSCARS; Poitier The First Negro Ever to Win Best Actor

Santa Monica, CA – …The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium hosted the 36th Academy Awards last night and was hosted by Jack Lemmon. The film “Tom Jones” swept the categories with 10 nominations and tying for the most wins (four) with “Cleopatra.” …Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier won the award for Best Actor for his performance in “Lilies of the Field”… Surprisingly, Ub Iwerks won the Oscar for Best Special Effects for his work on the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Birds”…

– The Los Angeles Times, 4/14/1964

“Boy, what a turnout, huh? Folks, this isn’t the kind of night you see every day!”

– Barry Goldwater at a victory rally in Chicago, IL, 4/14/1964


Chicago, IL – The President celebrated a resounding victory in last night's Democratic Presidential primary in Illinois by attending a function hosted by Mayor Daley of Chicago. Johnson won roughly 86% of the contest's vote, against Patterson’s 11% (almost entirely from the southern half of the state), and Morse’s 3%. Meanwhile, Republicans waged a battle that came down to the wire, as Goldwater edged out Rockefeller with a slim majority, marking the Senator’s first primary won. “This is a big moment for him. It could mean Midwestern voters could possibly stomach his dangerous brand of conservatism in November,” an anonymous backer of Rockefeller worriedly explained to our reporters at the Rockefeller campaign's state headquarters in Springfield. ...Tonight was also a big night for US Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, who achieved roughly a quarter of all votes cast in the G.O.P. primary. "A percentage this generous demonstrates how greatly social views are changing for the better in this country," says one of her supporters in Peoria, "It shows that the idea of a woman becoming President is no longer a fantasy to be laughed at, but a real possibility that is taken more and more seriously with each passing day"...

Chicago Tribune, 4/15/1964


Trenton, NJ – …The President secured the Garden State's winner-take-all DNC delegation with just under 55% of the vote tonight. The results are far from the landslide predicted in the latest polls. Johnson seemed to lose voters to Patterson, whom surged to 29% in the final results, which is a surprisingly strong showing for the south-based candidate. Factors may have included his strong grassroots support from the southern, more rural half of the state, especially from the more conservative “Pine Barrens” area, and from the state being “socially shaken,” according to Governor Hughes, by rioting in many areas after the assassination of Civil Rights organizer Hosea Williams back in February. US Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon won roughly 15% of the vote, nearly entirely from the urban areas of the state… In New Jersey's Republican primary, which was also held tonight, US Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona won over New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and the undeclared candidacy of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. of Massachusetts, with the latter’s write-in campaign coming in second place. With 40% of the primary vote, Goldwater may have benefitted from a split in the state’s liberal Republican voters, who were torn between Rockefeller and Lodge…

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey newspaper, 4/21/1964

“I respect Johnson because he is our President. But I have to seriously question his leadership skills. Our soldiers are getting killed 90 miles from home, and now we’re sending them off to get killed on the near-exact opposite side of the planet. Blacks and whites are fightin’ in the cities and laborers are livin’ in hell in the countrysides. What in h*ll’s name does Johnson think he’s doing right?”

– Colonel Sanders on Face the Nation, 4/23/1964

TONIGHT’S PRIMARIES: LBJ Bounces Back In M.A. Sweep; G.O.P. Draft Bids Surge In M.A., P.A.

Boston, MA – US President Lyndon Johnson was the runaway victor tonight thanks to his surrogate on the ballot, former Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody, predictably besting US Senator Wayne Morse and former Alabama Governor John Patterson. Massachusetts’ long history of espousing liberal philosophy led to Morse winning 25% of the Bay State's Democratic primary vote despite the work of pro-Johnson US Secretary of State Jack Kennedy of Massachusetts and his many statewide connections. Patterson received a paltry 3.9% in a regional rejection of his outspoken conservatism. …On the Republican side of the night, the Draft Lodge movement finally won a primary, with the former Senator winning a plurality in tonight's Republican Massachusetts primary. Undeclared Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton also won his home state’s primary in a write-in campaign. Scranton seems more open to accepting the nomination that Lodge; regardless, one Lodge support noted that the results are a clear sign that “the people are restless and disapproving of the current batch of Republican candidates. They want a new one.” …In the Democratic Pennsylvania primary, Johnson underperformed in the wake of Patterson managing to appeal to some of the rural conservative Democratic voters found across the state...

The Washington Post, 4/28/1964

[ video: IyRODm5_RXc ]
– KFC commercial, first aired 4/29/1964

“The youth rebellion is a worldwide phenomenon that has not been seen before in history. I do not believe they will calm down and be advertisement executives by the time they’re 30, as the Establishment would like us to believe.”

– William Burroughs, writer, 4/30/1964 interview [11]

[1] These italic bits were pulled from a quote found here:
[2] LBJ really did say this OTL!
[3] These quotes (italics) pulled from this interesting article:
[4] This quote was spoken (by someone else) in the Vietnam Documentary “In the Year of the Pig,” starting at the 51:25 mark.
[5] Found in Karim, Benjamin; w/ Peter Skutches & David Gallen (1992). Remembering Malcolm. New York: Carroll & Graf, ISBN 978-0-88184-881-6; p. 159-160.
[6] Pulled from Kondo, Zak A. (1993). Conspiracys: Unravelling the Assassination of Malcolm X. Washington, D.C.: Nubia Press, p. 170
[7] Found here: Perry, Bruce (1991). Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America. Barrytown, N.Y.: Station Hill, ISBN 978-0-88268-103-0; p. 352-356.
[8] This MLK Quote is from OTL!
[9] This italicized passage was pulled from here:
[10] At least, according to Source 56 on the Wikipedia page for the History of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
[11] He said something similar to this in 1968 IOTL.
Post 11
Post 11: Chapter 19

Chapter 19: May 1964 – July 1964

“Why not take a crazy chance… If you lose a moment, you might lose a lot, so why not? Why not?”

– Hilary Duff (sung); Charlie Midnight, with Matthew Gerrard (written)


[pic: ]

– Official portrait of Governor Sanders for the gallery section of the state capital building of Kentucky, Frankfort, KY, c. May 1964


…85% of the voters voted for Johnson, 10% voted for Patterson, 5% wrote in Senator Ralph Yarborough, 4% voted for Morse, and 1% voted for other individuals. …In the Republican primary also held tonight, Goldwater won the delegate-rich primary with 70% of the vote, crushing Rockefeller (whom only won 12%) and several unofficial candidates, including former Vice-President Nixon (7%), who may or may not run a more active campaign soon, and former Governor Colonel Sanders (5%), the latest politician – after former Senator Lodge and Governor Scranton – that a draft movement urging a less divisive candidate to enter the race has formed behind…

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/2/1964


“They’re Bombing Us Because Of You!”: Poll Suggests Most Cubans Starting To Resent U.S. Presence

Tallahassee Democrat newspaper headlines on 5/2/1964 and 5/3/1964, respectively


Washington, DC – Secretary of State Clark Clifford said today that he is convinced that the communist world would miscalculate as weakness any disengagement now in Cuba or Indochina by the United States. Clifford agreed with Sen. Karl Mundt (R-SD) on the issue of military engagement abroad during a 5 hour and 20 minute interrogation of the Secretary before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Never before in history had a secretary of state been exposed to a probe of American foreign policy on nation-wide television.

Mundt led the proceedings with the query “Well, what exactly are we doing in Cuba and Indochina?”

Clifford defended President Johnson’s attitude and actions towards these two areas with the statement “The executive branch always has looked to treaties and other resolutions for major foreign policy guidelines. But the Communist groups assaulting the nations of Laos, South Vietnam and Cambodia have repeatedly refused to comply with diplomatic functions.”

“And Cuba? Please explain the latest rise in American troops deployed to an independent nation allegedly cleared of civil strife?”

“This administration has never officially announced the end of hostilities in Cuba. Renegade guerilla fighters led by Camilo Cienfuegos still terrorize the countryside hoping to spark a resurgence in violence on the island.”

“So the war is not officially over?” Mundt requested clarification

“Cuba is still recovering from the effects of the war – ”

“So the conflict – ”

“Is still ongoing, but Cuba has become stable. We do not believe Camilo can retake control of the island, but his guerilla fighters and their bombing campaign are a threat to a nation still recovering from the war which is why their interim President, Dr. Jose Miro Cardenas, has permitted American troops to remain in Cuba until – ”

“Who permitted the troops remaining, Mr. Secretary?”

“Cardenas and Johnson agreed to the move, sir.”

“Who came up with it? Who first suggested it?” Mundt insisted.

“That’s classified…”

The focus soon shifted to America’s standing on the world stage.

Clifford explained to the committee that “the executive branch is going to do its best to meet American commitments. If more troops are needed in either region, we will, as we have done in the past, consult with appropriate members of Congress.”

When questioned on the morality of defending a region as geography distant from the US as Indochina, Clifford remarked, “It is essential for Americans to search their souls and determine how or even if we can tolerate the suppression of the principles on which this country stands occurring in foreign lands. This is a morality test. For the sake of ourselves and the world, we must pass it.”

To discuss classified information, Clifford suggested and won from Committee Co-Chair Senator Fulbright the right to meet with the committee in executive session rather than in public. A censored version of their exchange was later released.

– The Chicago Tribune, article by Russell Freeburg, 5/4/1964

…Senator Goldwater is in hot water over comments he made last night at a campaign fundraiser, where he was recorded calling Republican Indiana Governor Crawford Parker a, quote, “all-time loser,” [1] unquote…

– NBC News, 5/5/1964 broadcast

“I’m not yet endorsing anybody in the primaries because I’m disappointed in the hostility I’ve been seeing in the primaries lately. I think if Republicans want to fight, they should be fightin’ the Democrats, not each other.”

– Colonel Sanders at a Republican breakfast function in Washington, D.C., 5/5/1964


Gary, IN – In a surprising turn of events, Colonel Harland Sanders, the former Governor of Kentucky and founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast-food franchise, has won last our state’s Republican presidential primary as an undeclared write-in candidate. Sanders achieved a plurality of 29%, with Senator Goldwater coming in second with 26%, Governor Rockefeller with 25%, Senator Chase Smith with 10%, and undeclared candidate Richard Nixon with 6%, the remaining 4% being split among several other candidates. The upset over declared candidates Goldwater and Rockefeller is currently being contributed to the rise in draft movements in several states meant to convince a politician more palatable than Goldwater and Rockefeller to become a new viable candidate for the Republican nomination ahead of the party’s convention this summer. The Colonel’s opinion on this development remains unknown. When reached for comment outside his company’s headquarters in Florence, Kentucky, Sanders simply replied he was “flattered” before heading to a meeting in his private office. …The G.O.P. Ohio primary was held last night as well; it was won by the state’s favorite son candidate, Governor Rhodes… For the Democrats, the night was busier with an additional primary held for the first time ever in Washington, DC, along with their own primaries in Indiana and Ohio. Johnson secured all three primaries through favorite son candidates, though challenger John Patterson of Alabama won an impressive 40% in the Hoosier state due to grassroots connection in the state’s southern counties...

– The Indianapolis Star, 5/6/1964

I was genuinely surprised. The next day I went on TV and thanked the voters and said that I’d keep their preference in mind. Back in Florence, I was asking left and right how it had come about. Many of my people believed the idea sprouted up from my openness on Kentucky radio stations picked up in Indiana. But officially, the origin of the push for me to run remains unknown. My own guess is that some Republican Hoosiers that knew of my roots in the state thought it was a good idea. So did I, as time wore on. To be honest, the idea had crossed my mind from time to time, but only in jest. I first started to mull it around in my mind with more seriousness after that unplanned May 5 victory. But I was content with my position at K.F.C., and didn’t see a real reason to leave. Nonetheless, because I had won delegates from Indiana, I was invited to the Republican National Convention being held in July of that year, and I figured “Ah, heck, why not go?”

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

“No way, Rob. I think Sanders orchestrated the whole thing, all of it. The old bastard tasted power in the ’50s and he wanted more, plain and simple.”

– Roger Stone, responding to a question by Robert Towne, 1975 interview

…Racial tensions are reaching what our analysts informally referred to as the breaking point after a 15-year-old African-American boy was shot and killed by police offices outside of St. Louis theater… The incident seems to have sparked a second wave of reactionary violence, which Governor Patterson of Alabama has described as “bitterness and violence are beginning their trip back to America’s cities and urban stores.” President Johnson has called for “calm and order,” while Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is urging peaceful protests instead of anger-fueled vigilantism…

– Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News, 5/8/1964 broadcast


[pic: ]
Maddox (seen here at a rally for Governor Patterson during the 1964 Democratic primaries in Maryland, MD, c. May 1964), having lost his 1962 bid for lieutenant governor, sought to start a chicken franchise in the south to regionally compete with K.F.C., calling the enterprise “Georgia’s Best Chicken.” Hoping to establish a takeout-only marketing design (because “you can’t seat Blacks if there aren’t any seats at all” as he infamously put it), Maddox failed to branch out into other states. Several city governments in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama discouraged or even openly opposed Georgia’s Best outlets being set up in their city limits, over fear that Maddox’s divisive views would discourage other businesses and increase civil unrest. Attempts by Governor Bryant of Florida to support “the right to all forms of free enterprise” enraged shoutniks and beatniks already protesting across his state. As a result, Maddox’s franchise became largely confined only the most conservative (as whitest) parts of the Deep South.

Apart from Maddox’s endeavor, KFC’s closest fried-chicken national competitor during the 1960s was the Texas-based Church family’s “Chicken-To-Go,” which fed into the common saying of the Lone Star state by offering “Texas-sized” pieces of fried chicken that were bigger that KFC’s. However, Chicken-To-Go’s flagship offering was supplemented by far less menu options and a vastly inferior marketing department…

– Paul Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

“It is my opinion that the draft is an inefficient and expensive way to build an army… people should become soldiers because they chose to.[2]

– Barry Goldwater, multiple sources, 5/11/1964


…John M. Patterson, the former Governor of Alabama, won his second primary contest tonight with an impressive 42.5% of the vote. Johnson won 40.5%, while Senator Wayne Morse secured roughly 17% of vote. It appears that Morse may have siphoned enough votes away from the President to allow Patterson to win with a plurality… This is a large blow to the President, whom won West Virginia just four years prior by a narrow margin.

…In the Republican column, West Virginia’s Republican primary was won by Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York…

Over in Nebraska, Goldwater won that state’s Republican primary with 52%, with Rockefeller finishing in second with 35% and unannounced write-in candidate Colonel Sanders receiving 10%...

– The Baltimore Sun, 5/12/1964


Los Angeles, CA – Last night’s 6th annual Grammy awards ceremony saw several members of the “shoutnik” music scene win over classic favorites. …“Tommy Chong and The Others,” formally known as “Tommy Chong as His Gang,” “Tommy Chong and Company,” and “Tommy Chong and The Band,” won the Best Performance by a Vocal Group award for “Dave’s Not Here,” a ballot concerning a soldier named Dave returning from Cuba only to struggle to return to normal society, as he and his mind are “still over there.” …Gordon Lightfoot beat out Bob Dylan for Best Male Vocal Performance with his new single “Black Day in Ohio,” a melody reflecting on the Xenia Race Riots… Barbra Streisand won the album of the Year Award for “The Barbra Streisand Album,” Henry Mancini won the Record of the Year Award for “Days of Wine and Roses,” and Ward Swingle won the Best New Artist award over Gordon Lightfoot and Frank Zappa... The biggest surprise win of the night, though, was Paul, Peter and Mary winning the Song of the Year Award for “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which has been met with controversy as their version of the anti-war tune is actually a cover, or re-make, of a song originally recorded by Bob Dylan...

Variety, 5/13/1964

...Dick [Nixon] stood as an undeclared write-in candidate in Oregon, sensing that Goldwater or Rockefeller could fail to win enough delegates to win outright before the convention. Dick agreed with Ehrlichman and Haldeman that it was very advantageous for us that both of the leading candidates had sons eligible for the draft that had gotten out of it by medical deferments. Barry Goldwater Jr was a recent law school graduate working on his father’s campaign in California, while Michael Rockefeller, after spending, I want to say, 1961 and 1962 splitting his time between Pacific Island cultures and organizing Cuban refugee assistance programs, was now working for some sort of cultural promotion program at some college somewhere in California; I want to say Berkeley. Ah, no matter. Point being, Dick agreed that we would “shine light on these spots if we need to,” as I recall him saying. But on the night of the primary – May 15 – Dick lost. He came in third place behind Rockefeller and Goldwater; the loss was still very discouraging to Nixon. …On the Democratic side of that night, Morse predictably won his home state, pissing off Lyndon, or so I’ve heard…

– Bebe Rebozo, CBS interview, 1988

“A person’s job, their livelihood, shouldn’t be easy, but it shouldn’t be miserable. You shouldn’t ever let work crush your spirit. You got to like your work. You have got to like what you are doing, you have got to be doing something worthwhile so you can like it – because if it is worthwhile, then it makes a difference, it changes the worker from being a pawn or a cog into a person that matters. Small businesses, Mom and Pop stores, like the kind my own company was a few centuries back, heh, well small businesses understand the importance of working with their workers, they understand how that benefits both of them. …Don’t be against things so much as for things.” [3] For instance, don’t be against war so much as for peace, you see? Focus on the bright side to defeat the dark side of the problem. It’s that kind of positive thinking that leads to positive things!”

– Colonel Sanders at a breakfast-and-politics function in Frankfort, KY, 5/17/1964

“…In fact, I think returning to a policy of manned bombings could finally evict Communism from Cuba, and if that doesn’t work, sending some troops back to Cuba could work, too. My view on war is very clear – total victory; once it starts, we finish! But now, let me talk for a bit about lowering taxes and government spending. We need to balance the federal budget…”

– Barry Goldwater during a stump speech in St. Charles, MD, 5/17/1964


…Patterson achieved 56% of the vote against President Johnson’s 34%, with Morse’s numbers declining back to the single digits with 9%. …In light of Goldwater’s latest controversial comments, it is not too surprising that the Draft Sanders movement achieved another victory in tonight’s Republican primary in Maryland. Sanders came in second place behind “uncommitted,” but ahead of Rockefeller and even farther ahead of Goldwater…

– The Chicago Tribune, 5/19/1964


[pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders appears in a scene with Jerry Lewis in the 1964 film The Patsy; a sequel to The Bellboy and originally called The Bellboy Returns, The Patsy was released on the 12th of August but was filmed in April and May

It is unclear when exactly the Colonel first met Jerry Lewis. A widely spread yet only partially substantiated story goes that in early 1963, KFC was ordered for the film crew of the Jerry Lewis film “Who’s Minding the Store?” just as the Colonel was visiting the studio grounds, leading to the Colonel volunteering to deliver the order himself as he wanted to meet “a big-name star” while he was in town. Regardless of any alleged serendipity, the fact remains that from their friendship arose the Colonel’s involvement in the fight against Muscular Dystrophy – a terrible diverse-in-variation muscle disease/genetic defect that wears down a person’s skeletal muscles and nerves system. Since 1956, Lewis had served as the National Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, an organization founded in 1950 to fight the disease with research into understanding it better and possibly finding a cure, medical/community support, health education, and other means. Apart from generous donations from his own fortune, the Colonel quickly thought up how to get more people to fundraise this important research.

– Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012


[pic: ]
– KFC poster promoting donations to the M.D.A., released early May 1964


– The Hollywood Reporter, 5/21/1964


[pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders and Jerry Lewis hugging upon reviewing the then-recent surge in M.D.A. donations, 5/26/1964


…This latest surprise win for the unofficial “draft Sanders” movement is stirring up discussions on its viability in Republican circles... The Colonel received 35% of the vote; Rockefeller won 30%, Goldwater won 25%, and all other candidates combined make up the remaining 5%.

…Governor Patterson, strongly endorsed by Governor Bryant, trounced President Johnson in the Democratic primary. Patterson described Johnson’s handling of the War in Cuba as “foolish… we left before the War was even over, and in turn left behind an unstable island full of Communist guerilla maniac bombers that will not rest until every American city is petrified by the fear of another Cam bomb attack,” as Patterson declared at a rally in Tallahassee on Friday. Patterson won 55% of the vote to Johnson’s 30% and Senator Wayne Morse’s 10%...

– The Orlando Sentinel, 5/26/1964


…“If I was President, I would do a lot of good for a lot of people, but I’m already doing that now making quality chicken and affordable prices. As President, though, I could do even more, so the idea is not a bad one…” Colonel Sanders said…

Associated Press, 5/27/1964

“Privately, Goldwater criticized the Colonel. He complained ‘I’m a superior version of him. Business experience? I started running my family’s department store when I was 20! And I have way more military experience. An honorary Colonel? I was in World War Two as an air force pilot and I’m now a major general in the Air Force Reserves; that’s better than any honorary title!’”

– lawyer and 1964 Goldwater aide William A. Rusher, unused interview footage filmed for documentary shown at the 1992 RNC, 1992

Malcolm X was a family man. He was protective of his wife Betty X (nee Sanders), and their seven daughters (born in 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1971) and two sons (born in 1969 and 1974)… On the night of June 5, 1964, Malcolm’s five-year-old daughter, Attallah X, was shot in the right shoulder and arm in a drive-by shooting. Malcolm later described in his autobiography how “when I saw what they’d done to my daughter, her blood dripping onto the sidewalk, I knew I had to do to end the unholy crusade he was waging against my family.” Two days later, Malcolm X grabbed a pistol before leaving… According to police statements and his own account, Malcolm X approached Louis Farrakhan and emptied a pistol into his stomach before returning to his car and driving to the home a friend… Farrakhan died within minutes of the shooting… Two days later, on June 9, Malcolm X surrendered peacefully to police, claiming his actions were in self-defense… The race riots of the month before were very notable in that they were directed more at local mosques than at white neighborhoods. Nevertheless, the wanton bedlam was destructive and increased unease among middle-class voters.

Within days of the news breaking that Malcolm would be held without bail, a group of young black activists gathered in California to form a group of people who sought to carry out vigilante justice. Their unofficial leader, a “big man” known as Elbert X, declared upon its creation, “We are the Men who follow Malcolm X. We are the X-Men!”

– Herb Boyd and Ilyasah Shabazz’s Malcolm vs. Martin: Violence and Peace After the End of Segregation, Chicago Third World Press, 2013

The first early rays of morn ushered in the first of June, and with it the last day before the final round of primary voting… Goldwater’s more liberal Republican compatriots criticized him abrasively for his support of expanding military involvement in Cuba and Indochina despite the increasing casualty rates in both theatres. Independent Goldwater-supporting political organizations, meanwhile, sought to water down suggestions that Goldwater was too adamant in his “extremist” ideology to ever cooperate with Congress while President. One organization in southern California began circulating pamphlets showcasing Goldwater’s known friendship with U.S. Secretary of State Jack Kennedy, complete with photographs of the two men laughing and shaking hands. This however, seemed to only be as effective as a garden hose on an active volcano. At 9:00 PM, polls showed the Republican California primary was a toss-up. When the results were declared 6-and-a-half hours later, Rockefeller had edged out the outspoken Arizonan by a hair… South Dakota voted for an “uncommitted” delegate slate, with Rockefeller in second place and Colonel Sanders in third… In the California Democratic primary, the ambitious but uncharismatic Governor Pat Brown won the state as a favorite son over conservative Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty, who stripped votes away from Patterson. Morse, winning the adoration of beatniks and shoutniks across the state, had the loudest supporters, but as the Senator learned, decibel strength does not equal votes – Morse seized only 18% of the state as a plurality of California Democrats stuck by their popular two-term governor…

– Theodore H. White’s The Making of The President: 1964, Atheneum Publishers, 1965

...At the current standing, the odds favor the notion that Rockefeller will win the nomination, but unless delegates switch allegiance prior to the convention, Rockefeller will not win outright on the first ballot…

– Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News, 6/3/1964 broadcast


…the judge sentenced De Angelis to 25 years in prison, without the chance of parole until after the first 10 years served...

– The New York Daily News, 6/3/1964


New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Margaretta Large “Happy” Rockefeller (nee Fitler, formerly Murphy) today announce the birth of their first child, a son. Nelson Rockefeller II arrived on June 2 [4] in New York City, New York. Weighing 9 pounds 6 ounces, the child…

– The Bangor Daily News, celebrations section, 6/3/1964


[pic: ]
Rockefeller – 390
Goldwater – 373
Sanders – 172
Lodges – 41
Rhodes – 29
Byrnes – 26
Scranton – 25

Judd – 15
Smith – 14
Stassen – 2
Other – 5
Uncommitted – 226
Delegate needed to win outright: 655
Total delegates: 1,308

– Republican primary victories (excluding “uncommitted” victories) and delegate count as of 6/4/1964

Chong first met Yoko Ono in the summer of 1964, when he was 26 and she was 31, at a music-themed art exhibit in Manhattan.[23] Ono was still married to art promoter Anthony Cox and raising their daughter Kyoko Chan Cox (b. 1963) in New York City. Chong was still married to Maxine Sneed, the mother of his children born in 1961 and 1965 (although Chong and Ono began having an affair in 1964, Chong “didn’t realize she was pregnant again, though I guess that explained her moodiness. That and me being out on the road so much of the time”).[24] Chong would later explain his initial attraction to Ono in a radio interview with Howard Stern: “I wanted to break the limits, go more out there than the rest of the band wanted to. Then I met Yoko after a gig in N.Y.C. and she had just wrapped up her latest piece of performance art. And man, she wasn’t like the beatnik groupies – she was smart, stoic, wise. She had her own ideas, and when we were together, it was like our ideas had sex and became one, you know? They created something more, something awesome. It was edgy, it was pounding, it was a powerful call for peace and love. One night when Gonzo [clarification needed] and I were stoned off our asses, came up with the name for it – Reeflex (as in Reefer, Love, and Sex) Rock!”[25]


On June 21, 1964, Lyndon Johnson issued an executive order that lifted graduate school deferments. This was considered to be a major mistake by July, as it led to many voting-eligible college students actually rallying behind the Republican Presidential nominee in the fall election...

– From The 1960s: A History, Scholastic, 2007

…In preparation of the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Illinois, young and organized Democrats are demanding a platform calling for complete military withdrawal from Cuba by Christmas 1965 to be adapted from Senator Morse’s campaign to the official party platform. Supporters of the Oregon Senator and even some polniks, or “politically-active beatniks,” are supporting the young organizers trying to meet with delegates and holding sit-ins outside of the officers of several leaders, including Mike Mansfield and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley...

– Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News, 6/23/1964 broadcast

I first met Barbara during the Berkeley Protests of 1964, a combination residual anger to Lyndon Johnson’s expected re-nomination and his lifting of graduate school deferments, plus the recent controversial activities of one of the school’s dean. It was a massive star-studded anti-war event that I just had to attend. I also just needed some distance away from Colorado. My fiancé, Lyee Rogers, had just broken with me; after years of being engaged we still didn’t have a fixed wedding date, and she couldn’t wait any more. It was my own fault; I was so preoccupied with the shoutnik movement that I failed to think of her own needs. I packed up a suitcase and drove from Colorado to California, and soon found myself joining the protesters set to converge on the dean’s office. Close by, a spritely vixen fresh out of high school had taken the summer off to join the latest uprising of our generation. The young woman ended up pushed over during the subsequent ruckus, and as fate would have it, I was close enough to pick her back up. When the dust settled, she spotted me and thanked me. “Hi, I’m Wellington, and yes, it is my real first name,” I said. She smiled, “I’m Barbara Jean Hutt.” …Barbara would later profess, “It was a big step to take, transferring from Berkeley to Colorado-Denver, but when you care about someone, convenience takes a back seat.”

– Wellington Webb’s Wellington Webb: The Man and the Making of Modern America, Fulcrum Publishing, 2003

The post-primary birth of Rockefeller’s son led to some news sources returning unwanted attention to his recent divorce and remarriage in the weeks leading up to the RNC. By the end of the 13th, several delegates were threatening to vote against Rockefeller.

As expected, the New York Governor seethed with rage. He fumed, “I can’t believe the hypocrisy here! I could very well lose the nomination over my marital status? That’s ridiculous. Just look at all the other divorced people out there – Adlai Stevenson, Ronald Reagan, even Colonel Sanders! The Colonel is a divorcee just like I am, and he’s incredibly popular, at least enough for him to win over delegates! Jeez!”

The fact remained, though, that the Colonel didn’t create the image of breaking up a family with little children in it. I think his youngest was in her 20s when his divorce happened – and it happened 20 years ago. Rocky’s was only one year ago.

We only learned a bit later that the Colonel’s wife Claudia was a divorcee as well. “That makes sense,” I remember Rocky said, “The man often brags about how he always hires single mothers.”

– Political consultant Stuart Spencer, KNN Interview, 1982

…In other news, Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago has had peaceful organizers, participating in a massive sit-in outside his offices, arrested for “aggravated loitering”…

– NBC News, 7/5/1964 broadcast

The D.N.C. was held from July 5 to July 8, and for three nights and all four days, party leaders there experienced dual-fallout over party leaders’ response to the polniks and the Patterson backers, leading to a largely small riot breaking out on July 6 over claims of abuse, first over students arrested for sitting outside Daley’s office and then after word spread that one of the arrested organizers, a black student, was severely roughhoused while being brought in. The riot was quickly contained and few injuries occurred, but it was an embarrassing incident that aptly reflected the turmoil inside the convention. Patterson openly refused to endorse Johnson and instead encouraged Democrats “vote for whom your soul tells you to.” Only some of Morse’s platform were adapted, and while Morse spoke before the assembled masses, he stopped short of outright endorsing Johnson. To win Morse’s endorsement on the final day of the convention, Johnson ordered Daley to release the sit-in protestors...

– David W. Reinhard’s The Democratic Party: A 150-Year History of Revolution and Rebirth, Sunrise Publishers, 1978


– The New York Times, 7/6/1964


[pic: ]

…Daley could have ended his boast over how the riot did not get out of hand then and there, but he instead continued with the lamentation that “the cops didn’t get the chance to really bust some skulls.”

To this, the President snapped “Are you f@#kin’ crazy, Daley?! Any more bad press and we could have lost more delegates! Patterson and Morse were biting at our heels, calling us out-of-touch and insensitive, whatever the f@#k that means. Because we couldn’t keep this convention in order, we could lose law-and-order-centric voters in November!”

“You’ll be fine, Mr. President,” Daley rebutted, “At least we weren’t as divided as the Republicans still are.”

“Even still, we cannot take any risks. I will not have this end up like the 1960 Electoral College, only worse. I refuse it! If you want to bust some skulls, Delay, go find a graveyard or something!” Johnson rebuked in a huff.

...Even after the convention had ended, doubts over the campaigns’ messaging of key policy worried many near the President’s inner circle. At one instance, Dean Acheson cornered a new Johnson aide to tell him, “Things are going to hell in a hack in Cuba. If we don’t see some progress down there, we’ll go into this orgasm of a campaign period in which things will just have to stall.” …Johnson’s team soon came up with new phrase: “We seek no wider war.” [5]

– Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon: Book Four: The Pursuit of Power, A. A. Knopf Inc. New York, 2012

FARRIS BRYANT: “I’M RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT”; Controversial Governor of Florida Announces Third-Party Bid

Tallahassee, FL – In a sharp lambasting of President Johnson and the Democratic party platform established last week, Farris Bryant, the Governor of Florida since 1960, announced his own bid for the US Presidency. …Bryant declared, “Patterson put up a valiant fight, but his failure proves what we have feared for some time, that under Johnson’s yolk, conservatism has no home in the Democratic Party.” …At the announcement, Bryant did not announce a running mate, but he did reveal the party label under which he will seek to appear on state ballots in November: “This is a campaign calling for the protection of our Heritage and Independence. And so, we are calling the party the ‘Heritage Independence Party,’ or ‘H.I.P.’ for short.” Supporters of Bryant’s third-party bid are already calling themselves “H.I.P.ies,” pronouncing it “HIP-eez.”…

– The Washington Post, 7/10/1964

“So now I have beatniks on the left calling me an oppressor abroad, and hippies on the right calling me an oppressor at home. Thank God for the moderates – they’re quiet, but they’re the ones that actually vote!”

– Lyndon B. Johnson, multiple sources, 7/11/1964


– The San Francisco Chronicle, 7/13/1964

The 1964 Republican National Convention was scheduled to start on July 13, with the actual ballot voting occurring throughout the 15th, well into the night if necessary. The final day of the convention – the 16th – would be for choosing the running mate and for finalizing the party platform.

In the weeks prior, delegates were harassed by a barrage of phone calls, predictably from the Rocky and Goldwater camps, and even from the Scranton, Sanders and Lodge draft groups still clinging to their narrow prospects. The RNC Chairman, William E. Miller, personally favored Goldwater, but was not entirely sure if he would be able to keep the party together or even win in November, and stayed publicly uncommitted while privately promising Goldwater to side with him “until the end,” making for a biased and later controversial chairman rule.

During the first two days, each candidate was allowed to speak before the convention, and both Goldwater and Rockefeller received cheers and jeers.

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015


Nelson A. Rockefeller – 381
Barry M. Goldwater – 362
Harland D. Sanders – 199
William W. Scranton – 63
Richard M. Nixon – 32
Margaret Chase Smith – 27
Walter H. Judd – 14
Hiram L. Fong – 2
Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. – 2
Uncommitted – 226

Nelson A. Rockefeller – 376
Barry M. Goldwater – 352
Harland D. Sanders – 215
Margaret Chase Smith – 80
William W. Scranton – 39
Richard M. Nixon – 25
Walter H. Judd – 3
Hiram L. Fong – 2
Uncommitted – 226

– RNC 1st Presidential Ballot, 7/15/1964

...Rockefeller has failed to win the Republican Presidential nomination on the first ballot. …Lacking delegates to win outright means that the delegates are now free to choose whomever they want to on the second ballot...

– ABC News, 7/15/1964 broadcast

Nixon hadn’t worried about his primary performances because they didn’t really matter back then. They worked more like preference polls in those days. Instead, Nixon was disheartened by the lack of what he considered to be an inadequate amount of support among delegates at the convention. The liberals, moderates, and conservatives all had a candidate or two to back, and there just didn’t seem to be any support for a compromise Nixon candidacy. His prospects weren’t looking too good, and Nixon knew it. So he figured, “well, if you can’t be on the throne, you can always hold some power behind it…”

– John Ehrlichman’s Witness: What Went on Behind Closed Doors, Folkways Books, 1998

I was eating lunch with Father and Claudia in their hotel room between the first and second ballot when there came a knock at the door. Convention co-leader and fellow Republican Kentuckian Senator Thruston B. Morton had stopped by with Nixon and a man I later knew to be F. Clifton White, a conservative political consultant for Goldwater.

“How do, fellas, what can I do for ya?”

“It’s funny you should say that, Colonel. May we come in?”


“I think I know what this is about – you want me to release my delegates to ya, right?”

Soon after making themselves comfortable in the room, White went right for the bottom line. “You see, Colonel, in light of Patterson running a conservative third-party campaign and Johnson being popular among domestic-minded liberals but not foreign-policy-minded liberals, we need a candidate that will appeal to both, plus the moderates left out,” White stated.

“We also think that we can win over the dissatisfied voters in the South,” Nixon explained, “and Colonel…we believe that only you can pull off such a feat.”

Father’s eyes widened, “you fellas pullin’ my leg?”

“Yes,” Morton observed as he extracted such a limb from a nearby KFC bucket, “Oh, you didn’t mean this leg, did you?”

“We mean it, Colonel, we want you to be the nominee. That’s what you can do for us.”

I think he didn’t expect the nomination to be so easily handed to him. Father started to look about with a puzzled look on his face, “Fellas…I’m more than honored, but – ”

Morton was quick to intervene, and bluntly explained, “You’re not dealing with a divorce scandal like Rockefeller, you’re not an unreasonably conservative extremist like Goldwater – no offense, White – and you didn’t lose the 1960 election – no offense, Nixon.”

“Only some taken,” the former Vice-President replied.

“Hell, Goldwater himself is now saying he’s sick of that word! [6]” White shouted.

“Easy, Clifton, easy…” Nixon quietly remarked.

“Ooh, what do you think, honey, would you like to be First Lady?” he said with a half-confident chuckle.

“First Lady Claudia sure has a nice ring to it!” she declared with a smile.

But Father was still wary, and quickly his mind turned to his chicken. “Gentlemen, for a long time now, I’ve felt that my governorship was a fluke, an interruption. Before the governorship, I was involved in politics but mainly I sold chicken. And after the governorship, I was involved in politics but mainly I sold chicken. I think chicken is the main thing I was meant to do.”

“You can’t deny you were one hell of a good Governor, hun, and let’s face it, you’ve been talking more about the Presidency than the company for months now!” Claudia noted.

“Yeah, I haven’t shaken off the political bug since 1955, I will admit. And I have been paying attention to how our country is coming along, and frankly, it could be coming along much better.” He pondered for a moment “We do need a better President…But what about Barry? He’ll be out of a job!”

“Nah, he’s going to jump back into the Senate race for my seat. The primary’s in September,” White explained.

“Oh. That’s lucky...for him.”

“Why are so gung-ho for my dad to be the nominee instead of Goldwater,” I asked White.

“When the captain’s eyeing the lifeboats, it’s never for a bad reason,” the man answered before returning his attention to Father. I would only later learn about how Goldwater had dismissed White from his inner circle after losing the California primary.

Wanting to support his political ally and friend, Morton moved to sit in the chair closest to Father, “It is not like you do not have an impressive resume when it comes to public service.”

“That’s true. You know, before becoming Governor of Kentucky I was the secretary for the Chamber of Commerce for Columbus, Indiana back in 1920, or was it 1922? And I even ran for public office for a month in February 1925 in the Louisville area…” [7] Father trailed off for a moment before rejoining us. He confided in us that he feared he was not academically qualified due to his formal education ceasing at such a young age.

“So you quit school during seventh grade; you were a great Governor despite that,” White was quick to point out, “And besides, Grover Cleveland quit school at age 16 and he served two largely successful terms.”

“Really? I didn’t know that!” The trivia seemed to boost Father’s confidence.

“Your life journey is a real Horatio Alger Story!” White praised.

Father started shaking his head, like their positive quips were becoming a bit too overwhelming. He must have been really thinking now about all the weight that came with an entire nation relying on his decisions, and the weight was already giving him aches. “No, fellas, I just don’t think I could handle it, now, if you’ll excuse me – ” Father grabbed his cane and tried to leave for the bathroom.

White cried out, “But you could be destined for greatness!”

At this, Father stopped dead in his tracks and turned around. “What did you say?”

He sat back down.

“Destined… Heh, it’s so funny you’d say that…” Father sat back down and began to tell the visiting trio of his most harrowing dances with death. “Back in 1924, my home was connected to the highway by a swinging bridge. A few days before Thanksgiving I pulled my son’s car to get it started. Suddenly the bridge cables collapsed, and our cars plunged us nearly fifty feet below. There wasn’t a spot on my body that wasn’t bruised black and blue.” [8]

Morton nodded along, having possibly heard the story before but enjoying hearing it again.

I was thrown from the car. The car nosed into the water. Yet I survived without a broken bone.[9]

“That’s miraculous,” Nixon commented.

“And there was another time, too…” Father continued (as I spied White worriedly inspect his watch), “During World War II, I worked in a cafeteria at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and one time, I worked 48 hours or more without sleep. It caught up with me as I drove. I awakened to realize I was headed over a cliff. My car turned over three times, landed right side up next to a creek. And I stepped out without a bruise. I often wondered, ‘Why?’.” [10] And I thought I’d found the answer when K.F.C. became such a success. I figured that that must have been it. But now, I’m thinking, maybe you’re on to something, Mr. White. Maybe I’m on this Earth for more than just chicken-selling. Maybe I am meant to accept this challenge and do things even greater!” Finally, he said to Claudia, “Honey, let’s do this.”

After some further discussion as to the details of his nomination, he that the visiting politico ultimately came to an interim agreement – Father would run, and if he received the nomination, he would temporarily hand over all operations to Millie and I until the November election.

“Fair enough,” Nixon concurred, “Now let’s see if the Cow Palace is ready for the glory of the Chicken King!”

– Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr., In the Thick of It: The Story of The Colonel and His Son, Sunrise Publishing, 1991

“It’s ridiculous, I tell you!” Stuart Spencer shouted. We were all huddled together in a large hotel room on the 15th floor, two floors below Goldwater’s [11], the Convention center in full view – if any one of us was to look out the window, that is. Instead of sightseeing, though, we were strategizing. Senator Everett Dirksen sat quietly in a chair alongside Senator Hugh Scott. On the edge of the one bed sat three Goldwater supporters – Dean Burch, Patrick Buchanan, and F. Clinton White – and on the other bed sat two Rockefeller delegates – Stuart Spencer, and a political neophyte whose name I never caught. I stood in the corner with my back to the view.

“Gentlemen, is there really any other option?” Scott now stood to address the group.

“There’s got to be a better option than what you’re suggesting,” Spencer retorted.

“Here, here,” chimed in his associate.

He must be so desperate to get on the Governor’s good side, I remember thinking about the neophyte when I heard the door creak.

“What are you men talking about in here?” RNC William Miller popped his head through the door crack.

“Mr. Chairman!” Buchanan practically jumped out of his seat from ebullience, “Just the man I wanted to see!”

“As did I. Come in, come in. Quickly.” Scott puffed his pipe as Miller closed the door.

“This better be good,” Miller said.

“Well, sir, there’s been a … well, a bizarre development,” Spencer blurted out, “Some of us like it but some of us still don’t.”

I told Spencer “Confound it, I don’t see any other way to win in November.”

“Gentlemen, gentlemen, what do you all mean?” Miller interrupted our quarrel.

Scott brought him over to the window, becoming the first of us to actually observe the picturesque view of the Cow Palace. “You saw the chaos out there today, William. This is becoming the most bitter and hostile convention I’ve ever seen.”

“Both Rocky and Goldie got vegetables thrown at them when they came in. Vegetables! Who even does that anymore?” the young Buchanan added in his annoying Southern drawl.

Scott continued. “We are split between two incredibly controversial and unpopular candidates here. On one side, there’s the Guys and Gals for Goldwater, a man who refuses to moderate on key issues and could be painted as a crazy loon when it comes to foreign policy despite Lyndon’s blunders. On the other side is Rockefeller, an alleged womanizer and now a publicly-known homewrecker who has been painted as immoral. We could send up Scranton or Lodge, but support for them is only at a regional level. Unlike the last option left.”

The upstart Buchanan interjected with a dramatic tone “We believe we just found someone.”

Scott responded with a half-audible “Yes, thank you, Buke, how perceptive” and returned to Miller, “By process of elimination we may have stumbled upon the ideal compromise candidate. He’s a man with a strong civil rights record but a supporter of deregulation. A man who has already done incredibly well in our primary races. A man who has staggered forward into the race without us ever taking him serious, but is a man who can lead us to victory in November, provided we hand him the nomination.”

Burch added “He’s incredibly popular with the media.”

Scott concluded with, “He’s a former Governor from a swing region, he already is a nationwide household name…”

Miller realized, “Wait, I know who this is!”

A figure then rose up from the dark, shadowed corner of the room near the door. The man had been largely ignored throughout most of the conversation, likely lost in thought, but now it was his time to speak. “How do?” he quipped as he boldly signed up for the greatest battle of his life.

Miller turned around to see Colonel Sanders looking back at him.

– Melvin Laird’s semi-autobiography Dining With Devils: The Inner Workings of American Politics in the Twentieth Century, 2001


[pic: ]
– An anxious Colonel Sanders overlooks the large crowd at the Cow Palace, with RNC chairman William Miller to his left and farther into the foreground, 7/15/1964

Standing before the massive assembly of my fellow Republicans, all enthusiastic for the party of Lincoln – a man I would now have more in common with than just our time on farms and railroads – I suddenly felt a sense of trepidation.

Chairman Miller walked over to me, “Great turnout, huh, Colonel? And such fervor!” He smiled widely.

I began to think out loud, “Billy, what if I’m not the best man for this job in the end? What if I lose? What if I’m no good as President?”

“Well, Colonel,” Miller answered, “you’ll never find out until you try it out.”

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

“Ladies and gentleman, I am officially announcing than I am a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of these United States… The leader that this party and this nation needs must be able to tackle the issues facing us today. We have soldiers getting blown up halfway around the world and soldiers getting blown up 90 miles South of Key West. We have a runaway government suffocating small businesses with federal programs that have more red tape than all of the nation’s department stores during Christmastime put together. And we have an administration turning a blind eye to the civil strife tearing apart communities across the country. As Republicans and Americans it is our duty to right these wrongs… The Government should persecute criminals and leave the rest of us alone. Americans need a leader that can wrangle in the chaos afflicting our streets, and rebuild confidence in ourselves and our neighbors. A leader who will bring our boys home and maintain the security of us and our allies. A leader who understands that we need the government’s actions to be limited to ensuring the rights and freedoms of every American regardless of color or creed, and to defend them without ever inhibitin’ ’em. A leader that understands how the economy works, and trust me folks, I know a thing or two about economics! …But most importantly, folks, we need a leader that will listen to conservatives and liberals, rich and poor, white and colored, and even beef-eaters and chicken-eaters! Only that way is how we can restore competence to the White House and restore stability and prosperity to the nation. We need this leader now, not twelve or eight or even four years from now, but right now! And ladies and gentlemen, with your permission, I would like to be that leader. I am humbly offering, for a limited time only, a really good, solid deal – for the next four years, a return to American prosperity, for only one nomination! You can’t get it better than that, folks!”

– Colonel Sanders at the RNC, 7/15/1964

The Colonel’s speech was decent enough to win over a fair portion of conservative of even moderate and middle-of-the-road centrist delegates. Prior to the second round of voting, Sanders enthusiastically stuck to the task of meeting with as many delegates as possible, which was “fun” for the extroverted Sanders, according to his autobiography. This makes sense, the man worked his salesmanship talent and turned on the charm. With the Hotel Room Deal made, Clifton White, Miller, and the rest of them contacted and mobilized powerbrokers and delegates ahead of the vote. In the second round, Sander’s delegate count increased, while everyone else’s diminished to various degrees. Dick could sense that we were going to end up nominating the Colonel, and so he figured, ‘I might as well get this over and done with.” The sooner the party nominated someone, the sooner the party could start focusing on defeating Johnson in the fall…

– Bob Halderman’s The Haldeman Diaries: Three Decades of Tough Decisions and Tricky Dick, Barnes & Noble Press, 1994

“…I believe that Colonel Sanders will lead us to victory in November and I support his candidacy for this nomination. …Here is man that can unite this bitterly divided party. A businessman who found success when confronted with the realization that a social welfare program would not provide him with an adequate retirement. A man of strong moral convictions who understands and addresses that issues that matter the most to the American people. A man I am proud to call my friend and will soon be proud to call my President!”

– Richard Nixon at the RNC, 7/15/1964

Nixon’s endorsement pushed our numbers up on the third ballot, but we were still short of the required amount: 655 out of 1,308. Soon after what I guess you could call recessing for the night, Goldwater dropped by our room. The Senator candidly told me, “Every time I pick up KFC for dinner, I ask for no left wings – only the chickens’ right wings.” I chuckled. “Colonel, the people of the nation are forgetting how to live lives of dignity, meaning, and autonomy. There is a stir in the land, Colonel, a mood of uneasiness. We need to restore inner meaning to every man’s life in a time too often rushed, too often obsessed by petty needs and material greeds.” [12]

“Well that’s a mighty fine speech, Barry, but I don’t think the edge of a hotel bed is the best place to give it,” was my reply.

Then Barry got right down to business. “Colonel, I can’t make amends with Rocky – too much bridge-burning – but I’m willing to let you be the nominee because you’re much closer to me ideology-wise.” Of course, the offer was not without a hitch.

“What’s the catch, Barry?”

“I’m willing to step aside in exchange for having a say in who gets chosen for Secretaries of Defense, State and Treasury.”

Now, as I have come to understand it, most politicians do not take kindly to this kind of assertin’. But I was knew to this, and saw these conditions as being fairly fair. I answered, “Hmm, I already got some strong ideas about State.”

Barry shook his head, “We need to have a conservative handling diplomacy to showcase to the world conservatism’s successes as they come.”

“Then how about Defense, Treasury and UN Ambassador?”


We sealed the promise with a good ol’-fashioned classic handshake.

“You sure you don’t want to patch things up with Rocky?” I inquired.

Goldwater dismissively replied, “Hell, I don’t want to talk to that son-of-a-bitch.” [13]

Just minutes after he departed, there was another knock on the door.

“Oh, Nelson Rockefeller! How do?” [14] I remember exclaiming.

It turned out that Rockefeller was becoming more willing to “hand over” the nomination to me after one of my supporters told him about my past volunteering for President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration – a cornerstone of the New Deal effort to put Americans back to work after the Great Depression – which is where I learned that a lot of men in the area working on the roads had pregnant wives but no money for doctors, leading to my time working as a midwife [15]. This connection to a liberal program gave Rockefeller hope that I would be more open to similar policies than Goldwater would be.

The Governor also got right to the point, that he believed that I was “less willing to make Indochina glow in the dark in the name of liberty” than Goldwater, but disagreed with my smaller-government proposals. I feared he was going to ask to have influence in my cabinet, so I cut him off with, “You want to pick my running mate for me, Nelson?”

Rockefeller saw it as a sign of compromise, and we shook on it. That’s where me and Goldwater differed; we were both temperamental fellas, but I knew from my experience as governor that compromise was necessary in practice. In order to win in the general, where only more liberals and conservatives would be voting, I needed to yolk at least some liberal Republicans into backing a “Sanders for President” campaign!

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

“In these times we cannot allow bickering to stand in the way of victory. Our party’s principles are more important whoever carries out those principles. That is why I am withdrawing my candidacy for President and am endorsing Colonel Harland Sanders for President. I swore when I started this campaign six-and-a-half months ago that the man sworn into the office of the Presidency on January 20, 1965, would be a Republican, and with my fellow conservatives making their voices heard, that man will be Colonel Harland Sanders!”

– Barry Goldwater at the RNC, 7/15/1964

GOP NOMINATES KFC FOUNDER FOR U.S. PRESIDENT: Col. Sanders Is Picked As A “Compromise Candidate” At The R.N.C.

Cow Palace, CA – Colonel Harland Sanders, a chef and wealthy businessman famous for founding the Kentucky Fried Chicken food franchise, clinched the nomination on the fifth ballot after his primary opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater, dropped his candidacy, and another candidate, Governor Nelson Rockefeller, ceased activity at the convention. Sanders served as the Governor of Kentucky for four years and received substantial support as an undeclared candidate during the GOP primaries earlier this year.

Prior to the final round of voting, the last unpledged delegates from South Dakota, Maryland and Florida switched from “uncommitted” to “Sanders.” Next, Goldwater released his delegates to Sanders, allowing the Colonel to clinch the nomination with just 5 convention delegates to spare.

R.N.C. Chairman William Miller offered high hopes for the Colonel’s chances in November: “This is a historic moment – not since Eisenhower in 1952 have we seen such excitement over a nominee.”

Conservative political strategist Cliff White praised “the convention’s choice,” telling ABC “Sanders is a gaffe-free alternative to Goldwater who will bring just as much energy to the general election, if not more.”

The nomination comes after a contentious convention and a complicated primary process. Several candidates failed to rise to prominence in a competition dominated by Goldwater and Rockefeller. Walter Judd, the Republican nominee for Vice-President in 1960, failed to win the Wisconsin primary, continued on as an inactive candidate and ultimately released his delegates to Sanders. Margaret Chase Smith won more votes than him but received less delegates. Former Governor Harold Stassen received negligible attention. Ultimately, Sanders won 659 votes; Rockefeller came in second place with 325 vote; Goldwater came in first place in the primaries but in third place at the convention with 321 votes; of the other declared and undeclared candidates, only Scranton (with 2) and Chase Smith (with 1) won any votes.

In his acceptance speech, Col. Sanders touted the Republican Party’s ideals, and vowed to “end the chaos plaguing the lovers of democracy at home and abroad... Like a pressure fryer actin’ up, we’re going to pound at these problems with everything we’ve got.” ...Sanders, whom in the past has praised Johnson's passing of civil rights legislation, focused more on ending warfare overseas, but did mention "continuing the fight to get each other to treat each other equally, so someday soon we will, not because some law tells us to, but because we want to"...

The G.O.P.’s Vice-Presidential candidate will be chosen later tonight...

The New York Times, Extra, 7/15/1964

…The typists wrote up the speech so it could be used on the Teleprompter, and while we didn’t have enough time to give the newsmen an advanced copy, we did let Miller and Dean Burch look it over, and they liked it. “It hits all the points it has to,” he said, “And spoken by you, it’ll be really somethin’.”

– Colonel Sanders’ Life As I Have Known It Has Been Finger-Lickin’ Good, Creation House publishing, 1974

“This campaign is not just for Republicans. This campaign is for the folks who’ve been done plucked over during the past three-and-a-half years of LBJ & Company. By the strength of our conviction, we will free the White House from the muddled havoc that is the Johnson administration, and correct their wrongs of the past four years. We will reverse the tide of death overseas and end the fighting and rioting overwhelming our streets. We will end the chaos plaguing lovers of democracy at home and abroad. We will stand true to the Constitution and uphold the Jeffersonian decree of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. The Republican Party has saved this nation from despair many-a-time before, and by the grace of God and the will of the people, we shall save this nation from despair once more! Are you with us?!”

– Colonel Sanders’ acceptance speech, 7/15/1964


[pic!: ]
– Colonel Sanders greets the crowd at the RNC upon formally accepting the nomination for President, 7/15/1964

[1] Goldwater used this phrase IOTL, apparently:
[2] Goldwater really said the italicized part according to page 411 of “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus” by Rick Perlstein, which is available on Google Books.
[3] Italicized lines are quotes from OTL!
[4] Another butterfly!: Here, Happy’s baby is late, in that he stays in the womb an additional 3 days (maybe the campaign is less stressful on Happy ITTL or something), meaning Nelson Junior is born after the crucial California primary, not right before it.
[5] Italicized parts are from page 398 of the previously-mentioned “Before the Storm” book.
[6] Goldwater, by the start of the RNC, “was sick of the word” extremism according to page 390 of the “Before the Storm” book.
[7] Both events are according to the Colonel’s LinkedIn account, though other sources give conflicting dates as to when exactly he served as Commerce Secretary.
[8] Quote directly pulled from this site:
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] According to page 390 of the “Before the Storm” book, Goldwater’s personal quarters during the RNC were on the 17th floor.
[12] Italicized parts are from page 410 of the “Before the Storm” book.
[13] At the thought of answering a phone call from Rockefeller IOTL, Goldwater really did say this about Rocky! (Before the Storm, p. 389).
[14] The Colonel says this greeting/phrase in a few KFC commercials!
[15] This italicized bit is from this Buzzfeed Article on the Colonel:

3/7/EDIT: added/fixed things in accordance with feedback.