Did You Know? Tecumseh's Curse

  • Wednesday, January 25, 2023
  • Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers

The recent controversy over the ages of the potential candidates in the 2024 Presidential Election has become a topic of discussion by the conservative and progressive media on a slow news day.

Joe Biden (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican) are already being anointed as the likely combatants for their parties’ nominations to engage in the most expensive and potential biggest mudslinging event in the history of America.

Biden is already the oldest president and, while Trump is a little younger, his portly physique increases his chances for health problems.

Enter Tecumseh’s Curse from a historical perspective:

“The great Shawnee chief Tecumseh, who died fighting with Canada against the United States’ invasion in the War of 1812, placed a curse on the American presidency. He proclaimed that every president elected in a year with a zero would die during his term. Until 2000, every president elected in such a year had died in office, with the exception of Ronald Reagan, who was shot but survived. Here is a complete list of presidents affected by the curse:

1. William Henry Harrison, elected in 1840, died of pneumonia one month into his presidency

2. Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, was assassinated in 1865 at the beginning of his second term.

3. James A. Garfield, elected in 1880, was assassinated in 1881.

4. William McKinley, elected for his second term in 1900, was assassinated in 1901.

5. Warren G. Harding, elected in 1920, died of ptomaine poisoning in 1923.

6. Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected for his third term in 1940, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945 at the beginning of his fourth term.

7. John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960, was assassinated in 1963.

8. Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980, survived an assassination attempt while in office. Some say that by surviving he broke the curse.

(Good luck and good health, gentlemen if you get the nominations!)

* * *

You can reach Jerry Summers at jsummers@summersfirm.com
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