The state of TIAH
July 13th, 2006
in 1793, French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat fends off a young woman's attempt to assassinate him in his Paris home. Charlotte Corday had sought an audience with Marat in order to kill him; she was the daughter of a nobleman whom the revolution had destroyed, and she saw Marat as the embodiment of the revolution. She wormed her way into Marat's home by promising a betrayal of Marat's enemies, and then pulled a knife on him while he soaked in a bath. During the struggle, Mademoiselle Corday slipped on some water splashed out of the tub, fell, and was knocked out when her head smashed into the floor. Monsieur Marat called for the police immediately, and had her imprisoned. Over the next few months, he used the example of Mme. Corday as proof of how far his enemies would go to see him ousted from control of France. With the aid of this bit of fortuitous propaganda, Marat gained complete control of the French government, and almost became a monarch himself as he instituted radical changes in French society through force. He was assassinated by fellow revolutionary Robespierre in 1797 during a coup attempt.
in 1960, Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas is nominated for president by the Democratic National Convention. Johnson and his fellow senator, John Kennedy of Massachusetts, had fought through a long series of primaries for the top spot, and Johnson's folksy charm finally won him through on the convention floor. As a gesture of reconciliation, he offered the vice-president spot to Kennedy, but the young senator refused, and Johnson chose Minnesotan Hubert Humphrey, whom he was much more comfortable with, anyway. Johnson defeated Republican Vice-President Nixon in the general election easily; his vast experience in public life coupled with his winning, down-home speeches contrasted sharply with Nixon's stilted style and relative inexperience in politics. As president, Johnson began a program he called the Great Society as a sort of codicil to the New Deal of President Franklin Roosevelt, cutting poverty nearly in half in America during his presidency, as well as opening up education to millions of Americans who had never had a chance at it before. Johnson was reelected in a landslide in 1964, but his attempt to prolong his legacy by having Vice-President Humphrey follow him in the office failed when Senator Kennedy won the Democratic top spot from Humphrey in the Chicago convention in '68. With 8 more years in Congress to recommend him, Senator Kennedy proved popular on the campaign trail, and narrowly defeated Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew to claim the White House.
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