1. Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy
There are a number of disquieting similarities between these presidents. Both Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were assassinated during their terms as president, but the list of coincidences goes way beyond this tragic similarity.
Lincoln was elected to the house of representatives in 1846, Kennedy in 1946. Lincoln was elected president in 1860, Kennedy in 1960. There are more century-based coincidences between the two. Although they were killed 98 years apart, they were each succeeded by southerners named Johnson who were born 100 years apart. Andrew Johnson, born in North Carolina in 1808, was senator from Tennessee before becoming vice president, and Lyndon B. Johnson was born in Texas in 1908 and became a senator of his home state.
Each of these great presidents was shot on a Friday by southerners with names that are 15 letters long, who were also born 100 years apart — John Wilkes Booth, born in 1839, Lee Harvey Oswald in 1939. Booth killed Lincoln in a theater and went to hide in a warehouse, whereas Oswald killed Kennedy from a warehouse and hid in a theater. Each assassin was killed before his case ever made it to trial.
2. The Jim Twins
Biological twins Jim Springer and Jim Lewis were separated when they were put up for adoption shortly after being born in 1940. They didn’t see each other again until they met 39 years later.
Their adoptive families had chosen to name each boy Jim, each grew to be 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, and they were ultimately found to have very similar IQs. The similarities get more bizarre from there.
Each Jim married and divorced women named Linda and remarried women named Betty. Each had a son named James—James Alan and James Allan.
According to a National Geographic article on twins, the Jim twins had both “served as part-time sheriffs, enjoyed home carpentry projects, [and] suffered severe headaches.”
When University of Minnesota psychologist Thomas Bouchard Jr. learned of these men, he incorporated them in a comprehensive study he was conducting on twins. “I remember sitting at a table with them when they first arrived,” Bouchard told National Geographic. “They both had fingernails that were nibbled down to the end. And I thought, no psychologist asks about that, but here it is, staring you in the face.”
3. James Dean’s “Little Bastard”
On Sept. 21, 1955, James Dean traded in his brand new Porsche Speedster for a faster racing car, a Porsche Spyder. Less than 10 days later, Dean would die in the car, which he had dubbed “Little Bastard.”
The insurance company declared the car totaled, but George Barris, the man who had helped Dean customize the limited-edition vehicle, bought the mangled vehicle from the insurance company.
Over the next five years, the car is reported to have caused a number of gory accidents. Street Muscle magazine reports that “When the car was delivered to Barris’ shop, it slipped off its trailer and broke both of a mechanic’s legs when it landed on him.”
The magazine goes on to say that Barris sold the engine to Dr. Troy McHenry and the transaxle to Dr. William Eschrich. Both of the doctors used parts in their own racing vehicles and entered a race 13 months after Dean’s death. In the race, Dr. McHenry’s car would end up hitting a tree, killing him, while Dr. Eschrich’s car locked up and rolled several times, seriously injuring the second doctor.
There are further reports that the wheels from “Little Bastard” blew out on the highway, thieves were injured while trying to steal parts from the ride, and that the car caused multiple accidents and injuries when it was being used by the California Highway Patrol as a warning to teens to drive safely.
The car disappeared from a sealed train car in 1960. Although there have been rumors about its location since, maybe it’s best if “Little Bastard” is never heard from again.
4. Couple Photographed 20 Years Before Getting Married
Nick Wheeler and Aimee Maiden were college sweethearts who got engaged in 2013. After they made their commitment to one another official, they went to Wheeler’s grandparents’ home and began to flip through an old photo album when Maiden saw a picture of herself and her family.
Maiden would later describe the photo to the Daily Mail, “Nick is sitting front right in the boat with his sister and two cousins and his family, his mum, uncle and nan are to the right and behind them… To the left and behind his cousin I’m in the blue swimsuit with my mum, dad and sister.”
“What makes it even more significant,” Maiden would explain further, “was that, although I was brought up in [in the beach town], Nick and his family didn’t even live in [in the area where they eventually met] at the time. He and his family were down on holiday…and didn’t move down permanently…until a year later.”
The couple got married in 2014, 20 years after the fateful photo was taken.
5. Two Patty Campbells
In 1983, Mrs. Patricia Kern received a notice from the IRS saying that she was responsible for paying $3,000 in taxes for work that she had performed in Oregon the previous year. The only thing is that Mrs. Kern had never been to Oregon, and she wrote back to the IRS, telling them as much.
The IRS investigated the matter and discovered that it was one Patricia Di Biasi, a resident of Oregon, who was in fact responsible for the tax bill.
The investigation revealed a number of strange coincidences. The two women were born on the same date, March 31, 1942, with the exact same name, Patricia Ann Campbell, to fathers named Robert. There’s little surprise that the similarities caused the Social Security Administration to give them the same social security number.
Beyond these similarities, according to the book “136 Incredible Coincidences” by Vikas Khatri, “They both had worked as book-keepers and studied cosmetics. …Their husbands were servicemen. Both were married within eleven days of each other in 1959.” And they had their children in the same year.
Despite all the two women had in common, they had never met.
6. World’s Unluckiest Couple
A British pair, Jason and Jenny Cairns-Lawrence, has been called the “world’s unluckiest couple.”
The couple was in New York City on 9/11 and witnessed the horrible attacks on the Twin Towers. On July 7, 2005, the pair was in London when sinister actors conducted a coordinated attack on the city’s subway system.
The couple later traveled to Mumbai in 2008 when a different group of terrorists attacked 12 different sites in a mix of shootings and bombings over a four-day period.
Jason told “The Times of India“: “I would say that Mumbai sprang back faster than New York or London.”
His wife, Jenny, added, “As I looked around [Mumbai], it was impossible to say that such a ghastly thing had happened. In New York, people carried the look of terror in their eyes for weeks after the carnage. In London, the police appeared more scared than the people.”
Let’s hope future holidays have been less traumatic for this couple!
7. The Unsinkable Violet Jessop
Violet Jessop was born in 1887 and grew up to spend a great deal of her life on great ships. In 1910, Jessop found work as a stewardess on the White Star ship the RMS Olympic. Shortly after leaving port in Southampton, England, the boat, which was the largest civilian boat in the world at the time, collided with the British warship the HMS Hawke. Although damaged, the ship was able to return to land and dock safely without sinking. Unfortunately, future voyages on great ships were not so lucky for Jessop.
Less than two years later, Jessop was working for another White Star luxury ship, the RMS Titanic, which as we all know sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic ocean four days after setting sail for America. Fortunately for Jessop, she was ordered to board lifeboat 16 and was ultimately rescued along with a baby who’d been handed to her by an officer.
In World War I, Jessop worked with the British Red Cross aboard yet another White Star ship, the HMHS Britannic, which was being used as a hospital ship during the war. On Nov. 21, 1916, the Britannic struck a mine and sank in the Aegean Sea. Jessop’s lifeboat was nearly destroyed by the giant sinking ship, but the stewardess jumped ship. Although she suffered a head injury, she survived and went on to return to work on White Star ships as well as other sea-faring vessels.
8. Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet
Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri.
“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835,” Twain is quoted as saying. “It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'”
Technically, Halley’s Comet was no longer visible when Clemens was born on Nov. 30, 1835, but it was around while his mother was carrying him. The comet was visible from some point in August of that year and lasted until Nov. 16, 1835.
Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910, exactly one day after Halley’s Comet returned to the Earth’s night sky after making its roughly 75-year journey around the sun.