List of fictional United States presidencies of historical figures (H–L)

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List of fictional
United States Presidents
A–F
G–M
N–T
U–Z
Unnamed fictional presidents
Fictional presidencies of historical figures
Candidates
Vice Presidents

The following is a list of real or historical people who have been portrayed as President of the United States in fiction, although they did not hold the office in real life. This is done either as an alternate history scenario, or occasionally for humorous purposes. Also included are actual US Presidents with a fictional presidency at a different time and/or under different circumstances than the one in actual history.

H[edit]

Hannibal Hamlin

  • In the alternate history short story "Must and Shall" by Harry Turtledove, Hannibal Hamlin became the 17th President after his predecessor Abraham Lincoln was killed by a Confederate States Army sniper at the Battle of Fort Stevens on July 12, 1864 while observing General Jubal Early's attack. President Hamlin used Lincoln's death as justification for the oppressive peace imposed upon the former Confederate States following the defeat of the Great Rebellion. This involved a harsh occupation of the rebellious states, the destruction of their economy and further racial division due to the promotion of blacks to important offices, leading to great animosity between the inhabitants of the North and South. The complete military control of the former Confederacy by the US continued until at least 1942, at which time Nazi Germany smuggled weapons into the South to stir up revolt and distract the US government.

Winfield Scott Hancock

  • In the alternate history story "Patriot's Dream" by Tappan King contained in the anthology Alternate Presidents, Hancock was Samuel J. Tilden's running mate in 1876, defeating Rutherford B. Hayes. Consequently, Tilden became the 19th President with Hancock as his vice president. Although they were elected as Democrats, they later founded the reformist Liberal Party. After serving two terms as Vice President, Hancock was elected as the 20th President in 1884 and went on to be re-elected in 1888. His vice president was Grover Cleveland, who won the Liberal Party's presidential nomination in 1892 and was widely expected to defeat his Democratic opponent James G. Blaine. Cleveland's running mate was Susan B. Anthony.

Warren G. Harding

W. Averell Harriman

Benjamin Harrison

  • In the short story "Love Our Lockwood" by Janet Kagan contained in the anthology Alternate Presidents, Harrison lost the 1888 election to Belva Ann Lockwood, who became the 23rd President as well as the first woman to hold the office. He was once again the Republican presidential candidate in 1892 and was defeated on that occasion by Grover Cleveland, who became the 24th President, having previously served as the 22nd President from 1885 to 1889.

William Henry Harrison

  • Harrison, the actual 9th President of the US, had an alternate presidency in Tom Wicker's "His Accidency".[1] The Point of Departure is Harrison's apparently trivial decision to wear a hat and a coat to his inauguration in March 1841 and cut in half the inauguration speech he prepared, delivered in the open on a cold and rainy day. Thereby, Harrison avoided the pneumonia which in actual history killed him a month later, and served out his full term. Thus, Vice President John Tyler never ascended to the presidency. In actual history Tyler – a Virginian – had actively promoted Texas, a slave state, joining the Union; conversely, in Wicker's alternate history the surviving Harrison, a Northerner, was lukewarm to the idea. As a result, the Texans accepted the offer of Mexico to recognise Texas provided that it remained independent and did not join the US. Texas indeed remained the Lone Star Republic and did not join the US. The Mexican War did not break out and thus California, Arizona and New Mexico remained part of Mexico. Harrison's care for his personal health turned out to have seriously derailed Manifest Destiny.

Gary Hart

Ernest Hemingway

  • Hemingway was President between 1956 and 1964 in Harry G. Kaufman's story "Boozing in the Oval Room". He entered the 1956 elections as an independent, after the deaths of both Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson (from illness and a road accident respectively). President Hemingway invited Fidel Castro to the White House in 1959 and forged a close alliance with Castro's Cuba. In 1962, Hemingway engaged in a scandalous fist fight inside the White House with the much younger John F. Kennedy, here Mayor of Boston, over the favours of Marilyn Monroe.

Charlton Heston

Paris Hilton

Ernest Hollings

Herbert Hoover

  • In the alternate history short story "Joe Steele" by Harry Turtledove, Hoover's failure to end the United States' downward spiral into the Great Depression during his term led to his defeat in the 1932 election at the hands of Congressman Joe Steele of California, who became the 32nd President. Hoover was the last Republican elected to the presidency, as President Steele slowly but surely built up the powers of his office until he was effectively the dictator of the United States. Steele was ultimately elected to six terms from 1932 to 1952, dying only six weeks into his sixth term on March 5, 1953. He was succeeded by his vice president John Nance Garner, who became the 33rd President at the age of 84. However, he was overthrown and executed almost immediately by J. Edgar Hoover, who proved to be even more tyrannical than Steele.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Southern Victory alternate history series (American Empire: The Center Cannot Hold and American Empire: The Victorious Opposition), Hoover was initially elected Vice President in 1932 on the Democratic ticket with Calvin Coolidge. Despite the prosperity of the country under Socialist President Upton Sinclair after the Great War (1914–1917), the fortunes of the country had fallen dramatically under Sinclair's successor, Hosea Blackford. The strong stock market which had characterised most of the 1920s had finally crashed in 1929. President Blackford was unable to deal satisfactorily with the resulting depression. In 1932, the United States found itself in the Pacific War against the Empire of Japan. While the war was largely a stalemate on the ocean, Japan ran a successful air-raid on the city of Los Angeles on the very day that Blackford was in-town for a rally. Thus, when Hoover was nominated to be Coolidge's running mate, the Democrats were in the strongest position they had been in for over a decade. Coolidge defeated Blackford handily. However, Coolidge died on January 5, 1933 of a heart attack, less than a month before he was to take office on February 1, and so Vice President-elect Hoover became the 31st President in his stead. Although Hoover was a Democrat, his Secretary of War was Franklin D. Roosevelt, a lifelong Socialist politician in spite of being a relative of staunch Democrat Theodore Roosevelt. Despite some of the initial optimism expressed by the voters, Hoover quickly proved a disappointment. His complete contempt for "paternalism" in the federal government rendered him just as ill-equipped to handle the economic depression as Blackford had been. He made this opinion known when Colonel Abner Dowling, the then-military governor of Utah, proposed a make-work plan for the state. Hoover flatly refused, despite the fact that the jobless rate in Utah was further exacerbating that already-precarious situation. This stance led the voters to return the Socialists to Congress in 1934. Hoover's handling of foreign affairs also frustrated many of his supporters in the military. While he continued the policy of rearmament begun by Blackford, the Pacific War ended inconclusively in 1934. After Jake Featherston and the Freedom Party came to power in the Confederate States of America, Hoover proved indecisive in his dealings with the United States' long-time enemy. When Featherston pressed for permission to arm more troops to suppress black uprisings, Hoover (after a period of vacillation) acquiesced, justifying his decision by citing his concerns about "radical" elements among the black Confederate community, and naively concluding that Featherston would not use the increased military against the United States. While Hoover did stand strong against Featherston on the rebellious states of Kentucky and Houston which the United States had taken from the Confederate States following the Great War, it was too little, too late. Growing dissatisfaction with Hoover led to his defeat in 1936 at the hands of Socialist Al Smith, who became the 32nd President. One of Hoover's last official duties included acting as pallbearer at his predecessor Hosea Blackford's state funeral, as did President Sinclair.

J. Edgar Hoover

  • Portrayed as President in the Red Dwarf episode "Tikka to Ride". When the Red Dwarf crew inadvertently prevented the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he was impeached in a sex scandal (with a mistress shared with Mafia boss Sam Giancana) in 1964. Hoover was forced to run for President by the Mafia, who blackmailed him with evidence that he was a cross-dresser. In return for unrestricted Mafia cocaine trafficking, Hoover allowed the Soviet Union to set up a nuclear base in Cuba, resulting in widespread panic, the abandonment of major American cities, the increasing likelihood of nuclear conflict and, in all likelihood, a Soviet victory in the Space Race due to a demoralized America. Hoover's presidency was erased when Kennedy assassinates himself in Dallas, 1963, restoring the timeline.
  • In the Sliders Second Two episode "Time Again and World", the group arrives in a parallel universe in which the United States exists in a state of martial law. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy by Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1963, Hoover succeeded him as the 35th President, serving for 22 years until his death in 1985, implemented martial law and amended the Constitution, excising most of the Bill of Rights. In tribute to Hoover, all police officers wear skirts instead of pants. In that alternate dimension, the prison on Alcatraz Island is a fully functioning penitentiary where the most dangerous political prisoners are kept, including civil-rights activists Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy as well as loud, out-spoken comedian Sam Kinison.
  • Another dictatorial Hoover, in Harry Turtledove's alternate history "Joe Steele", got to power earlier, in 1953 – having won a bloody power struggle following the death of President Joe Steele – an avatar of none other than Joseph Stalin, whose parents in this timeline emigrated to the US making him an American citizen (and eventually an American dictator). Hoover was the head of Steele's secret police, putting him in good position to become the next dictator-president, and proving even more brutal than Steele-Stalin
  • He also was President in one of many alternate realities mentioned in Richard Bowes' From the Files of the Time Rangers. He is briefly mentioned as being President in the 1940s; how he became president or what happens to him is not revealed in the novel.

John Hospers

Cordell Hull

Hubert Humphrey

I[edit]

Lee Iacocca

  • The movie World Gone Wild (1988) is set in 2087 where civilization collapsed after a nuclear war. In one scene of the movie, a character is looking at pre-war relics and finds a copy of Iacocca's autobiography. He mentions that Iacocca had been a great President.

J[edit]

Andrew Jackson

  • In the parallel universe featured in Fringe, Jackson had never served as President and, consequently, the twenty-dollar bill did not feature his portrait but that of Martin Luther King, Jr.. The counterparts of the Fringe Division members had never heard of Jackson in 2010. It is unclear whether Jackson had never been born in this universe or whether his counterpart had merely had a less distinguished and historically significant life and career.

Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson

  • Jackson is the President in the "main" US timeline in the book The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith. In the book itself, he's only referred to as "President Jackson"; his identity is confirmed in the later sequel The Gallatin Divergence.

Michael Jackson

  • Jackson was president in the short story, "SEAQ and Destroy" by Charles Stross.

Rev. Jesse Jackson

  • Jackson was president in Greg Costikyan's 1994 story "The West is Red", in which the Soviet Union won the Cold War. Jackson tried to walk a tightrope, instituting moderate social democratic reforms and partial nationalisations without altogether dismantling capitalism. However, an attempted coup d'état in 1989 tipped the balance and in the aftermath of its failure the United States fully adopted Communism.

Thomas Jefferson

  • In the short story "The War of '07" by Jayge Carr in the anthology Alternate Presidents, Jefferson lost the 1800 election to Aaron Burr, who became the 3rd President. President Burr kept promising to stand down after one more term but was ultimately elected to a total of nine terms from 1800 to 1832. He died on September 14, 1836 and was succeeded by his 34-year-old grandson and vice president Aaron Burr Alston. It is implied that the presidency will henceforth be a hereditary office, making the United States a de facto monarchy or family dictatorship, as Alston's vice president is Paul Aaron Burr.

Andrew Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson

  • In ARC Riders by David Drake and Janet Morris, Johnson was still alive in 1991 and still President, at least nominally. He was used as a figurehead by a ruthless cabal which, instigated by a fanatical American nationalist time traveler from the future, overthrew constitutional government in 1968 and seized power with the intention of winning the Vietnam War at all costs. By 1991, the whole of North Vietnam was occupied by American troops but the war continued unabated in central China, and the US wason the verge of collapse and a nuclear civil war. President Johnson, kept alive by constant medical attention, has no real power and little knowledge of the acts perpetrated by generals and secret policemen in his name.
  • In the alternate history novel Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas? by Bryce Zabel, John F. Kennedy forced Johnson to resign as Vice President in January 1966 using evidence which indicated that Johnson had been involved in the failed attempt on his life on November 22, 1963 as leverage. In exchange for the information not being made public until ten years after his death, Johnson agreed to accept a plea bargain for multiple counts of bribery and financial malfeasance during his tenure in the Senate. Following Kennedy's impeachment, trial and removal from office of President John F. Kennedy for multiple incidents of extramarital affairs both before and during his term in office, Speaker John William McCormack on February 24, 1966. Johnson spent the remainder of his life in a federal prison and died on January 22, 1973 at the age of 64. He was very popular with his fellow inmates as he often assisted them with their appeals.

K[edit]

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

  • Was president in Fatherland, a novel by Robert Harris later made into a HBO movie. In the novel, Nazi Germany won World War II resulting in a far different world by April 1964. With tensions easing between the world's two major superpowers, a 75-year-old Adolf Hitler welcomes President Kennedy (who was elected in 1960) to a Berlin summit in the interest of fostering détente. Kennedy was believed by one of the main characters to be a shoo-in for re-election until the truth of the death camps is uncovered on the day of the summit. President Kennedy was played by Jan Kohout in the movie.
  • In the novel K is for Killing by Daniel Easterman, he becomes the 34th President in 1940 following the assassination of President D. C. Stephenson. Stephenson was elected Vice President under Charles Lindbergh in 1932, and became President upon arranging for Lindbergh's assassination to prevent him from discovering a secret nuclear weapon collaboration plan with Nazi Germany. In the novel, Kennedy is Speaker of the House and becomes President when Stephenson is killed by his own wife, but blames it on German agents and uses it as a pretext to sever all ties with Germany.

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.

John F. Kennedy

  • Still alive in the 1990s in Brad Ferguson's "The World Next Door" and still legally the President, since the US and the whole world were completely devastated in 1962 when the Cuban Missile Crisis turned into all-out nuclear war and no further elections were ever held. Kennedy is hated and detested by the remnants of the American population, starting to revive by their own efforts in small pockets here and there. Generally considered "The man who destroyed the country", Kennedy's exact whereabouts are unknown, and he is rumored to be "hiding out in a bunker somewhere".
  • In James P. Hogan's The Proteus Operation, Kennedy is elected President in 1972, in an alternate history where Nazi Germany won World War II and the German-Japanese Axis rules all the world except for North America and Australia. President Kennedy vows "not to give up a single inch of free soil" and engages in an increasingly tense Cold War with the Nazis and Imperial Japanese, facing the bleak possibility of either defeat in the coming hot war or the destruction of the world in a nuclear holocaust. In 1974, Kennedy sponsors a secret time travel project to send a special commando unit back to 1939, whose intervention eventually creates our own history.
  • Herbert B. Douglas' story "The Mother of all Murder Trials" is an alternate history in which Jacqueline Bouvier married John G. W. Husted, Jr. rather than John Kennedy. Kennedy then married Marilyn Monroe and was elected President in 1960 with her at his side. In their first year, Monroe was a highly successful and glamorous First Lady, but afterwards their marriage went under increasing strain, bitter quarrels and mutual (justified) accusations of infidelity. Late on the night of September 30, 1962, President Kennedy discovered his wife in bed with his brother Robert F. Kennedy, pulled a gun and killed both of them – being found by White House aides bitterly crying with the smoking gun still in his hand. A week later Congress unanimously voted to impeach Kennedy and remove him from office, whereupon he was charged with murder. After dismissing a lawyer who tried to plead "temporary insanity", Kennedy pleaded guilty and specifically asked the court to sentence him to death as "the least which I deserve", refused to appeal the sentence and went to the electric chair after the Pope came to America to personally give him absolution. His last words were "God bless America – I am ready to do my last duty for my country". While initially considered a monster, Kennedy's sincere and obvious penitence won him considerable public sympathy and he was widely regarded as "a tragic hero". The enormous attention to this sensational murder case relegated to the back pages the news of Soviet missiles being placed in Cuba. President Johnson, who took office on October 1962, contented himself with warning the Soviets that any use of these missiles would be "answered ten-fold" by American missiles placed in Turkey. In 1965 Johnson – concluding that there was no chance left to topple the Cuba regime – reached a secret deal with Fidel Castro, for removal of US sanctions in return for a Cuban promise not to "export the revolution". This caused an open breach between Castro and Che Guevara, who was arrested in Havana and executed on treason charges.
  • In the short story "The Impeachment of Adlai Stevenson" by David Gerrold included in the anthology Alternate Presidents, the title character defeated Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 after Eisenhower made the mistake of choosing Joseph McCarthy as his running mate instead of Richard Nixon. However, Stevenson proved to be an extremely unpopular president, leading to his impeachment and subsequent resignation in August 1958. Stevenson was succeeded by Kennedy, his untested 41-year-old vice-president who becomes the 35th President. Although the story ends immediately after Stevenson has decided to resign, it is heavily implied that Nixon, already the front runner for the next Republican nomination, will defeat Kennedy in the 1960 election. This is due to the public's antipathy towards the Democrats and the fact that Kennedy is a much derided figure due to his recent marriage to the Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe, referred to derisively as "the new Monroe Doctrine."
  • In the short story "The Kennedy Enterprise" by David Gerrold contained in the anthology Alternate Kennedys, Kennedy was raised in Hollywood and eventually decided to become an actor. Although he was cast in numerous films in the 1940s and the 1950s, roles began to dry up by the time that he had reached his mid 40s. However, in 1966, he was cast in what would become his best known role, namely Captain Jack Logan of the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701) in the hugely popular science fiction television series Star Track.
  • In the alternate history novel The Two Georges by Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss, Kennedy was a publisher in Boston, Massachusetts in 1995. Although born and raised in the North American Union, Kennedy had a strong sense of his Irish heritage and hated the British Empire for its past and continued transgressions against Ireland from the Great Famine (1845–1852) to the abject poverty and brutal exploitation of Irish miners in the present. He adopted a separatist stance, which he expressed through the magazine Common Sense, frequently skirting the edge of legality. He was suspected of being a member of the terrorist organisation, the Sons of Liberty. When the Thomas Gainsborough painting The Two Georges was stolen from the Governor-General's mansion in New Liverpool in June 1995, Royal American Mounted Police officers Thomas Bushell and Samuel Stanley and the painting's custodian Dr. Kathleen Flannery followed suspected Sons member Joseph Killbride to Boston, they met with Kennedy, who proved combatative in dealing with Bushell and made very subtle and inappropriate advances towards Flannery. His brother was a Catholic archbishop.
  • In the first parallel universe featured in Sliders, the United States was a severely impoverished nation whereas Mexico was an industrial giant and a world power. Americans emigrated across the Mexican border in droves. Furthermore, the world was undergoing global cooling. In this universe, the Twenty-second Amendment, which states that no person may be elected to the presidency more than twice, had seemingly never been ratified. Consequently, Kennedy was elected to the nation's highest office in every election from 1960 to 1992. At the time of Quinn Mallory's visit to this universe in September 1994, Kennedy was serving his ninth term as President. He did not plan to run for re-election in 1996. He was married to the former Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe.
  • In a parallel universe featured in the Sliders Season Two episode "Obsession", a young psychic from San Francisco predicted the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 and thereby prevented his death. Lincoln was so grateful and impressed that he created a cabinet post known as the Prime Oracle, whose job was to predict natural and man made disasters. He and his successors were so successful that millions of American citizens came to trust and believe in psychic abilities. Kennedy's own assassination was likewise prevented and he survived until May 1995, when he died at the age of 78 due to complications from Addison's disease. Attendees at his funeral included his younger brother Robert F. Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. By 1996, the President of the United States was little more than a figurehead for the country as not even the President could question the Prime Oracle's infinite wisdom.
  • In the alternate history novel The Sky People, Kennedy served two full terms as the 35th President from 1961 to 1969. Although he was initially considered weak on anti-Communist matters, he was elected to a second term in 1964. His successful handling of the Vietnam War, the Thailand Border Crisis of 1966-1967 and the Six-Day War silenced the majority of his critics. The key US base on Mars was named after Kennedy.
  • In the alternate history novel The Gladiator by Harry Turtledove, Kennedy's decision to back down during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 was a signal to the world that the United States was not as serious about fighting the Cold War as it held itself out as being. After the US withdraw its troops from the Vietnam War in 1968, communists and socialists formed popular fronts in the face of the United States' perceived weakness. With the Soviet Union's support, these popular fronts were able to successfully topple Western Europe's capitalist and democratic governments and established People's Republics. The United States was the last nation to fall. By the end of the 20th Century, the entire world had turned to communism. By the late 21st century, the United States was seen as harmless and was completely obedient to the Soviet Union.
  • In the parallel universe featured in Fringe, the nonagenarian Kennedy was serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations in May 2009 but planned to resign his position in order to lead a new US government agency aimed at slowing ecological breakdown.

Patrick Bouvier Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy

  • The novel A Disturbance of Fate by Mitchell J. Freedman is premised on Robert Kennedy surviving Sirhan Sirhan's assassination attempt and going on to serve two successful terms as president with Ralph Yarborough as his vice president and eventual successor.
  • In the story "President-Elect" by Mark Aronson in the anthology Alternate Kennedys, RFK survives his encounter with Sirhan Sirhan and adds a strong law and order theme to his campaign. Pressured by incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson to more closely toe the party line (or more precisely, the LBJ line) or else risk having his election sabotaged, Kennedy bolts and becomes the Republican nominee with Richard Nixon as his running mate. The Democrats nominate his brother Ted Kennedy to run with the incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Kennedy/Nixon barely edges Kennedy/Humphrey, but before he can be inaugurated, Robert is killed when he accidentally drives off a bridge at Chappaquiddick, leaving Nixon to become the 37th President.
  • In the 1969 alternate history If Israel Lost the War by Richard Z. Chesnoff, Edward Klein and Robert Littell, Israel was defeated in the Six Day War, Sirhan Sirhan went home to share in his people's victory celebrations, and Robert Kennedy passed unscathed through the kitchen of The Ambassador Hotel and went on to be elected as the 37th President. On entering office, Kennedy feels that the fall of Pro-Western Israel at the hands of the pro-Soviet Nasser's Egypt has dangerously tipped the global balance of forces, and he orders an escalation of the Vietnam War through a land invasion of North Vietnam. However, American forces get bogged down far short of Hanoi, due to intensive Vietnamese guerrilla activity plus the direct mass intervention of Chinese "volunteers", similar to those who fought in the Korean War. As a result, the President's popularity sharply plunges by 1969, when the book ends.
  • In the short story "Fellow Americans" by Eileen Gunn contained in the anthology Alternate Presidents, Barry Goldwater defeated the early favourite and incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and went on to be re-elected in 1968. During his term in office, President Goldwater ordered that nuclear weapons be deployed against North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. In 1990, Kennedy, who had never seriously sought the Democratic presidential nomination, was serving as the Governor of New York and proceedings had been instituted against him for an alleged impropriety which he had committed while in his office. While attending the opening ceremony of the 1990 New York World's Fair in the Tower of Diminished Expectations, Governor Kennedy was the subject of an attempted assassination but survived as he had been wearing a bullet proof vest. During his convalescence, he informed his wife Ethel Kennedy that he intended to seek the Democratic nomination for the 1992 presidential election and run against the incumbent Republican President George H. W. Bush, who was increasingly unpopular due to his perceived poor handling of the economic recession. However, as the would-be assassin had not been caught, Ethel was afraid that he would strike again and attempted to persuade her husband to abandon his plans to run for the presidency. Her efforts proved unsuccessful. Kennedy remained bitter that Johnson had chosen Hubert Humphrey as his running mate in the 1964 election as he was convinced that, with him on the ticket, Johnson would have defeated Goldwater and that he (Kennedy) would have gone on to be elected President himself in 1968.

Ted Kennedy

  • A list of US Presidents since the 1950s in Robert A. Heinlein's book Job: A Comedy of Justice (1984) concludes with "Eisenhower, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy", presumably referring to both Robert Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. This joke was used earlier in A Boy and His Dog (1976) when the main character lists the presidents in order: "Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy...". This list was also mentioned as the USA presidents in The Number of the Beast for Timeline 2 (the Future History timeline) as Woodrow Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, ..., Neemiah Scudder Interregnum.

Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • In an episode of What If? on the Discovery Channel, King was Vice President under Robert Kennedy and succeeded him as the 38th President in September 1969. Major of his initiatives are détente and continue program of Great Society (but under a new name). He was assassinated in 1971. He was succeeded by Vice President George McGovern.

Wynton Kelly

  • In the German Tageschau for the Wende Gruppe Wiedervereinigungsfest, Kelly was President of the United States in the 1970s, during a crisis between the US and the USSR around the "Herald des Freien Westens", a communication satellite. The secret services of both sides of the Iron Curtain claimed that the other side had stolen crucial parts of the satellite for military purposes. Kelly gave a broadcast speech in which he warned the Soviet leaders to immediately deliver to stolen parts back to the US under threat of a nuclear attack. In return General Bravonov, the Soviet leader, warned the US to return their parts of the satellite. The broadcast speech can be viewed on YouTube under the tag "Wiedervereinigungsfest".

L[edit]

Robert M. La Follette, Sr.

  • In the short story "Fighting Bob" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch contained in the anthology Alternate Presidents, La Follette won the 1924 election. He was the Progressive Party candidate, defeating the Republican incumbent Calvin Coolidge and their Democratic opponent John W. Davis. He entered office as the 31st President on March 4, 1925. However, his term in office proved to be short-lived as he died on June 18, 1925 (as he did in real life). After William Henry Harrison, who died after one month in office on April 4, 1841, he was the second shortest serving President in US history. He was succeeded by his vice president Burton K. Wheeler, who became the 32nd President. Given that La Follette was 69 years old in 1924, he was the oldest man ever to be elected to the presidency.

Fiorello H. La Guardia

  • La Guardia was elected president in 1951 in the 1939 Robert Heinlein novel For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs, after democracy was restored from an extreme-right dictatorship in the late 1940s. La Guardia served two terms, mainly concerned in a titanic struggle with the banks, ending with the American banks effectively nationalised and a system of social credit established. Posterity remembers him as one of the United States' greatest presidents.

Rose Wilder Lane

Lyndon LaRouche

Le Duc Tho

  • Le Duc Tho was President in a story in The Onion publication Our Dumb Century, where Gerald Ford surrenders the United States to the Viet Cong after the end of the Vietnam War. Le's policies include renaming Washington, DC to New Hanoi, DC; arresting Ford and his cabinet; and converting the US to a collectivized-agrarian economy.

Robert LeFevre

Curtis LeMay

Joe Lieberman

  • In the satirical novel Why Not Me? by Al Franken, the author portrayed himself as being elected as the 43rd President in 2000, running as a dark horse candidate on a platform of eliminating ATM fees. He is eventually given the Democratic nomination over the incumbent vice president and early favourite Al Gore due in a rise in support when the Y2K bug solely effects ATMs. He was the first Jewish President and won the election in a landslide. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut was his running mate, making the Franken-Lieberman ticket the first all-Jewish presidential ticket since Reconstruction. President Franken suffered from severe depression and mood swings. For instance, he attacked Nelson Mandela and appointed Sandy Koufax as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Franken resigned after 144 days in office on June 10, 2001. In his resignation speech, he said: "It is my fondest wish that, in the fullness of time, the American people will look back on the Franken presidency as something of a mixed bag and not as a complete disaster." Lieberman succeeded him as the 44th President, going on to serve a total of eighteen years in office. In stark contrast to Franken, President Lieberman was widely considered to be one of the greatest Presidents in US history. Notably, the novel, which was written in 1999, correctly predicted that Lieberman would be the Democratic vice presidential nominee in the 2000 election, though with Gore rather than Franken as the presidential candidate.

Rush Limbaugh

Abraham Lincoln

  • In the short story "How the South Preserved the Union" by Ralph Roberts included in the anthology Alternate Presidents, David Rice Atchison, a prominent pro-slavery activist, became the 13th President following the deaths of his predecessor Zachary Taylor and Vice President Millard Fillmore in a carriage accident. Several months after President Atchison's accession, the American Civil War broke out on April 17, 1849 with the secession of Massachusetts from the Union and the Second Battle of Lexington and Concord, from which the rebelling abolitionists, who styled themselves as the New Minutemen, emerged victorious. New Hampshire and Vermont seceded shortly thereafter and were soon followed by the rest of New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The seceding states banded together to form the New England Confederacy with Daniel Webster as its first and only President and the revolutionary abolitionist John Brown as the commander of its army. The war came to an end in 1855, two years after President Atchison had issued a proclamation promising that any slave who fought in the United States Army would be granted his freedom following the end of the war and that any factory slave who worked satisfactorily would be granted his or her freedom after the war and would be paid for that work from then onwards. Lincoln "never rose higher than a seedy congressman from Illinois" and was regarded as "a vulgar, incompetent man who amounted to little and accomplished less." He was eventually shot and killed in a barroom brawl in 1865 by an actor named John Wilkes Booth in a dispute over theatre tickets. In the late 1880s, a science fiction dime novel was published which portrayed an alternate history in which Lincoln became president, the Civil War did not begin until 1861 and it was the South rather than the North which seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. However, the novel was largely dismissed as the idea of Lincoln becoming President was regarded as being laughably far-fetched.
  • In the short story "Lincoln's Charge" by Bill Fawcett contained in the anthology Alternate Presidents, Lincoln was defeated by Stephen A. Douglas, who became the 16th President, in the 1860 election. In the hope of avoiding warfare, President Douglas attempted to reach a compromise with the Southern representatives in the Congress. The Manumission Act of 1862 was intended to preserve the Union by freeing the slaves over a period of ten years, giving everyone time to adjust. While Douglas heralded the law as another great compromise analogous to the Compromise of 1850, the Southern representatives formed the Confederate States of America and began arming for war. After the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1862, Douglas was fearful of further provoking the South and did not introduce conscription as the Confederacy had done. Consequently, the professional though much smaller Union Army was overwhelmed and nearly destroyed by the Confederate States Army at Manassas Creek in Virginia in 1862. It took the United States over a year to recover from this disaster, creating a period of false peace. Although everyone in the North initially welcomed it, the false peace gave both sides time to build their armies as well as providing an opportunity for the United Kingdom to decide to support the Confederacy with the full backing of the British Empire's diplomacy and trade. Douglas continued to negotiate with the Confederacy in an attempt to reach a compromise, failing to understand that every day lost meant another victory for the South. Lincoln accepted a commission as the commanding general of the Illinois Militia in the Union Army. His own commanding officer was Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant. General Lincoln believed that he would have been able to prevent the war if he had been elected or, failing that, would have shown the kind of decisive leadership of which Douglas was seemingly incapable, built a real army and crushed the Confederacy before they were able to build a large army of their own. Shortly after leading his troops into battle for the first time in 1863, Lincoln was shot and killed by a Confederate sniper while still on horseback. Although the story ends with Lincoln's death, it is heavily implied that the Confederacy will eventually win the war with the support of the British and establish an independent nation.
  • In Turtledove's alternate history short story "Must and Shall", Lincoln was killed by a Confederate States Army sniper at the Battle of Fort Stevens on July 12, 1864 while observing General Jubal Early's attack. He was succeeded by his Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, who became the 17th President. President Hamlin used his predecessor's death as justification for the oppressive peace imposed upon the former Confederate States following the defeat of the Great Rebellion. This involved a harsh occupation of the rebellious states, the destruction of their economy and further racial division due to the promotion of blacks to important offices, leading to great animosity between the inhabitants of the North and South. The complete military control of the former Confederacy by the US continued until at least 1942, at which time Nazi Germany smuggled weapons into the South to stir up revolt and distract the US government.
  • In a parallel universe featured in the Sliders Season Two episode "Obsession", a young psychic from San Francisco predicted Lincoln's assassination in Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865 and thereby prevented his death. Lincoln was so grateful and impressed that he created a cabinet post known as the Prime Oracle, whose job was to predict natural and man made disasters. He and his successors were so successful that millions of American citizens came to trust and believe in psychic abilities. By 1996, the President of the United States was little more than a figurehead for the country as not even the President could question the Prime Oracle's infinite wisdom.
  • In the alternate history novel How Few Remain by Harry Turtledove, the first part of the Southern Victory series, General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia forced the Army of the Potomac under the command of General George B. McClellan onto the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and destroys the opposing army in the Battle of Camp Hill on October 1, 1862. Following this decisive victory, Lee moved eastward and occupied Philadelphia. As a direct result, the Confederate States of America earned diplomatic recognition from the United Kingdom and France, which forced the United States to mediate. The Confederacy therefore gains full recognition in the War of Secession came to an end on November 4, 1862. In the 1864 election, Lincoln was soundly defeated and left office in disgrace. Returning to private life, Lincoln developed an interest in workers' rights. Influenced by Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto, he spent most of the following two decades touring the United States and gained a reputation as a staunch socialist. During a trip to St. Louis in 1877, he and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln both contracted typhoid. Lincoln survived but Mary would die from it. Following his election in 1880, President James G. Blaine, the only Republican other than Lincoln to ever hold the office, led the United States into another losing war, the Second Mexican War (1881–1882), with the Confederacy and its European allies which cost the US a section of the state of Maine as one of the terms of the armistice. This second disastrous war in less than twenty years instigated by a Republican president doomed the party to political irrelevance. After one last attempt to convince Republican leaders to make workers' rights the central issue of their platform at a decisive meeting in Chicago, Illinois in 1882, Lincoln and many of his followers defected to the Socialist Party. While in Chicago, he stayed with his eldest and only surviving son Robert Todd Lincoln, who worked as an attorney for the Pullman Company. The younger Lincoln continued his involvement with the Republicans, making no secret of his disapproval for his father's politics and, to that end, opposed his defection to the Socialists. While he continued to welcome his father at his home, he forbade him to invite Socialists into it. In the years after the end of the Second Mexican War, the Socialist Party surpassed the Republican Party as the nation's second party. In spite of this, it would not become the majority party in the House of Representatives until 1918 and would not win the presidency until the election of Upton Sinclair in 1920, which ended 36 consecutive years of Democratic control of the Powel House. Lincoln was widely reviled in the United States and among the white population of the Confederate States for his role in the War of Secession, although he was viewed positively by Confederate blacks. He was almost universally considered to be the worst President in US history.
  • In the alternate history novel "Lee at the Alamo" by Harry Turtledove, Lincoln was elected as the 16th President in 1860 which prompted several slave states to secede from the Union and form the Confederate States of America, as occurred in real life. The first battle of the American Civil War took place in Texas, one of the seceding states, from February to March 1861, as Lt. Colonel Robert E. Lee opted to defend U.S. property at the Alamo, rather than surrender it to the Texas Militia. It came known as the Second Battle of the Alamo. While Lee was ultimately forced to surrender, he became a national hero. When President Lincoln learned that Lee had refused the position of Commander of the Union Army, he arranged to meet with Lee in the White House. With some careful words and persuasion, Lincoln convinced Lee to remain with the Union, rather than join his home state of Virginia in secession. Lee, realising Lincoln's sincerity, agreed to take a commanding position in the west, and stipulated that he be allowed to retire if he were asked to fight his fellow Virginians. Lincoln agreed, and went one better, promising Lee a farm should he retire. As the story ended in April 1861, neither Lincoln's fate nor the final outcome of the war were established.
  • In the 2004 mockumentary CSA: The Confederate States of America, Abraham Lincoln served as the sixteenth and final President of the United States after the Confederate States get the United Kingdom and France to help them win the Civil War. American general Ulysses S. Grant surrenders to Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1864 after the Confederate army captures Washington D.C.. Also, the Confederacy annexes the remaining parts of the United States and the title of President of the United States is abolished. Lincoln attempts to escape to Canada (in blackface) with the help of Harriet Tubman. However, they are caught by Confederate soldiers and captured. Tubman is executed and Lincoln is imprisoned. In 1866, he is pardoned by Jefferson Davis and exiled to Canada. Lincoln remains in Canada until he died in June 1905 at the age of 96. Shortly before his death, Lincoln laments not having made the Civil War a batle to end slavery.

Charles Lindbergh

  • Lindbergh appears in The Plot Against America, an alternate history novel by Philip Roth. He defeats President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 election to become the 33rd President by playing upon the public's fears of going to war. Once in office, he cancels defense-related agreements with the Allies, and signs non-aggression treaties with Nazi Germany and with the Empire of Japan, which he justifies on the grounds that they will keep America out of war, and that the Axis are doing the world a favor by fighting and destroying communism in the Soviet Union and China. At home, he implements several programs designed to marginalize the Jewish community in the U.S. Henry Ford serves as his Secretary of Interior.
    • He serves until 1942 when Vice President Burton K. Wheeler succeeds him.
    • At the end of the novel, it is revealed that Lindbergh was in the employ of the Nazis the entire time; years earlier, German agents had kidnapped Lindbergh's only son (see Lindbergh kidnapping) and used him as a hostage ever since to force Lindbergh to obey them. The treachery is discovered, Roosevelt is re-elected to the White House, and the U.S. enters the war on the Allied side.
  • Lindbergh is President in the novel K is for Killing by Daniel Easterman. He is elected as the 32nd President in 1932 with D. C. Stephenson as his Vice President. Stephenson arranges the assassination of Lindbergh and his wife in 1940 to prevent him from learning about a secret plan to collaborate with Nazi Germany on atomic weapons.
  • Lindbergh President in the novel Farthing (2006) by Jo Walton. In a world where Britain and Nazi Germany reached a peace arrangement in 1941, Lindberg is president in 1949. He is preparing to meet with the Emperor of Japan to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Belva Ann Lockwood

Huey Long

  • In the short story "Kingfish" by Barry N. Malzberg in the anthology Alternate Presidents, Long defeated Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936 to become the 33rd President. He invited Adolf Hitler to visit the United States, and allowed him to be assassinated via a bomb in 1938, leading to war with Nazi Germany. Although he had previously told his Vice President John Nance Garner that he did not intend to run for re-election in 1940, Garner became increasingly skeptical that Long would keep his word and therefore provide him with the opportunity to run. His suspicions were confirmed following the outbreak of the war.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Published in "What ifs? of American History", New York, 2003
  2. ^ "Confederate Geographic: Newfoundland Missile Crisis", CSA the movie [dead link].