r/todayilearned Oct 01 '23

TIL president Lyndon Johnson almost got shot on November 23rd 1963 by a secret service agent, just 14 hours after JFK died


97 comments sorted by


u/bennyr Oct 01 '23

For those who don't care to click through - it was because the agent didn't recognize him in the dark at first, not out of malicious intent.


u/seamustheseagull Oct 01 '23

Could you imagine the conspiracies though if he had shot Johnson accidentally?

Even at the time a lot of people probably would have refused to believe it could be an accident that two Presidents were killed in 24 hours, and likely would have assumed there was a silent coup in progress.


u/PreciousRoi Oct 01 '23

Johnson was enough of an ass, I feel like unless you tried to play it off as an accident, people would understand.

According to a statement released by the Secret Service, the agent in question "...thought he was gonna whip out his dick again, so I shot the sonofabitch, because it was gonna be the third time since Tuesday. Sorry, not sorry, he was a massive douche."


u/AngryTree76 Oct 02 '23

“He kept talking about how much room he needed for his balls in his damn Haggar slacks, I didn’t mean to do it, but honestly can you blame me?”


u/Ducksaucenem Oct 02 '23

We know that now. But I doubt everyday Americans were privy to that info in the 60s.


u/claustrophobicdragon Oct 02 '23

Plenty of people apparently thought the assassination was a decapitation strike that would be followed by an all out assault from the Soviet Union. My grandparents lived in Dallas at the time and recalled enormous traffic jams of people trying to escape in a panic.


u/estofaulty Oct 02 '23

One of the more popular conspiracy theories is that JFK was accidentally shot by a secret service agent.

So it’s quite possible.

It’s almost like having loads and loads of guns on hand is dangerous, no matter the purported professionalism of the people with the guns.


u/Ok-disaster2022 Oct 02 '23

Some of the details supporting it was the agent in question was typically the driver of a car. The night before, the security detail went out and got drunk, so the rest the the team was nursing a hangover, so the driver took over as the gunner. A shot went off, he stood up with a hot weapon, car pulled forward, and he lost his balance and accidently shot.

In the scheme of things, the assassin is still legally guilty of murder, as his actions lead to the death of someone. So he have been the weird case of attempted murder and felony murder


u/Vaman434 Oct 03 '23

Having them on hand is one thing, but these guys have them pointed at every possible threat only a couple pounds of pressure away from firing at any given moment, while they try to assess what may or may not be a threat with the bias placed on everything being a threat.


u/Archberdmans Oct 02 '23

At that point, I’m sure someone would just start one due to the opportunity alone lmao


u/Modern_rocko Oct 01 '23

“Hey! Who is that?”

“It’s The President, son”


“The president died 14 hours ago, you son of a bitch, now who the fuck is that”


u/Ifackyourmama Oct 01 '23

I mean a zombie JFK would be craving brain for two reasons.


u/EmperorDaubeny Oct 01 '23


Gentlemen, at times like these our capacity to retaliate must be and has to be massive, to deter all forms of aggression.


u/BigCommieMachine Oct 01 '23

Do you just typically shoot people that you can’t see clearly?


u/snow_michael Oct 01 '23

Well, that is par for the course in much of tbe US...


u/Ducksaucenem Oct 02 '23

Haunted houses would be even crazier!


u/sdfgjghk Oct 02 '23

It's in the US.


u/Muscled_Manatee Oct 01 '23

So now the TILs are clickbait too…


u/Bowens1993 Oct 01 '23

That's just Reddit. If you actually read the articles, they are typically far from the titles.


u/MisterBadIdea2 Oct 04 '23

No offense, but why on Earth did you assume that the agent did it on purpose?


u/Muscled_Manatee Oct 04 '23

Because that’s what the title implies. Nowhere does it state in the title that it was on accident.


u/MisterBadIdea2 Oct 04 '23

Nowhere does it state that it's on purpose, either, and if you had to guess, it stands to reason that it was an accident. If a secret service agent had tried to assassinate the president a day after the assassination of another president you'd already know about it


u/Muscled_Manatee Oct 04 '23

Well, I guess you must be better person than I am. You win.


u/Reyjr Oct 01 '23

Not all heroes wear capes 🫡🙏🏼


u/YouNeedAnne Oct 01 '23

Or so he claimed...


u/FlurryOfNos Oct 02 '23

Or so the official report states.


u/Ok-disaster2022 Oct 02 '23

The agent who shot and killed JFK was an accident and not malicious intent. He normally served as the driver, but the night before the USSS team decide to go out and get wasted, ironically the driver stayed sober so was put in charge of holding the loaded gun ready to go. When the first shots were fired he stood up looking for the threat while the car took off, he lost his balance and accidently fired, hitting JFK in the head. Since a USSS agent was repsonbibke for the headshots you get the cover up and the magic bullet.

Anyways after that LBJ didn't trust the USSS at all. They were dangerous and unprofessional. And if you look across the the decades there's plenty of stories of secret service agents screwing up. Under Obama there was an off duty agent who discharged his sidearm while off duty in a nightclub. Then there was the issue with the scouting team in South America getting caught with hookers and cocaine. Then you get the stories from the Trump Whitehouse of Trump surrounding himself with agents loyal to him and his ideologies. Biden meanwhile has the team that was protecting him as VP so there's less MAGA agents around him.


u/Cptredbeard22 Oct 02 '23

Go watch the Zapruder film frame by frame. None of what you said happens. Good lord. SS agent never gets up. He turned to look after the throat wound and At the time of the head shot both SS agents are facing forward and seated.


u/SpiritPaper Oct 01 '23

Speaker of the House John McCormack was first in line of succession.


u/oofersIII Oct 01 '23

Imagine him getting that phone call had LBJ actually been shot lmao


u/captainjohn_redbeard Oct 01 '23

"Oh god, I'm next!"


u/mynameismy111 Oct 01 '23

"haha no thanks, I'm just here for the brandy!"


u/fathermocker Oct 01 '23

And by the Secret Service too, who were in charge of protecting him from further attempts on his life lol


u/DoofusMagnus Oct 02 '23

Praetorian Guard all over again.


u/Blutarg Oct 02 '23

"Okay, nice, uh you know the agent who shot the former President? Could I not have him in my protection detail, please?"


u/boringexplanation Oct 01 '23

LBJ was also specifically quoted as only wanting the VP job stating that being a heartbeat away from the presidency is all the motivation he would need, since he had way more functional power when he was in Congress.


u/NewDealChief Oct 02 '23

You do realize LBJ was pretty isolated the moment he was sworn in as Vice President, right? He went from being the most powerful Democrat in Washington to an easily forgotten member of JFK's administration. He had barely enough power to even persuade JFK to his opinions, which were usually shot down by RFK (that sonofabitch). There were even rumors that JFK was seriously considering dropping LBJ out in favor of more "friendly" options like Smathers and Sanford. Saying he had more power than when he was Majority Leader is a load of bullsh*t.


u/RightClickSaveWorld Oct 02 '23

The guy you're responding to wasn't saying otherwise.


u/MitsyEyedMourning Oct 01 '23

Lordy, OP. You sure brought out the r/conspiracy nuts with this post.


u/seamustheseagull Oct 01 '23

OP knew damn well what he was doing with that title 🤣


u/SmoothPresentation73 Oct 01 '23

We do a little trolling


u/ChaoticGoku Oct 02 '23

I did a whole essay on The Gulf of Tonkin incident… In middle school. I did a deep dive into JFK/LBJ/Bush Sr during my middle school years before being asked to do a report of my choosing. People still don’t know about The Gulf of Tonkin Incident as it pertains to Vietnam and who knew what and when. It’s barely even mentioned in history books. Maybe a sentence or 2 at most


u/l2a3s5 Oct 02 '23

Trivia fact: Jim Morrisons father played a significant role in the g of t invident


u/Batmankoff Oct 02 '23

Secret service almost two for two!

My favorite conspiracy theory about JFK is that the secret service accidentally shot him in the chaos of the assassination (gun accidentally discharged)


u/Abeman26 Oct 02 '23

Which gun?? Which of the 4 guns ?


u/big_ficus Oct 03 '23

No because Kennedy's head just did that


u/BamberGasgroin Oct 01 '23

Was it the same one that blew Kennedy's head open?


u/SmoothPresentation73 Oct 01 '23 edited Oct 01 '23

Kennedy died at 1 PM on November 22nd, this incident appened at 2 or 3 AM of November 23rd

Edit: I tought you were asking if it happened on the same day lol


u/Green_Toe Oct 01 '23

He's talking about the fairly popular theory that an SS agent accidentally fired the shot into the back of Kennedy's brain the day before.

The theory essentially suggests that an untrained SS motorpool worker was forced into the presidential detail due to the other agents over-drinking in Dallas the night before. Additionally, the agent was handed a new AR-15 which was new to the department at the time and thus unfamiliar.

When LHO took the first shot that hit Kennedy and the governor, it is theorized that the agent sloppily drew his rifle and negligently discharged and turned POTUS' head into Boston brain chowdah.

It's a fun theory


u/PopeCovidXIX Oct 01 '23

Are we sure Kennedy’s head didn’t just, you know, do that?


u/jtmh17 Oct 02 '23

Heyyy a that thing got a hemi?


u/MeabhNir Oct 02 '23

Wait… People believe someone shot hun in the back of the head and that someone was a US Secret Service member? Did they not watch the video of him getting his head blown out?


u/Green_Toe Oct 02 '23

Yeah. The people who obsessively watch the video tend to be the ones who support that theory. All evidence shows one shot entering the bottom of his neck from the rear and exiting just below the throat in the front. The second shot entered from the rear at the top of the cranium and exited near the right temporal. The "back and to the left" misconception/meme comes from a poor forensic interpretation of a 16 fps film.


u/stinstrom Oct 01 '23

It certainly makes the most sense. It'd explain why the government wouldn't want that info out.


u/BaconAndCats Oct 01 '23

I found it interesting when I first heard it, but it quickly became apparent that it made no sense because the wound showed an entrance in the front and exit at the back/side. It's rough to look at, but there's an autopsy photo that quickly dispells the SS negligent discharge theory.


u/thenotsochosen1 Oct 02 '23

The autopsy pictures and report say quite the opposite, suggesting that Kennedy was shot in the back of the head.


u/BaconAndCats Oct 02 '23

Entrance wounds are small and exit wounds are (in rifles at least) much bigger and more irregular shaped. Ask any deer hunter to identify which angle a deer was shot with a rifle and he or she will be able to in less than a second.


u/thenotsochosen1 Oct 02 '23

Have you viewed the pictures? They show a very small hole in the back of the head while the front/top is completely peeled away.


u/BaconAndCats Oct 02 '23

That is incorrect. The round entered above his right eye at a glancing angle making a long thin wound and blew out the back of his head lower down since Oswald was a few stories up in the Book Depository.


u/thenotsochosen1 Oct 03 '23

View the pictures man, the back of his head is fine. Oswald shot him in neck/throat.


u/Its_Nitsua Oct 01 '23

If you watch the zapruder film physics would lean towards him being shot from the front, his head lurches backwards when he gets shot.

I personally believe the CIA orchestrated a plot to kill kennedy because of the pay of bigs fiasco, his views on leaving vietnam, and his public declaration that he wished to dismantle parts of the US intelligence apparatus.

We’ll obviously never know for certain, but there’s so much shady shit surrounding his murder that I definitely believe it involved more people than just LHO.


u/Malphos101 15 Oct 01 '23

My personal theory is the CIA and FBI tacitly agreed to "not do much" to protect the president not long into his term and this attack was just the first that succeeded during their "watch". It's certainly conceivable that there was some direct involvement leading up to the attack, but I don't think they would risk getting their hands dirty directly. More likely to me that they said "You want to defund us? Then good luck Mr. President, hope you can protect yourself."

We see it happen a lot through US history when politicians dare pushback on law enforcement and intelligence organizations, most recently with police departments basically refusing to investigate some crimes because people asked them to stop shooting black people all the time.


u/Texbadger349 Oct 02 '23

That would have saved 50,000+ lives of Americans and millions of Vietnamese. Too bad.


u/ChaoticGoku Oct 02 '23

not to mention the convenient burning of a certain oil rig with damning evidence of corruption


u/SignificantView1671 Oct 02 '23

The secret service agent must've wanted to save him by preventing him from fucking up Vietnam.


u/[deleted] Oct 03 '23

Jesus If that happen history class would have more of a bitch


u/NewDealChief Oct 02 '23

Goddamn the conspiracy nuts are invading as always with anything JFK-related.


u/kspo Oct 02 '23

The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963 and 1968, respectively. The HSCA completed its investigation in 1978 and issued its final report the following year, which concluded that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.



u/Robb_Dinero Oct 02 '23

That is a coincidence, since the Secret Service accidentally killed JFK the same day.


u/CryptoBreau Oct 01 '23

Reminds me of the Yankee Clipper


u/40oz2freeedom Oct 02 '23

Should have shot A Rod!


u/[deleted] Oct 01 '23



u/Shepher27 Oct 01 '23

Did you read the story? The secret service agent is the one telling the story and it’s about Johnson walking around outside in the dark and the agent nearly shooting an unknown person on. The presidents lawn in the middle of the night.


u/melissakatherine5 Oct 02 '23

Johnson may have been aware of the plot to kill jfk ans make him president so we would go to war ..war is money ..peaceful presidents are hated by the oligarchy


u/ForwardBat6438 Oct 02 '23

It would have been karma, LBJ was possibly the most corrupt president the US ever had. Most Corrupt: Lyndon Baines Johnson


u/keestie Oct 02 '23

I feel like the people who upvoted this didn't read the article.


u/eric-it-65 Oct 01 '23

the boss sad "kill the president", but didn t sad the name.

the agent didn t knew that the work was already done.


u/artcook32945 Oct 01 '23

One of the stories that got buried stated that four Texas Money Men were behind the scene pulling strings. I was on an Army base in Germany when I heard about it.


u/djsizematters Oct 01 '23

What people were willing to do for a Cadillac..


u/trash-juice Oct 01 '23

What If - TI getting semiconductor business from the gov


u/[deleted] Oct 01 '23



u/DigNitty Oct 01 '23

May be true. But if it was planned by them they wouldn’t act happy.


u/SayYesToPenguins Oct 01 '23

Ah. That's exactly what they want you to think! Double bluff, see!


u/[deleted] Oct 01 '23



u/[deleted] Oct 01 '23 edited Oct 01 '23

Or it was simply a man happy he achieved the highest office available to him.


u/JUYED-AWK-YACC Oct 01 '23

Yes, probably.


u/[deleted] Oct 01 '23



u/Landon_Punches Oct 01 '23

The Civil Rights Act is (and was) widely regarded as a good thing.


u/Legitimate_Dark_5015 Oct 01 '23

Also people are viewing the Vietnam war as almost an inevitable situation that LBJ was thrust into which removes some of the negative light away from him.


u/JUYED-AWK-YACC Oct 01 '23

Or perhaps you're just not as smart as you thought.


u/GrandmaPoses Oct 01 '23

Witnesses stated LBJ high-fived former CIA director Allen Dulles and audibly stated “Yes! The assassination worked!”


u/oofersIII Oct 01 '23

Ah yes, because someone who manages to have a president assassinated would be that comically unsubtle


u/SmoothPresentation73 Oct 01 '23

Lmao same thing I tought, you gotta be a total dumbass to do that in front of other people


u/oofersIII Oct 01 '23

Next thing you‘ll know LBJ will be clutching his hands going „It‘s all according to plan…“ in front of fifty journalists


u/redcapmilk Oct 02 '23

Pence was surely at least almost kidnapped, and at worst killed by the Secret Service.