When Bill Clinton ran for president, a decades-old photo soon circulated showing the then-16-year-old Clinton meeting President John F. Kennedy at the White House in 1963. The photo was a strange juxtaposition of eras, where past meets future. Here are five similar strange but true historic images where past and future collide.
5. Babe Ruth Meets George H.W. Bush
Shortly before his death in 1948, an aging Babe Ruth traveled to Yale University to donate the manuscript of his autobiography. Receiving the manuscript on behalf of the university was the captain of the Yale baseball team, George H.W. Bush, who 40 years later would become president of the United States. Incidentally, in 1930 a reporter had asked Ruth his thoughts on his annual salary, $80,000, being more than President Herbert Hoover earned that year ($75,000). “I know,” Ruth replied, “but I had a better year than Hoover.”
4. Star Trek Cast Visits the Real Enterprise
The first United States space shuttle, the Enterprise, rolled off the assembly line in California in September 1976, and who better to invite for the historic occasion than the cast of the original Star Trek? Turning out that day in 1976 were (from left) Dr. James D. Fletcher, NASA Administrator, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Walter Koenig. Notably absent: William Shatner, who played Capt. James T. Kirk. It’s also worth noting that the fate of the two Enterprises, fictional and real, has now come full circle. The space shuttle program, hailed as the future in this photo, finished its 30-year run in 2011. The Star Trek franchise, however, is still going strong, with a sequel to the 2009 Star Trek movie set for release in 2012.
3. Tiger Woods Wows Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart
The Oct. 6, 1978 episode of the popular Mike Douglas Show featured two of America’s most beloved figures, comedian Bob Hope and actor Jimmy Stewart. The two living legends looked on in bemusement during the show as another guest, a 2-year-old named Tiger Woods, displayed his prowess with a golf club. There are other existing videos featuring the young golf prodigy on old TV shows, including an episode of That’s Incredible! in which a 5-year-old Woods sits on the lap of show host (and former NFL all-pro quarterback) Fran Tarkenton.
2. President Kennedy Greets Teenage Bill Clinton
On July 24, 1963, a delegation from the youth group Boys Nation visited the White House to meet President John F. Kennedy. As noted earlier, among that group was 16-year-old Bill Clinton, who of course would be elected president in 1992. Clinton’s friends that day recall him proclaiming that he was going to have President Kennedy’s job one day, and be President of the United States. Clinton later cited the meeting with inspiring his career in public service.
1. Abraham Lincoln Speaks Before John Wilkes Booth
This is a photo of President Abraham Lincoln (directly in the center) delivering his second inaugural address on March 4, 1865. It’s the only known photograph of Lincoln delivering a speech. Also on hand that day was John Wilkes Booth, who would assassinate Lincoln six weeks later on April 14. Some historians who have studied the photo believe Booth to be standing on the upper deck in this photo. (View an enlarged version of the photo.) Although Booth made no attempt to assassinate the president that day, he reportedly noted it would have been an “excellent chance … to kill the President, if I had wished.”