A Nixed Result: a 60s Timeline

Chapter 9: Global events 1960-1963

United Kingdom-The Tory government of Harold Macmillan became very unpopular during the years of 1960-1963. Macmillan’s Secretary of War, John Profumo was caught in an extramarital affair with 19-year old Christine Keeler. He denied the statement when questioned in Parliament but the truth came out with a later investigation. This crippled Macmillan’s government, causing him to resign the Prime Ministership in October 1963. Alec Douglas-Home took office October 19th.

The Skybolt Crisis had harmed the Anglo-American slightly during Macmillan’s premiership, however the Nassau Agreement had helped to remedy the situation by having the US promise to supply Britain with UGM-27 Polaris missiles.

France-The primary focus of France during the period of 1960-1963 was the crisis in Algeria. The brutal French forces failed to win over the populace who preferred the National Liberation Front or FLN. On 18th March 1962 the Evian Accords were held in Evian-Les-Bains France. However despite an agreement for Algerian independence being signed tensions remained high and bloody fighting between the FLN and the pro-French Organisation armée secrète (OAS) continued.

President de Gualle and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed the Élysée Treaty on January 22nd 1963 in which Germany and France started a new friendship after decades of rivalry and tensions.

North America

Canada-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker of the Progressive Conservative Party narrowly managed to hold a majority in the 1962 election, being reduced to a minority government. His government had become unpopular as a result of the economic downturn as well as unpopular decisions such as cancelling the CF-105 Arrow.

In 1963 the Liberals tried again to take the government however failed as Diefenbaker decided to allow American nuclear weapons within Canadian borders to protect against Soviet attack. The Liberals only gained 7 seats despite winning the popular vote, allowing Diefenbaker to continue as PM despite a minuscule minority government. After Pearson’s double failure at becoming PM, he resigned to allow a new leader to be elected, allowing John Turner to become leader of the Opposition and Liberal Party leader.

Mexico-President Adolfo Lopez Mateo charted a course of independence from American foreign policy. He was opposed to US hostility to the Cuban revolution and condemned President Kennedy’s attempts at overthrowing the Castro regime. Lopez Mateo oversaw what many called the “Mexican miracle” in which the Mexican economy grew 4% each year. However the President was often faced with unrest from organized Mexican labor, who frequently striking and opposing governmental control.

Former President Cardenas was politically active during Lopez Mateo’s term, creating left-wing pressure groups to push Mexico to a similar style of economics as Cuba under Fidel Castro. To counteract the criticism coming from Cardenas, Lopez Mateo enacted many leftist reforms such as nationalizing the electric industry in 1960.

South America

Brazil-President Juscelino Kubitschek oversaw the construction of the brand new capital city of Brasilia in 1960. In January 1961 Sao Paulo Governor Janio Quadros was elected President and a member of the opposition was peacefully transferred to power for the first time in Brazillian history. However Quadros' term was tumultuous and he resigned in only 8 months. Joao Goulart became President and enacted several reforms such as land reform, literacy programs and extended voting rights.


India-In 1961 India violently seized the land of Goa from Portugal. In just two days of fighting 451 years of Portugese rule over its Indian exclaves came to an end. The event drew worldwide praise for India and international condemnation of Portugal. Goa remained under Indian military rule until 1962.

Prime Minister Nehru’s long reign of popularity came to an end in 1962 when India suffered a humiliating defeat in the Sino-Indian War. The United States and United Kingdom refused to support India with weapons during the conflict, causing them to grow closer with the Soviet Union as the Sino-Soviet split continued to heat up. Little attention was paid to the war as most of the world was preoccupied with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

-Northern Yemen collapsed into civil war in September 1962 between the Saudi backed Mutawakkilite Kingdom and the Soviet and United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria) backed Yemen Arab Republic. The conflict has raged on over a year and is close to a stalemate.
Feels good to be back.

A bit shorter of a chapter but a recap of overseas events since the POD as this TL has been heavily American centric so far. Chapter 10 will finally be covering the fateful day you've all been waiting for: 11-22-63. I am very grateful for the enthusiasm this TL has received since the beginning and I can't thank you all enough.
Chapter 10: 11-22-63. END OF ACT 1
"And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you... ask what you can do for your country"-John F. Kennedy

House Speaker McCormack was presiding over the House on the cool Friday afternoon. He looked out at the seated mass of legislators before him. He never thought in his life he’d be the speaker of one of the world’s most powerful legislative bodies, nor the next in line for the world’s most powerful office. The House began to dismiss for afternoon break when several men in suit and ties came running in.

“Mr. Speaker, you need to come with us right now.”...

24 hours earlier…

Air Force One touched down in Carswell Air Force Base just outside Fort Worth at 11:07 p.m. on November 21st, 1963. Air Force two also touched down carrying Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, Texas Governor John Connolly and Senator Ralph Yarborough. After helping settle a dispute between Yarborough and the two other Texans who he refuses to even speak with, Jack and Jackie settle down for the night at Hotel Texas.

That evening the President looked at himself in the mirror for a long while. Not in admiration or vanity, but in reflection. On everything that had happened in the previous three years. The thrill of the campaign trail. The anxiety of election night. The soul crushing compromise. That damned compromise. It haunted him every moment of his Presidency. From the very beginning he had been haunted by his deal with the devil. No actions to advance the negro cause. He had agreed too. For months he had been preparing to break his promise. To do as Robert said, the right thing.

He had planned to speak on the matter right before he left for Texas. To open up to the world and say NO, I will be complicit in this any further. But he hadn't. It couldn't be undone now. He simply had to wait until he returned to Washington.

When he went to bed next to Jacqueline that night. He felt hopeful of the future. That he would be remembered as the President who ushered in Civil Rights, not the one who sat by and watched.

The next morning the President spoke shortly before breakfast to a large crowd accompanied by several big name Texan Democrats including Johnson, Jim Wright, Yarborough and Connolly. Ironically, most people attending in the crowd are Conservative Republicans.

Not long after the entire entourage arrived in Dallas at Love Field. The plan was for the President to speak at a Trade Mart in Dealey Plaza at 12:15 but Air Force One had arrived late. At 12:29 Central Time the motorcade carrying the President of the United States arrived at the Plaza and was heading directly towards the Texas School Book Depository.

Nellie Connolly, the First Lady of Texas; turned to President Kennedy and stated: “Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you"

To which he replied “No, you certainly can’t.”

And that moment, the President was struck. John F. Kennedy’s hands quickly moved to his throat. A moment later a bullet struck him directly in the brain. In that moment Jackie began climbing backwards out of the vehicle, reaching for a piece of her husband’s skull. Secret Serviceman Clint Hill jumped onto the vehicle and she returned to her seat.

Shortly after, an individual identified as Lee Harvey Oswald was disarmed and apprehended by a policeman named J.D. Tippit. Tippit would later be awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his bravery.

An Italian Carcano M91/38 rifle was found on the sixth floor of the Book Depository, a rifle which was known to be in possession of Mr. Oswald.

Meanwhile the President’s car was racing to the nearby Parkland Hospital, which they reached at 12:38. Reporters gathered outside anxiously as they, and the nation, awaited the news.
Finally, at 1:33 p.m., acting Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff appeared in a nurses' classroom and broke the fateful news:

“President John F. Kennedy died at approximately 1:00 CST today, here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound to the brain. I have no other details regarding the assassination of the president.”


John F Kennedy, 35th President of the United States (May 29th 1917-November 22nd, 1963)

Radio stations and TV News reporters broke the news to the nation shortly there after.

On CBS the usual daily program “As the World Turns” was interrupted with an impromptu clip from host Walter Cronkite.

“From Dallas Texas, the flash apparently official; President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time. 2 o’clock Eastern Standard time..”

The reporter removed his glasses and looked off from the camera to keep his composure, a move not usual for the Veteran Anchor.

“House Speaker McCormack’s whereabouts are currently unknown… presumably he will be taking the oath of office shortly and become the 36th President of the United States.”

Cronkite was correct. At 3:20 Eastern Time the House Speaker stood adjacent to a secret service agent in a bunker under the White House.

SS: “Do you John William McCormack do solemnly swear?”

JWM: “I John William McCormack do solemnly swear.”

SS: “That you will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States?”

JWM: “That I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.

SS: “And will to the best of your ability?”

JWM: “And will to the best of my ability.”

SS: “Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

JWM: “Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

SS: “So help you God?”

JWM: “So help me God.”


John W. McCormack, 36th President of the United States

In that moment, President McCormack assumed his duties and became the most powerful man on Earth. He was coincidentally, the Second Catholic President and the second President in a row to be an Irish Catholic from Massachusetts. Not long after an emergency meeting of Congress would be held and Majority Leader Carl Albert would be elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives in McCormack’s stead.

Kennedy’s funeral was held in Washington in the days following the assassination. President McCormack issued a proclamation stating Monday to be a day of mourning. After a mass at St. Matthews Cathedral the late President was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Across the world reactions poured in. US Consulates and Embassies across the globe were flooded with reactions. However, not all reactions were sorrowful. Reports of Soviet citizens rejoicing in the streets were not without merit.

President McCormack gave his first public speech a few days after the loss of President Kennedy. He lamented the loss of such a great figure, stating:

“I do not know why the Almighty Father has called President Kennedy home. But I do know that we must work tirelessly to honor his legacy. We must continue to strengthen the United States position in the world and defend freedom, as he did. I am not sure if we could ever truly honor such a great man, but I believe we will certainly try.”

Lee Harvey Oswald was shot dead by an individual named Jack Ruby only two days after the assassination. A Commission was created by President McCormack known as the Warren Commision that failed to find concrete evidence of a conspiracy.

In the weeks following the swearing in of President McCormack, he stumbled upon a half completed bill. McCormack had discovered the late President’s unannounced Civil Rights act they had discussed nearly a year prior. Kennedy had never been able to tell the world that he planned to break his promise to the Dixiecrats.

President McCormack had never made such a promise.

At that moment, President McCormack sat down and began to finish the bill. Byrd and his ilk were going to have to deal with a President they didn’t control.
I'm sorry, he's dead. I know this isn't the outcome many of you wanted but this is truly how I had planned the timeline from the very beginning. I'm not sure quite how well I did it, but I did my best to make JFK more of a tragic hero here than even in real life. A man guilted and restrained by a promise he never should've made, and struck down right before he could go back on it and do the right thing.

The timeline will continue! I know many of you will be upset by the passing of President Kennedy, but his legacy won't be in vain. President McCormack will fight for civil rights tooth and nail now and I hope you all stick around to see it! :)
So what exactly has been the whole point of this Timeline? Because Nixon still lost despite winning the popular and electoral vote. JFK has still been moderately successful and respected despite portraying African Americans to win the presidency. He still decided to pursue Civil Rights in spite of his deal. JFK and RFK patched up their relationship despite Robert's disgust, putting things back to square one. Bay of Pigs was still an utter failure. Cuban Missile Crisis started and ended almost the exact same way. Lee Harvey Oswald still wanted to shoot Kennedy and then he was shot by Jack Ruby. McCormack is heavily hinted to do literally everything LBJ did, especially with Civil Rights which makes the Corrupt Bargain pointless. Literally nothing has changed besides Richard Nixon becoming Governor of California in 1962. I was hoping that JFK making a deal with the devil to win the presidency would lead to a radically different 60's and a warped Kennedy presidency due to him having to live with his sins, but no, he's still a Saint and Camelot is this oh so magical place that was tragically cut by Oswald.

What was the point of all of this? Why does this exist?
Though JFK did make a mistake for not being to advanced on civil rights, he did not deserve to die like this. I was hoping he would realize what he did was wrong and make an attempt to get a bill passed. Other than that, great update.
So what exactly has been the whole point of this Timeline? Because Nixon still lost despite winning the popular and electoral vote. JFK has still been moderately successful and respected despite portraying African Americans to win the presidency. He still decided to pursue Civil Rights in spite of his deal. JFK and RFK patched up their relationship despite Robert's disgust, putting things back to square one. Bay of Pigs was still an utter failure. Cuban Missile Crisis started and ended almost the exact same way. Lee Harvey Oswald still wanted to shoot Kennedy and then he was shot by Jack Ruby. McCormack is heavily hinted to do literally everything LBJ did, especially with Civil Rights which makes the Corrupt Bargain pointless. Literally nothing has changed besides Richard Nixon becoming Governor of California in 1962. I was hoping that JFK making a deal with the devil to win the presidency would lead to a radically different 60's and a warped Kennedy presidency due to him having to live with his sins, but no, he's still a Saint and Camelot is this oh so magical place that was tragically cut by Oswald.

What was the point of all of this? Why does this exist?
McCormack is radically different from LBJ in almost every way. LBJ’s passing of the CRA was essentially a perfect storm of him being 1. From the south himself 2. Having lots of strong allies in the US Senate from being majority leader. 3. Sympathy from the loss of Kennedy

John McCormack doesn’t have any of this. He is an unelected leader as well as not from the south. He is a northern Irish Catholic and ardent Liberal. He doesn’t have anywhere near the senate allies of LBJ nor the sympathy to pass a CRA, since Kennedy died keeping his word to the Dixiecrats as far as the general public.

I plan for the timeline to verge from from reality drastically in the coming updates.
Well, it's your TL, and you should go as you have planned beforehand. McCormack is indeed radically different from LBJ, and that's where this will start to diverge from OTL...
Chapter 11: The Civil Rights Act and the Valentine's Riots of 1964 START OF ACT II
On Christmas Day 1963 President McCormack was spending time with his family as he prepared to face the greatest challenge of his entire life. He had spent the last several weeks working to advance the later President’s legacy. Jacqueline and the kids had been allowed to stay as long as they needed to deal with the tragedy, with them fully departing December 16. John and his wife Harriet had no children, so Christmas was spent alongside the Secret Service and White House staff and their families. Even as the devout Catholic celebrated the important holiday, he knew that difficult times lay ahead.

It was no secret that the Bay Stater was an ardent Liberal, having supported many of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. Communication between the President and the Dixiecrat group had been next to non-existent, with any talks usually going through Senate Majority Leader Johnson.

Byrd had speculated that McCormack might attempt some pro-Civil Rights legislation, but no one could have predicted the events of January and February 1964.

On January 8th the 36th President delivered his first State of the Union address. Flanked by House Speaker Carl Albert and President Pro Tempore Carl Hayden, McCormack laid out his plans for what could be his only full year in office.

“This previous session has been one of the most productive in our Republic’s history, but we must honor the legacy of the late President John F. Kennedy by doing so much more. I can only now say I firmly push for the coming year to achieve even more. In the coming year we shall make great strides in our fight against poverty nationwide, in our fight to provide healthcare for our elderly, and our firm push to create more schools, more hospitals, and more homes than ever before. In this coming year we must push for greater foreign aid to help dispel the evils of hunger and extreme poverty from the world. We must pledge to pass the greatest tax cut of our era, and to reform our nation’s transportation.”

The President’s speech was safe and expected, mainly focused on anti-poverty efforts, short of the President declaring any major long-term actions.

There was much debate amongst pundits whether the Speaker-turned-President would seek re-election in November. The Democratic field was empty in anticipation of McCormack launching his bid for a full term in his own right. John himself had not yet decided if he would pursue another term. It would all depend on the next few weeks.

The two major Republican candidates of Senator Barry Goldwater and Governor Nelson Rockefeller both presented two radically different opponents, one a northern Liberal similar to himself and another a member of the West Coast Conservatives similar to Governor Nixon and former Senator William Knowland.

The rest of the month was calm, with McCormack tiring away finishing the Civil Rights bill and discussing it with Albert and Johnson. It was to be formally introduced in the House early February. With Governor Rockefeller and his Liberal Republican bloc as the potential challengers to the party in November, the bill couldn’t wait til the next congress.


President John McCormack and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, January 1964

On February 1st, 1964. President John W. McCormack sat down in front of the camera, in full view of the American people. It had been announced several hours prior, and many had managed to figure what the President’s special announcement would be.

“My fellow Americans. For several years now our African-American populace has suffered and toiled. In the Second World War, many African-Americans served their patriotic duty and fought for our nation against the evils of fascism, only to return home to scorn and segregation. How can our country claim to fight for freedom and democracy abroad, when it fails to meet freedoms for our citizens at home? In our Constitution it is stated that all men and women are created equal, and thus I feel it is time we live up to that statement. I call upon Congress to take up the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and produce action on this moral issue.”

Immediately the backlash exploded. Senator Richard Russell Jr. condemned the President publicly, stating McCormack’s proposals would begin America’s transformation into a “Communist authoritarian state”. Senator Strom Thurmond was more forceful, stating:

“This President has taken it upon himself to trample the legacy of President Kennedy. The President swore, at the start of his term, no Negro Bills would be passed during his four years of office. This un-elected Northern Bureaucrat spits on the Late President.”

Alabama Governor George Wallace simply stated:

“My statement is as it always has and will be: Segregation now, Segregation Tomorrow, and Segregation Forever.”

McCormack going back on Kennedy’s 1960 agreement began to quickly backfire, as the Southern States that had gone for the Late President in the election started to catch ablaze. Starting February 3rd White Supremacist groups including the KKK began to attack black neighborhoods across the south, chanting praise for Kennedy, completely unbeknownst of his personal intent on passing Civil Rights. When African-Americans began fighting back they found themselves under attack by Molotov Cocktails, fists and baseball bats. Soon the clashes began to turn into full blown riots.

By the 10th of the month the cities of Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery and Jackson were on fire as crowds of white supremacists gathered bystanders filled with false notions of Kennedy’s legacy being spit on, joining in on the looting and burning of black neighborhoods.

Most politicians condemned the violence, but many were quick to cast blame on both the pro-segregationist rioters and the African-Americans attempting to defend themselves.

Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy immediately spoke out against the violence, stating that her husband absolutely would’ve never wanted the riots and murders taking place. Robert openly came out and said his brother would have supported the bill (He would’ve) but his statements fell on deaf ears. The Klan leaders and others stirring up the violence were more than willing to use Jack’s 1960 agreement as justification for their actions, no matter how pro-Civil Rights Kennedy actually was.

Realizing the crisis unfolding on their doorsteps Governors Wallace, Sanders, and Barnett quickly mobilized their states’ respective National Guards. However in certain regions reports quickly came in of National Guard officers ordering their men to exclusively disarm the makeshift Black Militias that had formed to defend their neighborhoods.


US Marines outside Jackson, Mississippi; February 1964

February 14th President McCormack officially called up the Insurrection Act of 1807 and ordered the 2nd Marine Division from Camp Lejeune, NC; and the 198th Infantry Brigade from Fort Benning to take action to halt the violence and to restrain the mobs of White Supremacists destroying towns. It took several days for the violence to finally end, and by the end nearly 400 people were dead.

The bloodiest day was February 21st, when the so-called “Battle of Center-Hill” in which US Army infantrymen and a pro-Klan militia battled in the Atlanta neighborhood of Center-Hill. 12 Militiamen and 2 soldiers were killed in the ten hour battle, with one of the soldiers killed later receiving the Medal of Honor for his bravery.

The aftermath led to a large amount of finger pointing on who started the violence. President McCormack and both northern Democrats and Republicans blamed the Southern Coalition, but many Southern and even some moderate politicians blamed the President for inflaming the situation. Most moderates had felt uneasy with the bill and while many turned to be in favor following the violence, many also were afraid to go forward with it in fear of stoking more unrest.

Both Speaker Carl Albert and Minority Leader Charles Halleck were in favor of the bill but understood they could not get all of their Caucus members on board. The bill was rushed to a vote on March 5th as many in Congress simply wanted to get it over with.

Despite support from leadership, the Presidency and a majority of Americans, the bill was defeated narrowly in a vote of 215-205. It was a devastating blow to the fight for Civil Rights, and a stain on the short Presidency of John McCormack.

The President stated his disappointment in the bill’s passing publicly, and encouraged Americans to “Always have a kind heart, and push for change in your own lives.”

Following the chaos McCormack had planned to decline to run again and leave the nomination open to Senator Lyndon Johnson but Johnson’s Presidential aspirations were crushed when he was caught in a scandal involving his aide Bobby Baker using bribery and sexual favors in exchange for congressional votes. The Democratic Majority Leader announced in front of America he would step down as Leader and formally resign from the United States senate. A special election would be held that fall alongside the usual Texas Senate election scheduled for Senator Ralph Yarborough.

President McCormack had last a major ally and his mandate to govern was slipping from him. Yet he would not announce he wasn’t seeking re-election until he had a successor in place.

On the Republican side the race was as close as ever between Governor Rockefeller and Senator Goldwater, with the two nearly even in the polls. The wildcard was Governor and former Vice President Nixon, who had announced he did not intend to run back in 62 when he won the governorship but whispers of a possible run continued to slip from California. In every primary poll the Californian easily prevailed over Barry and Rocky.

Democratic Presidential Primary Polls March 1964:

President John W. McCormack 65%

Mr. Robert F. Kennedy 15%

Senator Hubert H. Humphrey 10%

Governor George C. Wallace 7%

Other 3%

GOP Presidential Primary Polls March 1964

Including CA Governor Nixon

Governor/Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon 85%

Senator Barry M. Goldwater 10%

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller 5%

Senator Margaret C. Smith 2%

Other 1%

Excluding CA Governor Nixon

Senator Barry M. Goldwater 58%

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller 42%

General Election Polls March 1964

McCormack vs Nixon

President John W. McCormack 43%

Governor/VP Richard M. Nixon 57%

McCormack vs Rockefeller

President John W. McCormack 48%

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller 52%

McCormack vs Goldwater

President John W. McCormack 56%

Senator Barry M. Goldwater 44%

McCormack vs Smith

President John W. McCormack 68%

Senator Margaret C. Smith 32%
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Awesome, great to see an update, welcome back.

Onto the subject of the update, this is interesting, McCormack tried to pass civil rights, failed and then sent troops down to the south. So even if he can find a successor, I’m not sure the Party is going to want a successor to McCormack but rather a true successor to Kennedy. And Johnson is dead in the water, which could mean large repercussions in regard to the Great Society Program.

All in all, this seems like the year for republicans to win, I’m excited to say the least
To generate some discussion: What do you guys think will happen with the primaries, the general, foreign policy etc anything. I want to hear your guys speculation now that we're getting deeper into uncharted waters and further from OTL