Also known as the Curse of Tippecanoe, this is a trend of Presidential deaths and assassinations occurring while they are in office, always after being elected on a year ending in a zero, the so-called "zero" years. This occurs every 20 years, and makes being elected president in a zero year a personally dangerous endeavor. In order:
- William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia following election in 1840.
- Abraham Lincoln was assassinated following election in 1860.
- James A. Garfield was also assassinated following election in 1880.
- William Mc Kinley were once more assassinated following election in 1900.
- Warren G. Harding died of cardiovascular disease following election in 1920.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a stroke following election in 1940.
- John F. Kennedy was assassinated following election in 1960.
120 years in, however, the trend buckled a little. Ronald Reagan took a bullet inches from his heart following election in 1980, but left office alive. George W. Bush, elected in 2000, did even better; the closest he ever came to danger was when a hand grenade was tossed relatively near (65 feet) a podium he was standing on, but did not explode. Perhaps the Secret Service are finally catching on with the trend.
In fact, the only president to die in office who wasn't
elected on a zero year was Zachery Taylor in 1848.