One of my heroes Harry Truman once said that the only new thing in life is the history you don't already know. Unsolved History is a fascinating Discovery Channel show that takes us through history with a fascinating new perspective and indeed tells us a lot that we don't already know. For example, so many who remember the Kennedys and Camelot think of JFK as this young, vigerous President. Yet more and more has come out that he was very sickly from childhood and was near death several times due to his spinal condition and Addison's disease. Unsolved History showed how Kennedy was hooked on amphetimines and cortisone given by a New York doctor named Max Jacobson who later lost his medical license. Bobby Kennedy once said that his brother didn't have a single day without terrible pain. Unsolved History showed us this dark side of "Camelot". On the same show they had another story about a little known assassination attempt on an American President that had an eerie connection to one of the darkest days in American history. In 1974, a mentally ill man named Samuel Byck attempted to hijack an airliner at a Baltimore airport. He killed a security guard and then boarded the plane and ordered the pilots to take off. When told they couldn't, Byck became so frustrated he shot and killed both the pilots before being wounded by police and then committing suicide. Byck left a tape recording in his car about an insane murder plot called "Operation Pandora's Box". Byck said his aim was to hijack the plane and force it to fly to Washington near the White House. He would then kill the pilots and steer the plane into the White House incinerating President Richard Nixon, whom he blamed for his business failures. I listened to the tape on the show and it was one of the most chilling things that you could possibly hear because this man was obviously insane, but sounded so calm and rational. Nixon resigned a few months later and this incident was forgotten in the rush of history, but there is a chilling footnote. Think of this, Byck was going to use an airliner as a weapon of mass murder, this was 27 years before September 11, 2001. I must confess I hadn't thought of this until they pointed it out. In fact there is going to be a movie released the coming year called The Assassination Of Richard Nixon starring Sean Penn as Samuel Byck.
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