The Original Lincoln/Kennedy Parallels!!

The late Lloyd Ostendorf, best known to the world as a Lincoln buff, historian, author, artist, and collector, was also a comics artist and writer for the obscure Catholic kids’ comic distributed through parochial schools called Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact.

Catholic University of America has a complete run of the comic, and has digitized them all.

Here, from Volume 19, Number 12, February 13, 1964, is Lloyd Ostendorf’s comics feature that began an enduring meme. Just scroll down to pages 9-12 for the illustrated list, created with research help from David S. Keiser. (He was another Lincoln buff.)

Ostendorf was embarrassed by this at the end of his life, because most Lincoln/Kennedy “amazing parallels” lists are just stupid. His own list has a lot of parallels that fell out along the way, even though they were actually more interesting and amazing than the ones which were kept.

But he also insisted on his authorship of the meme — and he was not lying, nor was he wrong. His comic feature clearly predates the August 1964 GOP newsletter which is usually credited — and a few months is exactly how long it would take for someone to see the comic from his kid’s school, call it vaguely to mind, and copy the memories down for a newsletter filler, without being able to remember the source or provide credit.

Thanks to Mr. Beat and his Lincoln/Kennedy parallels video for reminding me about Mr. Ostendorf’s authorship, and inadvertently inspiring me to find the digitized proof!

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