When Lyndon Baines Johnson succeeded John Fitzgerald Kennedy as President of the United States, it was the eighth time in our history that a President died in office and was succeeded by his Vice President. Further, when Senator Bayh introduced Senate Joint Resolution 139 in December 1963, the nation had a various times been without a Vice President for a total of more than 36 years since April 1789, when Washington was inaugurated in New York City. On November 22, 1963, the junior Senator from Indiana, like most Americans, was stunned by the tragedy of President Kennedy's assassination. As the nation mourned, urgent questions were raised concerning the future stability of the country. What if the Vice President also had been felled by an assassin's bullet? What if the President had been critically or permanently disabled? This book is the intimate story of what Senator Bayh did to help protect the nation from the disastrous effects of such possibilities. It is not only the story of Senator Bayh's successful efforts, but also it is a day-by-day account of how our democracy works. The urgency, the excitement, and the awesome responsibility of high office quicken the narrative from the assassination of President Kennedy to the passage and final ratification of the Twenty-fifth Amendment in February 1967. --from inside jacket.