(Photo by Victor Hugo King)
He was handsome. He was young. He was a war hero. He was the son of a massively powerful American family. He was, as many powerful men of his time, a philanderer. He was a symbol — first of a new generation’s idealism, and then its loss of innocence. On November 22, 1963 a national tragedy was realized when the 35th President of the United States of America was shot and killed in an open-air motorcade in downtown Dallas.
This action, whether perpetrated by a lone gunman or through one of the many conspiracies postulated in the 50 years since the event, changed the face of the world. Whatever one’s political beliefs, one cannot remain unchanged by the assassination of a sitting president, and any American who was alive and old enough to remember can tell you where they were when they heard the news.
On November 22, 2013 we acknowledge this event’s 50th anniversary and reexamine, as a nation, the life and death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: son, husband, father and leader of the free world from his inauguration on January 20, 1961 to the day of his murder on November 22, 1963.
We have prepared a guide of materials and resources about the event below. Take a moment and tell us what this event meant to you or to your family members. With half a century of scrutiny and scholarship between us and the assassination, what do you think Kennedy’s death has to teach us? Which version of JFK is the most useful to us today?
NBC will air “Where Were You?” a two-hour documentary with a book companion.
The Military Channel is airing “What If…? Armageddon 1962” on Nov. 24, which explores the thwarted plot to assassinate Kennedy by a political fanatic named Richard Pavlick in Palm Beach, Fla., in 1960.
Websites to explore:
Where Were You? compiled and edited by veteran journalist Gus Russo and film director Harry Moses, with a foreword by newsman Tom Brokaw
Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House by presidential historian Robert Dallek
Dallas 1963 by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis
Five days in November by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin
The Day Kennedy Died narrated by Kevin Spacey
The Murder of JFK: A Revisionist History
JFK: A Personal Story (Biography Channel)
JFK: The Presidential Years