Saturday, November 22, 2008

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

On November 22, 1963, when he was hardly past his first thousand days in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by an assassin's bullets as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President; he was the youngest to die.

I remember when my interest in the 35th president was peaked. I was sitting in the lunchroom of John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Newport, RI. There was a large portrait of him on the wall, and the eyes appeared to follow you wherever you went. It scared the crap out of me too. When I walked in, he was looking, when I sat down, he was still looking - okay, this was the mind of an elementary school child.

Newport, RI has Hammersmith Farm which is the childhood home of Jacqueline Kennedy and was owned by her step-father. We went on field trips, more than once, to Hammersmith Farm, and each time I became more interested in those Camelot years. When I was looking for the above picture, I found out that the house has been sold and is no longer open to the public. At the time my school would go through, the furnishing were still there and the tour guides explained the different pieces. I remember the bed that JFK slept in was really high, and the tour guide mentioned something about his bad back. (I can definitely relate to that)

Even at that young age, I became very interested in not only his short presidency, but in his assassination. And yes, I joined the others the dived into the conspiracy pool - still am too.

His life was quite colorful, from his many comparisons to Lincoln, to his many affairs. Still, those days during the missile crisis, when the world was thisclose to nuclear war, he kept a cool head.

The Discovery Channel will be running a documentary on the latest re-enactment of the assassination in conjunction with the 45th anniversary. Of course, they are slanting it to make it appear Oswald was the only possible shooter. I watch every special just to gather more information; me, like others, have our own idea of what could have happened, and mine is not based on Oliver Stone's movie with Kevin Costner. Over the years, I have read books, articles, and anything I could. A lot of details are the same, but sometimes I find something new.

And to think, this man lived and died before I was even born. His killing is one of life's many mysteries that we will probably never get an answer to, but is still interesting.

1 comment:

texas_fan said...

Last week I was in Dallas. Even though I visited Dallas almost every summer for 20 years I had never been to the museum at the Texas Book Depository. Let me just say, it was worth the trip. Eerie, but worth the trip.

I have always believed it was more than one shooter. Any intelligent person has to. If you watch the Zapuder film, there's no question the shot that killed him came from the grassy knoll. They address the conspiracy theories in the museum, and that part was quite interesting.

The thing that creeped me out the most about this visit was all the people comparing Obama to Kennedy. There is a historical book in the museum that you can write your thoughts in and they keep it as part of the history of the event. As I read the entries for that day, almost every one of them mentioned Obama. Now mind you, I'm not a superstitious person, but come on. That for me, is tempting fate.

I stood there that day and said a pray for our new President. Although I didn't vote for him, I would never, ever want harm to befall the man. And while I read so many of JFK's quotes, they sounded very similar to Obama's. I understand the comparisons.

The store there had many interesting books about the Kennedys as well. Of course, I had to purchase a few :)