Tag Archives: President John F. Kennedy

Remembering the day JFK left us..

The day is stuck fresh in the mind of those that had to live through it, and it has become fresh in the mind that visit Dealey Plaza even today. The day, November 22nd, 1963 has had much meaning for those that were alive during the year 1963, and for those not quite old enough to have been around for this event. If you have never been to this spot, it is not as big as it might look on television, and it is a very high traffic area. On my recent visit to Dallas, I took my own children to visit this historic place. My children were ready to learn about everything that I have been studying since I was 8 years old. As we approached the plaza, there was hundreds of people who were taking pictures of the old Texas School Book Depository, pictures of the grassy knoll and selfies in front of just about anything they thought had meaning. As I was standing there explaining things to my children, I could not help but look out in the distance and find, families having picnics, people playing football, and others who seemed liked they were just dragged there by their significant other. Were these people disrespecting the site I thought? Were they not appreciating the history that was right in front of their face? Regardless, they were there, and with that, the history and the mystery surrounding the Kennedy assassination will live on.

I have been to Washington D.C a few times, and each time I have walked past Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was killed. The book store across the street, and the adjoining building in which Lincoln lost his life, were right there in front of me to visit. My interest in history started with JFK, and here I was in front of where Lincoln was shot, much like I was, when I was in Dealey Plaza. Not many people were in the book store, and from the times that I was there, the visitor entrance for the theater was never crowded. Sure, people have paid money to go inside of the theater to see the spot of his assassination, but it was not like Dealey Plaza. Had time let people forget about this special place? Were they not interested in this spot some 100 years after his assassination? These questions were in my head at that time when I visited Dallas, I wondered when people would stop caring. Here we are 53 years later, and on any given day, you will find people taking pictures, going to the museum, and standing in the spot where history changed. But when will that change, just as people not visiting Ford’s Theater as much

The Saturday I visited Dealey Plaza, the place was full of families, individuals, and others who were in town for a football game the next day. Regardless of why they were in Dallas, they were there. My fear is that this next generation may not have the same feeling that my generation, and the ones before me have had about the Kennedy assassination. I firmly believe that I have taught my kids enough about history, and how it must never be forgotten. It is with history that we are to learn from our mistakes, and can create a better life, from what has happened in the past. Do the kids playing football, or the ones having a picnic, not care about the spot where they are, and will their kids stop passing the history down? We must never forget the events in history that changed our world, and the Kennedy assassination was one of those events.

The difference between the two places in history is that with Dealey Plaza, it is there in the open for anyone to visit for free. It is a major part of Dallas, and the entrance and exit away from downtown. The painted white “X” on the spot where the fatal shot took place, is a constant reminder for those that drive over it each day. You can feel a sense of history from that spot, as you cross the very same area in which the 35th President of the United States lost his life. The assassination will live on for many years and for many generations to come, and how people remember both the event, and the man whose life was cut short that day will live on through them. Whether they are there for that picnic, football game, or even that group selfie, they know that history forever changed at that spot and on this day 53 years ago. If you were alive during this time, tell us what you were doing at the time of the president’s assassination, and if you were not alive at this time, tell us why you think people will always remember this day.

 

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Time to Unite as a Nation

As we are about to enter into an important day in American history, read this quote on how JFK viewed days in which the country was divided and how we needed to come together for our nation. We don’t let elections divide us as a nation, instead we should come together as the new leader of the free world takes their place inside of the White House.

“For I can assure you that we love our country, not for what it was, though it has always been great — not for what it is, though of this we are deeply proud — but for what it someday can, and, through the efforts of us all, someday will be.” —

“Address at a Luncheon Meeting of the National Industrial Conference Board (33),” February 13, 1961, Public Papers of the Presidents: John F. Kennedy, 1961.

Staying United as a Nation

As the election of 2016 is well underway, and the candidates of both major parties have been selected, I think it would be a good time to see how a debate should go. In the coming weeks we will see two candidates with different views on issues square off. The bickering between them both will be highlighted and the real issues put to the side. I think it is a good time to watch the first televised debate, where two candidates were respectful to each other and were able to showcase their views. The two candidates we have in 2016 have been going at it for months, but in the end, the the United States of American is what matters.The nation needs to come together during this time to pick a leader, and who ever wins, respect that leader. We need to become united as a nation, not divided.

A New Generation to look at Camelot

Over the past 52 years the United States of America has seen 9 Presidents call the White House home. Each of them brought their own unique quality to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and each would try to leave a legacy behind. It is debatable who is the greatest President of the United States was, but there is no debate as to who would leave the White House too soon before his legacy was still in front of him. The death of President John F. Kennedy would have a ripple effect on our nation in the years that followed his assassination, and we as a nation have always wondered what could have been. The many debates as to who pulled the trigger that day in Dallas has been written about countless times and the debate does not seem to be slowing down with time. As I entered into the world of JFK assassination research at a very early age, my understanding of what happened changed over the years. Not only did my opinion change as I was able to do more research but my writing changed as well.

Almost two years ago I had just finished my bachelor’s degree in business management in hopes of being able to further my career in the field that I had been working in. As the academic advisor was trying to push me into going for my Master’s degree, I realized that maybe I should pursue the one area that has always interested me, History. So at that moment, I wanted to become a better writer, and a better researcher, in hopes of being able to finally write a book about the JFK assassination. The journey would take two years to complete, but at the end of my of Master’s program I would be able to write my final capstone paper. Over these last two years, I have been unable to write many blog posts because of the amount of schoolwork that was in front of me. But here I am, ready to finally write about the topic that has garnered my interest since I was 8 years old, and it would put the finishing touch on my Master’s degree.

 

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As I have been debating what to write about for this massive writing assignment which will turn into my first book, the vast amount of stories about John F. Kennedy’s life and assassination, have been written about. So instead of writing about a particular theory or story about something that happened during his life, I have decided to look at how history has written about JFK. From the side of both conspiracy theorist, lone gunman theorist, and those who write about his life. In my collection alone, I have over 130 books about both his life and assassination, and since 1963 the history of the topic has changed. The story which started with the making of Camelot, to who else could have pulled the trigger, to the dark side of Camelot, and finally back to the legacy and impact of JFK, has ruled the history books of the life and death of our 35th President. The JFK assassination was a pivotal moment in the history of the United States of America, and the outcome of it, would shape the nation for decades to come. The hope of a nation may have died that day in Dallas as well, as the country has looked for the kind of leadership that JFK provided.

Whatever your journey has been in the research about either the life of JFK or the assassination that cut his life way too short, I would invite you to comment below and tell everyone what made you want to read about him or the assassination. What caught your attention either as a child or an adult? As a new generation of researchers emerges, I hope to be able to keep the flame bright on the memory of JFK and have another generation of researchers look into the truth about what happened on that day in Dallas.

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Why we still care..

It has been nearly two months since I wrote my last post on this website due to many reasons. The main reason for the lack of posts, is because I have now entered into my graduate program with a focus on American history. I am hoping that by being able to get a better understanding of how history was written and talked about generations ago, I will in turn, be a better writer and researcher myself. My goals are to be able to find research and tell it in a way that shows people, things they may have not known before. The purpose of this site is not to try and figure out exactly who killed John F. Kennedy, but it is to inform those who may be new to the research. Along the way, I have found some new research that I have shared and I have repeated some of the research by others. The assassination is a moment in time where everything stopped for a moment, and it is up to the research community to tell the story of what happened. We may all have different opinions as to what happened that day in Dallas, but we can agree that it changed our history forever. I myself, is continuing to push forward and looking for material that others may have overlooked or their voice was just not heard loud enough. Below is a sample of what I have been writing in my class, and of course the focus is on John F. Kennedy. It is not the typical assassination research, instead it is about learning the history of the research itself.

Throughout time, there have been many moments that have been cast as life-changing, but few of them can compare to the events that transpired on November 22nd, 1963. For the people that remember the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated it was not only a day that changed the course of history but also a day they would never forget. The assassination of the President of the United States had occurred 3 times prior to 1963 and yet the void the nation felt from this assassination had not been felt since the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865. The assassination of President Kennedy was one of the biggest moments of the 20th century and yet today it still remains an unsolved crime to some. The historiography of the assassination has taken many different turns in the 50 years that have past and many historians have taken their shot at figuring out the unofficial “Crime of the Century”. Although the authorities singled out the man they thought was the assassin, the general public seems to think that a larger plot was involved in the assassination. History has shown us over time just how the nations opinion on this manner has changed.

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For the young readers of today’s generation, it is important for them to understand that the assassination of President Kennedy changed the shape and course of our nation. The Vietnam War was not a war yet, man had not been on the moon, and African-Americans were not given the freedoms and equality in the Civil Rights Act. These specific events were all things that were on the agenda of President Kennedy before that day in Dallas and our history as a nation changed from that day on. Many Americans look back to the Kennedy assassination as a turning point in our nation and that is why after all of these years it is still a topic that is mentioned and talked about today. Learning about what actually happened during those last few moments on Elm St. in Dallas has evolved over time and each author brings their own version to it.

The official story of the events that day are that one lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald was able to assassinate the President of the United States with a high powered rifle from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. In December of 1963, President Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to look into the details of the assassination and to come up with a conclusion. The report, named The Warren Report (based on the commission’s leader, Earl Warren) concluded that in fact Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Since the day, the Warren Report was released the history of the Kennedy assassination began to take on a life of its own. Many authors and researchers were giving their opinion on the manner and over the years countless books have been written about the assassination, whether they believe the Warren Report or whether they believe someone else committed the crime.

When published in 1967, Rush to Judgment by Mark Lane was received with mixed reviews. Our trust in government was fading through the events that were happening in the decade, and the full truth about the Kennedy assassination was still a topic of discussion. When the Warren Report was released in 1964 many Americans believed that version of what happened that day in Dallas. It was very common to believe what the government was telling you was nothing but the truth, and with the assassination of a President you would hope the truth would be told. In his book, Lane examines countless witness testimony that was left out of the final report by the commission and determines that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald was the true assassin of the President that day. By describing the other key witnesses to the crime, he is able to break down a timeline of events that shows that Oswald was not alone in this plot.
The book has become a cornerstone for future researchers to look back upon. The research done by Mr. Lane was groundbreaking at the time and to go against what the government had said about the assassination was even bigger. The book has led to many more researchers to give their own version of the assassination. To this day the Kennedy assassination is still a highly debated topic with more Americans believing that more than one person was involved in the assassination plot. For once was a strong opinion of a lone gunman, has turned to a “whodunit” mind frame. The conspiracy theories have carried on over the years and Mr. Lane is still right in the middle of all of them because of the work he did back then.

This is just a sample of some of the papers that I have written in my class and I hope to continue to write about the assassination in future classes. Although some of the information is repeated, their is still plenty of materials that have yet to be looked at. In the coming months I will continue into the research of the Acme Building Maintenance Company and its owner Frank C. Jones and to get a more clearer answer as to what happened to the company that had keys to the Texas School Book Depository the night before the assassination.

Sources

Bugliosi, Vincent. Reclaiming history: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2007.

Company, Inc. The official Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, 1964.

Lane, Mark. Rush to judgement: a critique of the Warren Commission’s inquiry …. Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, 1967.

Salinger, Pierre, and Sander Vanocur. A tribute to John F. Kennedy,. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1964.

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HDR Photo of Texas Book Depository

Who do we blame for JFK’s Assassination?

For many people, the answer to who was involved in the killing of President John F. Kennedy stems from either years of research or is formed from an opinion based on everything they have heard from the media.  The answer is not simple and it is something that still has not been answered completely.  There are those that want to believe that Oswald acted alone in this and they have every right to that opinion.  Then, there are those that believe that one man could not have planned and executed this crime in front of hundreds of people.  I, for one, believe that Oswald could not have done this by himself and that others were behind this assassination.  I have been reading books about the assassination since I was a kid and it seems that I still find new and interesting things in each of these readings. For example, I recently came across a book that shows some motive as to why someone would want JFK killed.

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The book, which I found at a local flea market, is titled “Robert F. Kennedy: Assistant President”.  The title of the book says it all for me.  The authorclearly believes that RFK had more influence inside the government than the Vice President of the United States.  My own daughter (who is 12) noticed the title and asked me if Robert Kennedy was the Vice President and why they would title the book that way.  The book, which was published in 1962, shows how RFK fell into the position of Attorney General.  At the time, it received reviews from Look magazine and U.S News and World Report which described RFK as “the man  who is second only to the President in power and influence”.  Now, put yourself in the shoes of Lyndon Baines Johnson. This is a man that, at one time, was the most powerful man in the Senate, only to find himself a few years later, playing second fiddle to a young, inexperienced lawyer who happened to be the President’s brother.  How can he compete with that?  The answer to that question is simple.  He could not.  So, it would seem to me that publications like this would serve as a means of motive.

 

In most crimes, there has to be a motive involved for someone to commit a crime.  Whether it is to get back at someone or maybe even to get ahead in some faction.  I am not saying that Johnson was the man behind the Kennedy assassination nor am I denying his possible involvement in it.  I am simply showing those that are interested a possible means of motive.  Here we have a book, published in 1962, that refers to Robert Kennedy as the Assistant President.  The author goes into detail about decisions that he helps make on a daily basis and the trips around the world he takes during his first couple of years as Attorney General.  These feelings that Johnson harbored towards RFK would carry on even after the assassination and would last until RFK himself was assassinated in 1968.  Lyndon Johnson would go on to become President after the assassination of JFK, finally attaining the power that he so desperately wanted.  It could be possible that Lyndon Johnson saw books like this and became so angered by them that he felt he had to do something.  All I know is that questions still remain about the assassination.  Maybe finding little clues like this book could help those that feel they have the answer.

Sources:

Gordon, G. (1962). Robert F.Kennedy Assistant President. Derby, Connecticut: Monarch Books, Inc.

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