John Kennedy 50 years on

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Many people of a certain age remember where they were when they heard of President John Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago today, Nov. 22, 1963.

The Kennedy adminstration and mystic was dubbed Camelot by an author and the moniker has stuck. It seems American fascination with President Kennedy, the Kennedy family and the assassination won’t end. Television networks have been filled with specials showing every iteration of the assassination: minute details of the day, ‘what if’ scenarios and the inevitable conspiracy theories.

Three U.S. presidents have died in office in the past 113 years—two by assassin’s bullets and one of natural causes. The country’s reaction to the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945 was a shock because after more than 12 years in office he was the only president many Americans knew. He had fireside chatted us through the Depression and through World War II.  When he died people felt America would never be the same again.

It is the idea of Kennedy that has kept his memory alive for half a century. His actual domestic accomplishments while in office were meager; he did shine in foreign and military affairs.  The way he handled the Cuban missle crisis is still a textbook case of how to negotiate, especially in a life-or-death situation.

The resolution of that crisis would be a better memory of the man rather than his death.   —LAZ

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