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JFK


  • Originally published 11/25/2013

    ‘November 22, 1963’

    Josiah “Tink” Thompson returns to what has haunted him for 50 years: Frame #313 of the Zapruder film.

  • Originally published 11/22/2013

    Kennedy's Legacy of Inspiration

    Fifty years after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, he remains an object of almost universal admiration.

  • Originally published 11/20/2013

    JFK's Real Legacy

    The unintended consequences of needless foreign meddling.

  • Originally published 11/12/2013

    Lee Harvey Oswald Was My Friend

    From nearly the moment I met Lee Harvey Oswald, it seemed that he felt the world had sized him up wrong.

  • Originally published 10/28/2013

    Rethinking the JFK Legacy

    There is a wide gap between the way historians view JFK and how the public perceives him. Why?

  • Originally published 09/12/2013

    JFK vs. the Military

    During the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy struggled as much with the Pentagon as he did with the Kremlin.

  • Originally published 07/25/2013

    Book: Jimmy Carter targeted by US and foreign assassins

    Potential assassins have threatened the life of Jimmy Carter multiple times since he left the White House in 1981, making the one-term Georgian the most threatened former president in history, according to a new book about John F. Kennedy and his assassination 50 years ago.In "The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy," Carter told author Larry J. Sabato that he has faced at least three home-grown assassination attempts since returning to Georgia and is constantly warned by the U.S. Secret Service of personal threats during his frequent overseas travel."I have had two or three threats to my life after I came home from the White House," Carter said in the highly-anticipated book due out October 22. "When I go on an overseas trip almost invariably, I get a report from the Secret Service that where I'm going is very dangerous," he added in the book provided in advance to Secrets....

  • Originally published 07/05/2013

    Can JFK's Pan Am Terminal be saved?

    If you saw that blessedly short-lived television series called Pan Am a couple of years ago, you probably think, as I do, that the best thing about it was the Pan Am terminal at J.F.K., a cheerful, round structure with a gigantic overhanging concrete roof that seemed to emerge out of the naïve notion that flying could be fun: airport as midcentury modern circus. The building was certainly more exuberant, not to say more convincing, than any character in the show.

  • Originally published 06/27/2013

    Indelible memory of Kennedy's speech in Berlin

    A pair of slippers awaits visitors at the entrance of a cozy two-room apartment in Berlin's Westend district -- the kind one might expect in one of Berlin's many old palaces and villas. But those looking for any valuable antiques here will be disappointed. Instead, every inch of wall space is covered with old photographs. The centerpiece of the collection is a black-and-white shot of John F. Kennedy waving from an open limousine.The day Werner Eckert took the snapshot is still vividly engrained in his mind. It was one of the most influential events of the 81 year old's life. On June 26, 1963, the 35th American president came to visit West Berlin in a demonstration of solidarity with the people living in the divided city."There was never anyone like Kennedy before," Eckert says, recalling the visit. "You had a feeling you could immediately become friends with him. He may have been the most powerful man in the world, but his charisma immediately made you lose any reservations."...

  • Originally published 06/26/2013

    Ted Widmer: Ich Bin Ein Berliner

    Ted Widmer is assistant to the president for special projects at Brown University. He recently edited “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy.”The last of John F. Kennedy’s extraordinary troika of speeches in June 1963 occurred on this day, 50 years ago.With each, he broke new ground. On June 10, at American University in Washington, he sketched a vision of coexistence with the Soviet Union, strikingly at odds with the more bellicose messages of 1961 and 1962. On June 11, in a televised address, he endorsed the civil rights movement and promised a bill, far in advance of what any president had done, and in advance of where he himself was a few months earlier.On June 26 he came to Berlin, on one of the most frenzied days in the history of the Cold War. A huge crowd — estimated at 1.1 million, or 58 percent of Berlin’s population — came out to see him.

  • Originally published 06/21/2013

    Jens F. Laurson and George Pieler: Trying To Make History In Berlin, Obama Fed The Germans Platitudes

    Jens F. Laurson and George Pieler are contributors to Forbes.He didn’t call himself a jelly doughnut (neither did JFK actually, but let’s ignore that), but President Obama fell right into the I-must-make-history trap in his Brandenburg Gate speech. The problem is that the relevant history already has been made, as the President pointed out himself. Mr. Obama rightly lauded the determination of Germans to achieve their human aspirations as the reason the Wall no longer stands, but he confused the lessons of the postwar German recovery and the Cold War itself.It is interesting that President Obama thought it important that he spoke from the eastern side of the plaza, and emphasized the efforts of East Germans to break through the wall. Well, yes, they were the ones confined by it. But all Germans were punished for the continuing western presence in Berlin through severe restrictions on movements east-west, and by forced separation of families, friends, and colleagues.

  • Originally published 06/13/2013

    Norman Birnbaum: JFK’s Presidential Courage—June 10, 1963

    Norman Birnbaum is professor emeritus at the Georgetown University Law Center. He was on the founding editorial board of New Left Review and is a member of the editorial board of The Nation. His most recent book is After Progress: American Social Reform and European Socialism in the Twentieth Century (Oxford).The Cold War did not end with the opening of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union. By the time of these events, it had already lost much of its earlier intensity. A skein of international agreements, some formal and explicit, others tacit and even denied, averted the dangers of unintended confrontations. More importantly, the populations on both sides of the Iron Curtain were disinclined to think that the risk of nuclear obliteration was worth incurring.

  • Originally published 06/11/2013

    Kennedy’s Finest Moment

    June 11, 1963, may not be a widely recognized date these days, but it might have been the single most important day in civil rights history.

  • Originally published 06/06/2013

    Brent Budowsky: JFK Then, Obama Now

    Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.On June 10, 1963, at American University, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech about the world that changed the world. On Nov. 22, 1963, America lost a historic man of presidential greatness in the first of three murders within five years that did incalculable damage to the world, the nation and the progressive ideal.In 1963 a world leader, for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, offered a vision and charted a course to save the world from nuclear extermination. Kennedy did not count the number of missiles or drones he would launch. He issued a call to action to the world on behalf of the water we all drink, the air we all breathe and the children we all love who will live or die because of what grown-ups do.

  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    JFK commemorations dot 2013 calendar

    Get ready for months of John F. Kennedy nostalgia.The calendar is dotted with 50th anniversary commemorations of events from JFK's crowded last year of life, ending with the saddest of anniversaries in November.In speeches, books, magazines, conferences, symposiums, news stories and television specials, admirers will pay tribute to the forever youthful president who inspired millions and was cut down in his prime in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963."He's frozen in people's minds at age 46," said Kennedy biographer Robert Dallek. "Kennedy still gives people a sense — to this day — of hope for the future."...

  • Originally published 05/19/2013

    Jonathan Zimmerman: This Graduation Season, Let's Remember the Twentieth Century

    Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history and education at New York University. He is the author of “Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory” (Yale University Press).Aim high. If you fall, pick yourself up. And, most of all, follow your dreams.Welcome, college graduate, to your 2013 commencement exercises. The speeches are all about you! You should find something that makes you passionate; you should pursue it, as far as you can....But education should help us get beyond ourselves, to transcend the narrow particulars of our interests and wishes and ambitions. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing your passions, of course. But the real question is how they’ll affect the people around you.

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Alan Brinkley: Fighting the Gun World

    Now, almost five months after the killing of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut, riveted the nation, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is talking about trying to resurrect his bill on gun background checks that was defeated in the Senate last month.

  • Originally published 01/25/2013

    Georgetown historian appraises pieces of JFK's life

    Georgetown — The estate of David Powers Sr., the former special assistant of President John F. Kennedy, is up for auction and a Georgetown historian is right in the middle of it. McInnis Auctions Gallery in Amesbury will host a "Presidential Auction" at their gallery on Sunday, Feb. 17, selling off a massive collection of items from the Kennedy years.... Daniel Meader of Georgetown, the in-house historian for McInnis Auctions, has spent about five months sorting the massive collection and organizing it into lots. The auction house heard from David Powers, Jr., the son of the late David Powers, who was looking for an auction house to handle an enormous amount of historical Kennedy items....

  • Originally published 11/14/2010

    Who Really Won the 1960 Election?

    November 8, 2010 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the presidential election of 1960, which still very much interests those who care about disputed elections.

  • Originally published 11/23/2007

    1963: 11 Seconds in Dallas

    Within hours of John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, the Kodak film exposed by Abraham Zapruder became the most important home movie ever made.

  • Originally published 05/28/2007

    The Kennedy Brothers and Civil Rights

    In The Bystander: John F. Kennedy and the Struggle for Black Equality, Basic Books, 2006, Nick Bryant concludes that JFK was too cautious and hesitant on civil rights.

  • Originally published 02/19/2004

    JFK Wanted Out of Vietnam

    Like many of my generation, I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the news arrived from Dallas that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

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