November 14, 2013

10 rules for writing about the 50th anniversary of the day John F. Kennedy was shot.

It's coming up next Friday, and I'd like to help with that op-ed or blog post you might have in the works.

1. Don't repeat the cliché that everyone who was around at the time remembers where he was and what he was doing when he heard the news.

2. Don't tell us — especially don't tell us as if it were not a big cliché — what you happened to have been doing and how you've always remembered that. After 50 years, can you not finally see that it doesn't matter?

3. Don't even attempt to say that the assassination had a profound effect on people. There is no new way to say that. We know!

4. Don't make up alternate histories of what would have happened if Kennedy had not been killed. Everything would have been different; we would all have been different. If you're American and under 50, you can assume that you would never have been born.

5.  Don't recount the conspiracy theories. Here's Wikipedia's article on the subject. If you're into that sort of thing, enjoy it some day in your spare time, but don't lard your 50th anniversary writings with that. It's tawdry and undignified, and we've heard it all a thousand times. And by "all," I don't really mean all. What's the one about the Federal Reserve? I just mean, if that's what you've found to talk about, just shut up.

6. Don't connect the story of JFK to Obama. I know it seems as though everything is about Obama, but resist. It's cheap and inappropriate.

7. Don't tell us about other Kennedys. Don't drag in the recent news that Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's son Jack appears to have reached adulthood in nonugly form and has grown a large head of hair and is therefore presumptive presidential material. That's annoying and off-topic.

8. Don't commemorate murder. A man managed to kill the President. He's already gotten far too much press. He doesn't deserve our endless attention. I'm sick of "celebrating" a death day. We don't make anything of Lincoln's death day. We celebrate his birthday, like Washington's, because he was such a great President. We don't celebrate JFK's birthday — I don't even know what it is — because he was not great enough. We celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday, not the day he was assassinated. Why? Because of his greatness, and because we don't want to direct our attention toward his murder. So why do we focus on Kennedy's death day? It must be because he was not great enough, and because of points #1, #2, and #3, above. It's about ourselves. A man died and we morbidly relive it annually, for some reason that must make little sense to those under 50.

9. Do write to end the annual ritual of death commemoration. Nail down the coffin lid and give the dead President some peace. Inspire us to move on to modest acknowledgements of the date at 10 or 25 year intervals up until 2063, when we — those of us who survive — can go big for the centennial.

10. Do make it — if not original — short.

123 comments:

TosaGuy said...

The Boomers who were kids then are now realize they are old. That is what is driving the Kennedy remembrance bus.

Lem said...

If you like the JFK you have, you can keep him.

rhhardin said...

The mail girls couldn't function so they closed work.

I went flying.

It's still a timely lesson for today.

newton said...

I was born in 1973.

I couldn't care less about the Kennedys.

Etc.

Well, that means I'm off the hook! Goodie!

Irene said...

November 22 also was my Dad's birthday. I remember his greatness on that date.

Brando said...

Those rules only leave room for writing about JFK's favorite cookie recipe! I'll provide it:

1) Take bag of Oreos.

2) Crush them over some mobster's girlfriend.

3) Hope that there are no consequences for 1) and 2).

Auntie Ann said...

Just skip it entirely, and focus on the fact that Doctor Who was the first show aired after the continuous coverage of the assassination ended.

Mark O said...

Many more people, mostly strangers, are making rules for me than on November 22, 1963.

This set of Althouse rules, were they not passive-aggressive, might have been reduced to merely one: write this, because I know best.

Sorun said...

those of us who survive — can go big for the centennial

Was there a big centennial for Lincoln's assassination? I don't remember it. I think 50 is going to be the last big anniversary of Kennedy's, so wallow in it now while you can.

Sorun said...

I remember my birthday cake from a few days before, but nothing of the assassination. Kids have different priorities, I guess.

jr565 said...

Don't keep pushing the conspiracy theories that suggest multiple shooter and grassy knolls and magic bullets.
There was one shooter and nothing particularly special about the shots that anyone semi proficient with a rifle couldn't also do.

Ann Althouse said...

"Was there a big centennial for Lincoln's assassination? I don't remember it. I think 50 is going to be the last big anniversary of Kennedy's, so wallow in it now while you can."

Well, with Lincoln there were never millions of people annually telling us where they were when John Wilkes Booth burst through the door to the President's theater box.

Maybe what I mean is that you, the living, can go big with applause at the exit of the Baby Boomers from the world's stage.

Henry said...

11. Go to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and walk through the meadows and enjoy something that will outlast everything else from that era. Don't write anything at all.

Michael K said...

Epstein's book The Assassination Diary is excellent and tells us how bad a job the Warren Commission did. His book about Oswald is also excellent.

Even Kerry thinks the Russians or Cubans may have had some role in it.

I have no doubt Oswald did it. I have stood in the window of the Book Depository and he shot wasn't that tough.

The weekend after the assassination was the opening of pheasant season, so I went hunting.

Meade said...

"Well, with Lincoln there were never millions of people annually telling us where they were when John Wilkes Booth burst through the door to the President's theater box."

I'll never forget where I was and what I was doing April 14 1865 when I heard the emotional news that President Lincoln was dead. I had just come from seeing the premier of Twelve Years a Slave and suddenly there on the street General Walter Cronkrite handed me a note and bid me go to the nearest telegraph office and arouse the nation.

My memory might have faded a bit since then.

TosaGuy said...

Mark O wins the thread!

Shouting Thomas said...

I seem to be in the minority who simply recall that JFK was a complete asshole and incompetent.

A wildly reckless asshole and incompetent.

EDH said...

They should come out with a Kennedy Assassination 50th Anniversary edition of the board game Clue.

"Lee Harvey Oswald in Dealey Plaza with the Mannlicher-Carcano."

Okay, that's boring.

How about the Oliver Stone Leftist Paranoid Fantasy Kennedy Assassination edition?

That'll sell!

Duncan said...

"If you're American and under 50, you can assume that you would never have been born."

True. The butterfly effect applied to the birth of a particular person. The odds against any particular birth are so long that even the tiniest change will block your birth.

Hagar said...

"If you like the Kennedy you have, you can keep him."

Indeed. The Democrats can keep the dream.

The actual Jack and Bobby Kennedy living on, and "the dark side of Camelot" coming to light, would have been a quite different experience.

Original Mike said...

"Don't connect the story of JFK to Obama. I know it seems as though everything is about Obama, but resist. It's cheap and inappropriate."

Not to mention it slanderous to JFK.

We've been watching the JFK retrospectives on TV lately. I see NO resemblance between the two.

madAsHell said...

I think this is a two-way street.

If you want good comments, then don't blog about the Kennedy assassination. The MSM has already beat that horse to death.

Meade said...

In seriousness (and joy), I'm grateful to Irene for sharing three of the best reasons to remember November 22.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Was there a big centennial for Lincoln's assassination? I don't remember it. I think 50 is going to be the last big anniversary of Kennedy's, so wallow in it now while you can.

In 1909, we commemorated the centennial of Lincoln's 1809 birth with the Lincoln cent which circulates to this day. In 1959, the sesquicentennial of his birth, the reverse of the coin was redesigned to feature the Lincoln Memorial. This is what we used to do as a nation -- commemorate birth instead of death.

Does anyone even know what year Kennedy was born?

Michael in ArchDen said...

I don't know if this will violate any of Althouse's rules, but I'm marking the occasion by watching CBSSports documentary of the 1963 Army-Navy game tonight.

The Naval Academy was the number 2 team in the country, and led by (soon-to-be) Heisman Trophy winner, Roger Staubach was preparing to play in the national championship game.

Michael in ArchDen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

And never forget that JFK was a really shitty president.

Curious George said...

Do you know that Kennedy's assassin shot him from a warehouse and hid in a theater, and Lincolns assassin shot him in a theater and hid in a warehouse?

CWJ said...

Jr565 @ 10:32,

Absolutely agree. I had the chance to visit both the Dallas book depository and the grassy knoll. The former is a near perfect point from which to shoot. OTOH, no sniper would pick the grassy knoll. The grassy knoll offers no chance for target acquisition, a great chance for discovery prior to taking the shot unless the shooter was using a hand gun (absurd), and is a deflection shot to boot.

In short, the shot could be made from the book depository. The shot simply could not be made from the grassy knoll.

Ron said...

Well, with Lincoln there were never millions of people annually telling us where they were when John Wilkes Booth burst through the door to the President's theater box. there was....this....from 1956

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_iq5yzJ-Dk

Bob R said...

Unfortunately, the observation has nothing to do with Kennedy and everything to do with Boomer narcissism. So that articles and posts will be exactly the kind you warn against. (Would that it were only "will be." They've started already. Or so I understand. I wouldn't actually read the execrable James Wolcott on a bet.)

cubanbob said...

Seldom noted is that JFK decided to ride an open top limo instead of having the bullet proof top despite of warnings.
Oswald just got "lucky". But for JFK's insistance in ridding an open limo he probably would have lived even with Oswald shooting at him.

Ron said...

1.) Jack Ruby haikus

2.) Have your bowl of New England clam chowder replaced by Texas chili...or maybe Italian minestrone!

3.) "Oh John Connolly, we hardly knew ye"

4.) Ladies, can't this be National Pink Pillbox Hat Day, instead?

5.) Find out the other assassins....of McKinley!

6.) Suppose this happened 50,000 years ago...would there be Zapruder cave paintings?

TMink said...

It is difficult for me to stomach all the Camelot bovine scatology since I have learned that JFK and his brothers were sexual sadists.

Trey

tim maguire said...

Can we write about how we lost our innocence that day?

Jim said...

Here is my Althouse compliant JFK story for 11/22/13:

Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a communist loser in Dallas, TX.

southcentralpa said...

Professor: Run, do not walk, to your Amazon portal. Buy "Penny Candy" by Jean Kerr. Tell me you have not discovered a soul mate.

Illuninati said...

Part of the reason people talk about the assassination is because of the narcissism of the baby boomers. The main reason is probably because Kennedy was the first candidate elected because he looked good on TV and had the girls squealing. Another equally important reason is that people love conspiracy theories.

Thorley Winston said...

Just skip it entirely, and focus on the fact that Doctor Who was the first show aired after the continuous coverage of the assassination ended.

I’m with you on that and looking forward to the 50th anniversary special on the 23rd!

campy said...

Kennedy nostalgia will end when it no longer helps modern-day democrats.

Not one minute before.

mccullough said...

Worse than the run-of-the-mill Boomer recollections will be the Boomer recollections of the rich and famous. Will we have to endure Bill and Hillary's seared memories of that day?

Obama was 2 when Kennedy was killed. I am grateful he will not be able to enchant us with his memories of that day.

Crunchy Frog said...

In other words, don't write about anything you might find personally interesting.

CWJ said...

McCullough,

Don't be so sure.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crunchy Frog said...

Maybe what I mean is that you, the living, can go big with applause at the exit of the Baby Boomers from the world's stage.

Would that be before or after they suck Social security completely dry?

I vote for before.

Carter Wood said...

Wilson shut down the federal government on April 15, 1915, the 50th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination.

From Boston College's Sacred Heart Review:

Lincoln's Death Remembered.
Last Thursday, the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln did not go by
unforgotten by the people of the United States. In Washington, President Wilson signed the following executive order: "As an evidence of the profound affection of the American people for the memory of Abraham Lincoln, it is hereby ordered that the executive offices of the United States shall be closed and that the national flag be displayed at half mast upon all the Federal buildings and at all forts and military posts and naval stations, and on all the vessels of the United States; and that the representatives of the United States in foreign countries shall in like manner pay appropriate tribute to his memory on Thursday, April 15, 1915, the fiftieth anniversary of his death. The owners and masters of all merchant ships of the United States are requested similarly to display the national flag at half mast."

Sigivald said...

0. Don't write about it at all, because it doesn't matter.

Renee said...

The NOVA episode on forensics was interesting. I didn't realize the video of the assisnation never became public until YEARS later. The video is truly horrifying, hard to watch realizing how the President took the third shot.

Ann Althouse said...

"As an evidence of the profound affection of the American people for the memory of Abraham Lincoln, it is hereby ordered that the executive offices of the United States shall be closed and that the national flag be displayed at half mast upon all the Federal buildings and at all forts and military posts and naval stations, and on all the vessels of the United States; and that the representatives of the United States in foreign countries shall in like manner pay appropriate tribute to his memory on Thursday, April 15, 1915, the fiftieth anniversary of his death. The owners and masters of all merchant ships of the United States are requested similarly to display the national flag at half mast."

I notice words that are not there:

murder
assassination
shot
John Wilkes Booth
bullet
gun
head
theater
brain
skull

Ann Althouse said...

I have never looked at the video or the still photographs of Kennedy's blown up head.

I have, in fact, always refrained from gazing or even glancing at murder porn.

I have never looked a those videos of terrorist victims getting their heads cut off.

And I don't think you should look at such things either.

This is what reading is for. You learn the facts, but you do not expose yourself to the sin of being titillated by the physical suffering of others.

Big Mike said...

Last night on PBS Nova I saw the only good Kennedy retrospective I've ever seen -- a careful study about the ballistics of the Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5x52 blunt-nosed cartridge. It pretty much confirmed the single bullet theory (i.e., establihed that it was not merely plausible but in fact likely) and demolished the grassy knoll conspiracy theory. Thank you PBS.

Jim Howard said...

This may be the best Althouse post ever!

cassandra lite said...

How's this: I'd like to take a mulligan on 1963.

Renee said...

PBS/NOVA isn't murder porn. Some of the big network crime shows sure, I agree with you.

Cedarford said...

1. History is and points of emphasis of great importance are controlled by living generations on events that happened in their time. When those people are dead, and those born after Kennedy and Saint Martin Luther King and Holy Brother Bobby but influenced by elders - are also dead - then history will get closer to proper perspective.

2. That will mean with the dying off of living memory or those reared in their orbits - Bobby, JFK, and Saint MLK will be de-emphasized. Places named after them will be replaced, or be lost in the rubble of inner city ruins in King's case.

3. In case of future assassins or very impactful terrorists, TRY your best to keep them alive and interrogate them to remove all doubt of guilt or motive - waive Miranda if possible. Truth will not be found in the Big Trial. Or "Commissions" if the people who did it are dead. Video the interrogations. Have neutral witnesses to what is said. Don't every let another Jack Ruby have his day to foul up and obfuscate the facts.

4. Beware of deliberately constructed "mythmaking" like Camelot, Cult of Stalin, Cult of Obama... that give a separate reality from what things were really like.

Michael said...

A vile and vulgar clan. Careless people.

the wolf said...

If you're American and under 50, you can assume that you would never have been born.

I found a loophole...I was not yet born but already conceived.

Kelly said...

Don't tell us this was the day America lost its innocence. I've already seen that one. Yes, the Kennedy assassination was bad, but I think we lost our innocence during the civil war with 600,000 Americans dead and which also ended with an assassination of a President.

Peter said...

"I seem to be in the minority who simply recall that JFK was a complete asshole and incompetent."

Sometimes there's nothing quite like murder to enhance one's reputation.

Just imagine how much a Warhol would be worth if Valerie Solanas' aim had been better!

(Then again, in that future Solanas would probably be valorized even more than she has been.)

William said...

I think Reagan's greatest achievement was surviving the assassination attempt. It really reversed the polarities. Life and fate were not inexorably tragic, and the assholes no longer had a veto power over our leaders.

steve said...

If I hear "We lost our innocence that day" I will effing scream. There was nothing remotely innocent about JFK or the nation when he died. Black people were being firehosed in the streets; MLK's phone was tapped; and the Kennedy brothers were secretly trying to assassinate Castro. That's "innocence"?

Broomhandle said...

I was playing with Tinker Toys while my Mom ironed and watched TV. 50 years later and my level of interest is exactly the same.

Carter Wood said...

I just scanned the <April 15, 1915 edition of the Tacoma Times. No mention of Lincoln's death I can find.

Mark O said...

“I have never looked at the video or the still photographs of Kennedy's blown up head.
This is what reading is for. You learn the facts, but you do not expose yourself to the sin of being titillated by the physical suffering of others.”

Careful study of the Kennedy assassination is not “murder porn” and cannot be dismissed so cavalierly. Beyond that, however, is the astounding notion that all the important evidence should be taken second hand, from reading the accounts of third parties. Such an intellectual regimen would leave one in severe deficit.

As to the shot from the window, I also thought I could easily kill him when I stood there. But, even if you accept the Warren report, you have to realize that the shooter completely missed everything with one shot and missed Kennedy’s head by nearly two feet with another shot.

That is one of the reasons many think the kill shot came either from the sewer or from behind and left—the roof of a different building. For that shot, it was a professional.

Jason said...

Remember: Martin Luther King? Republican.

Rusty said...

Who, at this point, gives a shit.

Rusty said...

Who, at this point, gives a shit.

Kansas City said...

Weird. I suggest Ann not read stuff she does not find interesting, rather than tell other people what they should find interesting.

Darrell said...

"General Walter Cronkrite":Meade.

I'm sure you meant Private Walter Cronkite. Junior, we used to call him.

Cedarford said...

Nail down the coffin?
OK.
In the 50 years of annual homages to JFK, 115 million other Americans have died. Many as worthy or worthier than he.
It is time to end the mainstream media milking the mawkiishness and the endless Mournathon. It's all there in books, documentaries, fictional movies, and textbooks kids are forced to read. Go away, media! It's over. Go away!

What is the basis of the word "news"? It means new stuff people didn't know about but many wish to receive new knowledge on.
JFK and all the :remembrance: is not news. It is in the degenerate spectrum of media product other than news - opinion, infotainment, celebrity gossip.

Kansas City said...

It was a huge historical event. If people are interested in the details and the speculations, it is perfectly understandable. If you are not, then pay no attention.

By the way, one of the most compelling pieces of the story is the video at the airport where two agents are told to step off the rear bumper and one protests with a gesture. I assume it was innocent, since the car would be riding on a highway, but it still was painful to watch, since an agent on the bumper probably would have shielded the president.

The decision to not use the roof apparently was another innocent decision by the secret service. Also, painful.

CWJ said...

Renee and Big Mike,

Just spent the last hour watching the Nova episode on my tablet. Thanks for the heads up!

I highly recommend it to the rest of the commentariat.

cubanbob said...

"The decision to not use the roof apparently was another innocent decision by the secret service. Also, painful. "

No. It was Kennedy's decision. A political calculation that went horribly wrong.

Paddy O said...

Just think that if Kennedy hadn't been killed he would have already died of old age by now.

"Well, with Lincoln there were never millions of people annually telling us where they were when John Wilkes Booth burst through the door to the President's theater box."

The Lincoln memorial began construction in 1915, on the 50th anniversary of Lincoln's death. That's a pretty big celebration. I'll bet that there were lots of people who shared where they were when the newspaper or telegraph reported Lincoln's death back when they were young.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

May 29, JFK's birthday, would be a great day for a national holiday. We could call it Memorial Day and, for the sake of a 3 day weekend, move it to the last Monday in May.

It would be a good day for an outdoor picnic, someplace grassy, maybe on a knoll. Or, fire up the propane barbecue, to celebrate the eternal flame.

That's my conspiracy theory about how Decoration Day became Memorial Day.

FWBuff said...

For those of us who live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we are also being subjected to media story after media story about the extreme political conservativism of Dallas in 1963 and how "courageous" JFK was to come into an atmosphere of hate. Of course, the fact that Oswald was a disgruntled Communist and not a right-wing extremist is glossed over. It shows how little the Democratic narrative has changed between JFK's assassination and the shooting of Gabby Giffords.

teej said...

" If you're American and under 50, you can assume that you would never have been born. "

I was born on August 20, 1964, one day shy of 9 months after the assassination.

I always told my friends I was conceived the night that JFK was assassinated. Mom was so upset and Dad comforted her the best way he knew how,

Crimso said...

The bubble top on the limo wasn't bulletproof. Leaving it off of the limo likely had little effect. I guess it's possible that having it on might have altered the trajectories of the projectiles, but I think I'm violating one of the rules so I'll leave it at that.

Jane said...

What bugs me about the whole JFK bit is the way people have built him into a saint based on unfulfilled expectations -- that, if he had lived, he surely would have exerted leadership on civil rights and supported a hundred other progressive causes. But can the GOP reclaim him based on his anticommunism?

Tina Trent said...

Sexual sadist indeed. But he sold magazines and made the beltway pool feel good about itself, so let the orgy begin.

Since he was the president, here's this:

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/digging-grave-an-honor.htm

Donna B. said...

If I were going to write about the Kennedy assassination, I'd write about cameras.

gerry said...

Progressives just never could get it that a Communist killed Kennedy. Talk about cognitive dissonance!

Carter Wood said...

On the front page of the April 15, 1915 Washington (D.C.) Herald, the big news is the opening day win by the Senators. Woodrow Wilson threw out the first ball. Lincoln does show up in an ad on page two for a clothing store, identified as "our martyred leader, being used to sell the blue serge suit.

Sigivald said...

El Pollo Raylan asked: Does anyone even know what year Kennedy was born?

Of course not.

Everyone knows John Fitzgerald Kennedy (Peace Be Upon Him) descended bodily from heaven in order to serve in WW2 and then win the 1960 Presidential election fair and square.

Beach Brutus said...

Re: William at 12:32 and Reagan surviving Hinkley's assassination attempt -- By surviving, Reagan became the first President since James Monroe to be elected or re-elected in a year ending in "0" to leave office alive.

Oso Negro said...

The kids from Dallas always felt a bit guilty about it. Until the Huns came along in 1978 with "Glad He's Dead".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj98pr2DbSo

zefal said...

Quantum Leap did a 2 part episode on Oswald. I only saw the first part. Probably the best episode of TV I ever saw. I saw it about 10 or 15 years ago in rerun syndication. I'm afraid to track down the second part on youtube for fear it won't meet my memory of the first part. That's my Kennedy assassination story and I don't believe I violated any of your don'ts!

EMD said...

JFK BLOWN AWAY WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO SAY.


Done and done. The words blown away do not necessarily mean "murder."

JoyD said...

DON'T give me your rules for what I may or may not say, in your Elevated opinion.

Craig Howard said...

Well, aren't you cranky today.

Killjoy.

zefal said...

Mark O:

The first shot they think clipped an overhead road sign, richocheted and hit the curb where a man was sprayed with concrete. I think that shot Oswald had to lead on (left to right) so it was a more difficult shot. The second and third Kennedy is just basically trailing away from him.

A really good read is Connally's testimony during the 1975 hearings. Did you know ribs can grow back? http://jfkassassination.net/russ/m_j_russ/hscacon.htm

Scott said...

Think of JFK:
A persistent metaphor
or instant cliché?

Paul S said...

However, if you are a Democrat, there is one thing you can DO.

Make the 50th anniversary an opportunity to proclaim how Dallas, by dint of their conservative political culture, was a 'city of hate', and therefore, culpable in the death of JFK.

zefal said...

One more point. That road sign could have prevented Jackie from being hit. Talk about changing history. Just imagine if they both had been killed or just Jackie that would have been a reelection lock for Kennedy who was probably toast reelection wise.

steve uhr said...

Wedding anniversary. Always get a reminder.

steve uhr said...

Why always the focus on whether more than one shooter? Key question - was someone (with the good sense not to be there) pulling the strings behind the scenes, e.g., Johnson, Castro Khrushchev, Mafia ...

Titus said...

We can still talk about the hot nephew John though.

Wow, he is fucking hot.

Love the nose!

tits.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Nov. 22 is Benjamin Britten's centenary. Politicians are a dime a dozen.

orthodoc said...

The median age for Americans is 37, according to Wikipedia, the font of all knowledge. That means the average American was born in 1976, when we were grooving on WIN buttons and welcoming Jimmah C to the White House.

I'm older than the median. And I can say with great certainty that I could not give less of a shit about JFK, or RFK, or any of the rest of that avaricious nasty family of inbred nouveau riche dirtbags. The truth was not in them, and aside from good teeth and more money than god, they have nothing whatsoever to recommend them.

Please. Give it a rest.

Renee said...

Archdiocese if Boston will be holding a special Mass for him on Nov. 22.

Biff said...

I work in healthcare, and a lot of people around me call themselves "Kennedy Democrats."

Unfortunately, they're referring to Ted.

Jim S. said...

I'm thinking of commemorating the day on my blog by posting on C.S. Lewis who also died November 22, 1963. As did Aldous Huxley.

traditionalguy said...

The day the courage died.

Despise Jack Kennedy if you like, but there has not been as courageous and as hard working of a politician seen in this country since.

Jack Kennedy was a winner.

gadfly said...

Althouse was a mere child on the day that JFK and Governor Connally were shot - but she is making rules about what should be said.

It seems to me that the conspiracy legend grows more believable about the JFK assassination as we are constantly bombarded everyday by more and more government lies. The single gunman theory is very much suspect when the Warren Commission whitewashed the established connection between Oswald and his visits to Russia and Cuba and to their Mexican consulates. Having watched the Oswald assassination live on TV by Jack Ruby, I have always wonder how far credulity can be stretched.

Hmm, All those words without a single reference to black helicopters or even the second shooter on the grassy knoll.

Rich Rostrom said...

If you're American and under 50, you can assume that you would never have been born.

Duncan said...

True. The butterfly effect applied to the birth of a particular person. The odds against any particular birth are so long that even the tiniest change will block your birth.

Quite so.

the wolf said...
I found a loophole...I was not yet born but already conceived.

Right. Those who
were in gestation at the time would still have been born. Anyone over 49 years three months old is clear.

C Stanley said...

If you're American and under 50, you can assume that you would never have been born.

I don't get it. I was born in January 1965 and don't see any reason to suspect I wouldn't have been, if Kennedy had lived to be reelected or unseated by a challenger in 1964.

MadisonMan said...

I was 3, barely. I'm grateful I can't remember it. Why be defined by one day?

richardsson said...

Here is mine (I was 15 when it happened, 65 now):
1,2 It mattered very much to me.
3. It sickened the stomachs and numbed the brains of my generation for a long time.
4. I think JFK's second term would have been filled with sex scandals and questions of his physical health.
5. Yes, I now believe Oswald acted alone.
6. JFK was lite beer; Obama is lite lite beer.
7. The assassinations of JFK and RFK made the Kennedys really crazy. Understandably so.
8. JFK was born May 29, 1917
9. I doubt if I'll be around for that.

JoyD said...

I have to agree with Althouse in the above comments: don't look at murder porn (good phrase). Don't let it into your head. Don't be any party to it. See there, apparently have my own list of Dont's.

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James Kabala said...

Maybe it's a New England thing, but I think it used to be fairly well-known that JFK's birthday was May 29 (also the birthday of Patrick Henry, as those who read Jean Fritz's book as a child know). Kennedy Plaza in Providence has a plaque saying it was named that on May 29, 1964 - the first birthday after the assassination.

snaH said...

Sorun said...

I remember my birthday cake from a few days before, but nothing of the assassination. Kids have different priorities, I guess.


Ha! This reminds me of a discussions with some friends when I was in college about our earliest memories. (It was prompted by the discovery, amazing to us at the time, that the youngest member of the group was too young to remember the moon landing.) One of my friends claimed to remember the Kennedy assassination. (He was about 3 at the time.) He said he remembers it because when the news broke his older sister picked him up, shook him, and said, "This is a historic event! Remember it!"

Harmon said...

John Kennedy was a brave and heroic man. He was also a sexual creep. He was an ineffective president - the best thing he did was to die, so that Johnson, a louse, could push through civil rights acts long overdue.

Yeah, I remember where I was when he was killed. At a theatre at a military dependents' housing area in Germany.

Had he not died, perhaps Goldwater would have been elected. Certainly, we would have been spared Johnson and the Great Society. And the Great Society buried the blacks in crime, dependency, and disfunction.

Perhaps Oswald shot the wrong man.

G Dixon said...

"Don't connect the story of JFK to Obama. I know it seems as though everything is about Obama, but resist. It's cheap and inappropriate."

I disagree.
The contrast and trajectory of the Democrat Party since JFK can be stark when a few passages of two President's speeches are compared:

From 
JFK: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"

To Obama: "ObamaCare"

From 
JFK: "Go to the Moon in a decade"

To Obama: "you can build a new power plant, but it will bankrupt you"


One is a message of service and progress
The other is an unsustainable wish-list and ideological economics

They bookend the Democrat Party's "evolution"
It is a fair comparison

Scott Anderson said...

One of the biggest tragedies ever to happen to me, and I was not yet born...

My Congressman is Joe Kennedy III.

fc2bb2b8-5361-11e3-b8b4-000bcdcb5194 said...

I know JFK's birthday because it is the same as my brother's.

The attempted MSM diversions to involve Conservatives in the assassinations are pathetic.

bakerjd99 said...

It's nice to encounter a kindred spirit. I believe I have followed all your rules. My basic take:tThis is the last outbreak of nauseating Kennedy nostalgia. When boomers expire so will the notion that Kennedy was anything but an average skirt chasing pretty boy. In the long run he will be remembered for being shot and Apollo.

Master Doh-San said...

Q: What's the difference between the JFK assassination and a cow?

A: After 50 years, you stop milking the cow.

adopt-a-teale said...

In regard to the cliche about remembering where you were, etc., consider the "I am as good as you" meme in _Screwtape Proposes a Toast_ by C.S. Lewis (who died on the same day). Someone who asks you about what you were doing is basically saying that "For me, what I was doing when I heard the news was less important than the news, and for you, it is likely that what you were doing was less important than the news, so I am asking so that I can know that we both were doing something less important when we heard the news, therefore I AM AS GOOD AS YOU." If you were asked what you were doing when you heard the news, recall if the person asking was of a higher or lower social station than you. The person asking was probably of a lower social station.

Tscottme said...

Every day we are one day closer to that wonderful period after the last Baby Boomer is gone. Just imagine the long conga line of has-beens NOT selling Reverse Mortgages and adult diapers on TV every 3 minutes.

Jim Manley said...

Number 8 reminds me of a story my Dad tells of his childhood: He and his Mom were standing at Mount Rushmore and another little boy asked his parent, "Why isn't President Kennedy up there?" My grandmother responded first, "He hasn't done anything to deserve it!"

Jim Manley said...

Number 8 reminds me of a story my Dad tells of his childhood: He and his Mom were standing at Mount Rushmore and another little boy asked his parent, "Why isn't President Kennedy up there?" My grandmother responded first, "He hasn't done anything to deserve it!"

Micha Elyi said...

"Unfortunately, the observation has nothing to do with Kennedy and everything to do with Boomer narcissism."
--Bob R

Bzzt! Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The oldest Boomer in 1963 was 17. Not old enough to vote, never mind old enough to run newspapers, news wire syndicates, weekly news magazines, radio or TV stations and networks.