The United States is marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy. In cities and towns across the country, people will reflect upon the words of the charismatic president whose rhetoric continues to inspire. "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," Mr Kennedy urged Americans in his thick Boston accent at his inaugural address on January 20, 1961. Shot dead in his first term at the age of 46 as he was driven through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top limousine on November 22, 1963, Mr Kennedy's unfulfilled promise has become a symbol of the lost nobility of politics. Read more >>
The cartoon by Chappatte from the International New York Times shows the moment just before President Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald (or was he?). JFK and the First Lady are travelling in an open-top limousine, waving to the cheering crowds lining the route of the presidential motorcade. They are just passing a sign which reads "End of Innocence."
Many Americans view the Kennedy assassination as the day a nation lost its innocence. For a start, for a president to travel in an open-top car would be unthinkable nowadays. And as the Idaho Press-Tribune points out, "the assassination was the first in a string of similar attempts — some successful, some not. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on April 4, 1968. Kennedy’s brother Bobby, at the time campaigning for the presidential nomination, was murdered on June 5, 1968. Then there was the string of high-profile attempts in the early 1980s — Musician John Lennon killed on Dec. 8, 1980, President Ronald Reagan survived the March 30, 1981, attempt on his life, as did Pope John Paul on May 13, 1981." Read more >>
For more resources on the Kennedy assassination look no further than Larry Ferlazzo's excellent list. However, I would like to highlight the National Geographic's wonderful interactive web page 'Killing Kennedy'. It's truly amazing.