Assassination of President Kennedy
The 22nd of November 1963 AD
For those in old or late middle age the question: “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” still retains the power to transport us back to November 22 1963.
John F. Kennedy was young, President at 43, just 46 when he died. He was in a motorcade touring Dallas and at 12.30 in the afternoon had reached Dealey Plaza when Lee Harvey Oswald killed him with a shot to the upper back and another to his head. The speed at which Oswald had to fire, the difficulty of making the shots, and numerous other factors have since fuelled conspiracy theories about the possible involvement of others in the killing.
Kennedy symbolised the post- WWII drive towards economic prosperity and greater civil freedoms; and though his family was wealthy he seemed to stand for a meritocracy, partly because his Roman Catholic faith would normally have been an insurmountable obstacle to the highest office in the USA.
How sad that since his death the reputation of the president who had promised so much has been tarnished somewhat by revelations about his father’s past and about JFK’s serial infidelities, minor matters compared to say his vow to put a man on the moon before the 1960s finished; and his part in improving civil rights for minorities. How sad too that the hope he brought in the West turned to cynicism in part because of his untimely and suspiciously ill-explained death.
I was five, and at my friend Ian’s for tea that Friday, thanks for asking.
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