A legacy endures

Fifty years later, Kennedy still freezes in time the promise of America

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For the historically curious who wonder what heightened insight The Augusta Chronicle’s editorial page had to impart the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, we’ll tell you: Only a bit.

Kennedy  ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Kennedy

The producers of this page, you see, were just as stunned as everyone else. Perhaps they just articulated it better.

The page maintained that, as president, Kennedy always was entitled to the office’s dignity and respect.

“Until yesterday,” The Chronicle wrote, “we had chosen to believe that this fact was recognized and appreciated by every citizen of this nation, even those who may have frequently found themselves at odds with the political philosophy which Mr. Kennedy practiced and espoused. We knew, as must all rational Americans know, that only if that state exists could the United States be complete as a republic and its democratic processes functional for all.

“And so today all political lines must be forgotten and the nation, even in its grief, also must be rededicated to law and order, to respect and to reason. There must be a recognition of the tenuous temper of the times, and a counteracting exercise of prudence and restraint.”

More recently, syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman pointed out – in her column on the 30th anniversary of the assassination – how it’s no accident that America commemorates Kennedy’s death and not his birth. It wasn’t the man but his death “that exploded the safety of our American shelter.”

Most anyone who was alive on Nov. 22, 1963, remembers where they were and how they felt when they heard the news of Kennedy’s slaying during a presidential motorcade through Dallas’ Dealey Plaza. It plunged a nation into grief, and left untold future generations to ponder what might have been.

And 50 years later, that’s the point.

“Kennedy was not a great president,” JFK biographer Richard Reeves told The Dallas Morning News, but “the world changed totally during his lifetime. … He personified a new age.”

His actions have been trumped by his image. That is perhaps Kennedy’s biggest role today in America’s consciousness. He is a cultural touchstone. He is an enduring symbol of pregnant possibility. Nearly 900 U.S. public schools bear Kennedy’s name in no small part because of the open-ended sense of promise he invokes.

The Chronicle editorialized on Nov. 25, 1963, that Kennedv’s death had become “a nucleus around which a unified America revolves.”

As we remember this president’s death, it truly is a fitting time to envision and enact the brightest possibilities for our nation’s future.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/22/13 - 05:45 am
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Camelot Revealed

I do understand the Camelot like remembrances of Kennedy and his family, but one day history will take an honest look at JFK, his brothers and father. He was a weak president, dependent on amphetamines who nearly blew the world up when negotiations would have worked. We ended the Cuban Missile Crisis by taking our nukes out of Turkey and they took theirs out of Cuba. We didn't have to almost push the red button for that outcome. He was wishy washy on the civil rights bill. The people were so disenchanted with him that the Democrats had beaten badly in the midterm elections. He was heavily involved with many women including Marilyn Monroe. Bobby Kennedy was at Marilyn Monroe's house just before her suicide, but the press suppressed the relationship of Jack and Bobby with her. One day we will take a truthful look at his presidency.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 11/22/13 - 07:40 am
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and we won't like it either

One day we will take a truthful look at his presidency.

ymnbde
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ymnbde 11/22/13 - 08:07 am
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he had a better looking concub... ahh, intern

than Clinton (Bill)
fiscally, he was a Reagan conservative
it wasn't anything he did that made the media love him
they siezed the opportunity to fill in his blanks
on all the questions he didn't finish
and of course, their answers are perfectly lovely

deestafford
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deestafford 11/22/13 - 09:46 am
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Let's get something straight...In his day Kennedy was considered

a liberal. Today his attitude and beliefs would be considered conservative. He spoke strongly of God and Christianity, loved America, believed in a smaller government, believed in lower taxes, and saw the unions as being corrupt. (One thing that has puzzled me is, if he saw the problems with unions why did he authorize public employee unions?)

Following his death LBJ, the most corrupt and devious person to ever occupy the presidency, became the President and started the nation on a leftist decent toward socialism that continues till today. Kennedy gets credit in liberal circles for things that LBJ did... particularly in the area of civil rights.

Kennedy was lukewarm on civil rights. As a matter of fact, he and his brother Robert had wire taps on Martin Luther King's telephones and the FBI had him under surveillance because of communist connections.

The myth of Camelot was created by the media after his death. He, like Obama today, was surrounded by worshipers who believed him to be so transformational. He was youthful since he was the first president to be born in the 20th century. Like Obama, he was considered intelligent, and like Obama, he was nowhere nearly as intelligent as the main stream media and his hangers-on portrayed.

He was the reason the Bay of Pigs failed. He had approved the plan for the invasion and had promised naval ship gun support to the people once they hit the beaches and made contact with Castro's forces. The Cuban freedom fighters landed on the beach and made contact. When they called for supporting fire they were told Kennedy had changed his mind. Nearly all of the freedom fighters were killed or captured. One of the stories was that as Kennedy was to give the final go ahead for the support "John-John" walked into the Oval Office and it touched Kennedy's heart that innocent Cuban children may die in the fighting and he changed his mind leaving those who depended on him to die on the beaches. The story of the calling for supporting fires that never came was told to me by one of the survivors who was in Castro's prison. We met in the jungles of Viet Nam after he had got to America, joined the Army, and became a member of the US Special Forces.

The Kennedy clan has been the most detrimental family in terms of doing harm to America and taking it away from what the Founders envisioned. Ted Kennedy was the worst of them all; yet, he is revered by the left and is one of the key factors in our big government intrusion and give-me entitlement mentality existing today. Nearly every negative big government program since 1965 has Ted Kennedy's fingerprints on it.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 11/22/13 - 09:56 am
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Some believe this caused the death of JFK

When they called for supporting fire they were told Kennedy had changed his mind. Nearly all of the freedom fighters were killed or captured.

Maybe one day we will know more..

karradur
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karradur 11/22/13 - 10:09 am
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@deestafford

"He spoke strongly of God and Christianity, loved America, believed in a smaller government, believed in lower taxes, and saw the unions as being corrupt."

"The Kennedy clan has been the most detrimental family in terms of doing harm to America and taking it away from what the Founders envisioned."

So we like him? We don't like him? Where are we going with this?

soapy_725
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soapy_725 11/22/13 - 10:17 am
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JFK,RFK,MLK Jr all died that America could become a slave state.

Unpublished

JFK,RFK,MLK Jr all died that America could become a slave state.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 11/22/13 - 10:18 am
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JFK wanted to end Vietnam. Concentrate on USA domestic issues

Unpublished

JFK wanted to end Vietnam. Concentrate on USA domestic issues

soapy_725
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soapy_725 11/22/13 - 10:20 am
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The Military Industrial Complex had JFK assassinated. War & $$$

Unpublished

The Military Industrial Complex had JFK assassinated. War & $$$$

soapy_725
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soapy_725 11/22/13 - 10:22 am
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Good or bad POTUS. JFK was in the way of the 3rd Amer. Revoluti

Unpublished

on. So were RFK and MLK, Jr.

deestafford
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deestafford 11/22/13 - 11:19 am
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karradur. Good question. Glad you asked.

When Kennedy was alive I didn't like him. There was nothing positive that was passed during his administration and he was in trouble as far as getting the nomination in the upcoming democratic convention. That is why he was in TX to get some Southern support from Democrats. I will give him credit for pushing the space program started under Eisenhower and for creation of the US Army's Special Forces.

If the only thing I knew about Kennedy was what I heard and saw in the media today I would think he was a great man and was a wonderful president. However, I know what he really was from living at that time and knowing first hand what he and his background were. I also understand what moral reprobates he and his brothers were when it came to women and the sanctity of their wedding vowels. (Ain't it kind of funny how liberal women seem to overlook the womanizing of liberal men but stand on not one but two soap boxes when it comes to conservatives?)

By the way, I feel the same way about Lincoln as to the man versus the myth. Reading documents about him and his actions written at the time he was alive and active I believe him to have been a tyrant who shredded the Constitution and what it stood for. I do not fall for the myth about him being one of the greatest two presidents ever to serve. People say, "Lincoln save the Union!" and I say, "Saved it from what?"

Just to look at how Kennedy has been made a quasi-saint in 50 years by media adulation one can readily understand how deeply Lincoln has attained sainthood in 148 years. If one wants to read the truth about Lincoln I recommend two books: "The Real Lincoln" and "Lincoln Unmasked".

When one reads history one needs to understand there are two standards for quotes and stories: the academic standard and the legal standard. In the former it is sort of like hearsay in that one can write, "professor so-and-so said that professor who's-it said that professor what's-his-name wrote that Lincoln said..." The legal standard is based on direct source such as, "Lincoln said..." and the quote is taken from an original source and not second, third, or fourth hand.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 11/22/13 - 12:41 pm
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Kennedy

I agree with many of your statements about Kennedy. A part of him was very immoral. The only things that I know about Kennedy's Presidentcy was and is what I see on television news. I have heard many of you say that the majority of television news is liberal, so therefore I am left with a very possitive knowledge of Kennedy and his Presidentcy! For me, I was 3 weeks away from being 5 years old when Kennedy was shot. I do not remember anything about the day he was killed, but I do remember; like it was yesterday; the funneral being shown on television. I don't know if it was my sadness at the funneral or sadness because of my parent's sadness, but the memory of the funneral lasts to this day. I am not questioning ANY of you for the negative things that you-all are saying about Kennedy! For me, the lasting and saddest thing about Kennedy'd death is the WAY that he was killed. It is bad enough to kill someone, BUT to be killed in such a grosome way is what I can not understand. I know it sounds foolish, but I still DO NOT believe that Oswalled acted alone! I am not an expert, but thanks to my father, I know a little about the way bullets make a wound. The experts say that the first shot missed and the second shot hit Kennedy in the throught and wounded Gov. Conally. The third and very fatile shot, in my opinion, made a wound like it came from the front and exited out the back of his head, therefore making the very big wound in the back of the head. If it was in deed a conspirasy, with two shooters, our government may not have known, OR IF the government had have known, wouldn't the country be throughn into an even bigger mess than what our fathers and mothers were going through anyway??!! I don't if I can really put it into words, but the Kennedy killing will ALWAYS be a mistery that I can not seem to be able to turn away when ever there is something about it on television!!

I will challenge EVERYONE to express their feelings about Kennedy and his death WHETHER it be negative or positive.

Gary Ross
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Gary Ross 11/22/13 - 02:09 pm
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Saying something positive for a change...

JFK was in office only a short time when the Bay of Pigs happened. All of his generals said the same thing; Attack Attack Attack! Then it was his generals who screwed it up! What did JFK do? He went on national television and accepted responsibility himself. Years later, we had the Cuban missle crisis. His generals once again told him to Attack Attack Attack! This time JFK decided not to listen to them, but try diplomacy instead.

There are 3 things a good leader does when he makes a mistake;
1. Recognise the mistake for what it is and admit it.
2. Remedy anything possible for the damage that was caused.
3. Learn from it.
Kennedy did just that. I used this example when teaching youth leadership training in the BSA.

JFK may have had his faults, but he was still a much better president than any we have had in recent history. You can talk him down, that is your right. But that day you go before the Pearly Gates where the truth will be known to all, and find out that Oswald didn't shoot anyone, it will be too late for appologies.

For me, John F. Kennedy will always be a hero. Much better than MLK, who only stood for the rights of a small portion of Americans. JFK stood for all of America! And 3 of his speeches were much better too!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/22/13 - 02:58 pm
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Gary Ross

"JFK may have had his faults, but he was still a much better president than any we have had in recent history."

Joking?

I suggest you look into historical facts a bit more about the Cuban Missile Crisis and who was responsible. You want to blame THAT on the military? JFK was on amphetamines during much of that confrontation.

I suggest you also look into his personal behavior. While you are at it, examine his bootlegging daddy who made his money during prohibition. Ted Kennedy would not have been able to get a driver's license in Georgia, Billy Carter said after Teddy Kennedy left Mary Jo Kopechne to drown. Bobby Kennedy operatives were in Marilyn Monroe's house cleaning up after her death. Goodness, how do you ignore all this? You are a Boy Scout Leader?

deestafford
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deestafford 11/22/13 - 08:03 pm
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The reason for the Cuban missile crisis is Nikita K. saw Kennedy

as a weak leader and decided he could push him around. Eisenhower took Kennedy aside and dressed him down as a general would a second lieutenant.

It was not the generals who screwed up the Bay of Pigs...it was Kennedy who did not follow through on the plan HE had approved. Once you start an invasion you cannot call it off in the middle of it because there are so many intricate parts and changes at that time will bring disaster as it did there. An amphibious operation is one of the most complicated in warfare and he screwed it up. The result being a communist Cuba because Castro was not nearly as strong as he was portrayed by the NY Times and could have defeated had the invasion gone on as planned.

For those who have drank the media Kool-Aid please tell me what made Kennedy great or even very good.

Pops
4324
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Pops 11/22/13 - 09:43 pm
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Riverman is hitting

the nail right on the head.....Kennedy backed into a so-called victory when the Soviets pulled their weapons out....if they had called our bluff and not pulled the weapons, Kennedy would have looked weaker than our boy Jimmy Carter ever could hope to look. We all know how that turned out......

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