When we think of JFK, most of us are compelled to think of the possible, to expect the best of ourselves. This is the American spirit that Kennedy both promoted and embodied. This was JFK's vision and intended legacy. It should continue to be ours.
It was after lunch, and, if I were to guess, my second-grade class was doing phonics exercises when our principal, Sister Mary Vaughan, announced over the P.A. system that President Kennedy had been shot, and would we all please stop our work and pray for him?
President Kennedy was not assassinated for being anti-Fed. I don't know how much more clearly that can be said. His death on November 22nd, 1963 was a sad tragedy, but it had nothing to do with any stupid and baseless Executive Order silver certificate conspiracy.
A half-century later, pessimism has replaced optimism for many of today's college students, recent grads and the many of that generation who cannot afford college. As globalization and technological innovation intensify competition, those who can't bear the cost of college wonder what their future holds.
We made Years of Lightning, Day of Drums so the world might see and remember what we knew in those days. And now the larger reward is that the film survives so this and future generations may hear the soaring voice and view the vibrant likeness of the man who offered such singular inspiration half a century ago.
John Kennedy was not a simple man, nor was much about him simple. While he evoked hatred in some, he spelled promise for many, and hope that our democracy would include justice for the poor as well. And yes too, he had charisma, which is not all bad by any means.
I remember a grey October day in Harlem in 1960, when JFK, accompanied by Jackie, and introduced by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., spoke before a sizable black crowd, eloquently condemned racial inequality.
One of the reasons why the Kennedy assassination continues to affect millions of people the way it does, even fifty years later, is the sense that we are still fighting the same battle today.
JFK's orchestration of the attempted overthrow of a foreign regime -- Fidel Castro's in Cuba -- is usually treated in American history as a one-off disaster from which JFK's presidency later recovered.
Jackie became pregnant for the first time in 1955 but after three months "suffered a miscarriage and learned that carrying and delivering a child would always be difficult for her," recalled JFK's friend and adviser Ken O'Donnell.
One week before President John F. Kennedy made the fateful trip to Dallas in 1963, Billy Graham "had an inner foreboding that something terrible was g...
Yes, as we come to the end of this "Kennedy Half Century," let us make the commitment to carry on his legacy, to assume our own responsibility for the future, and to ask why not. Why not keep America the land of dreamers and doers rather than deniers and defilers?
In my 11-year-old mind, it seemed the absolute end of not just my dream, but everyone's. The black community mourned in a way I had never seen before. The light went out of our eyes.
As President Kennedy suggested 50 years ago, we know that this will not be easy, but will be hard. America can and will win on this issue of providing its citizens quality and affordable health care.
We watched Air Force One land on a strip far away from us. Thousands of us soldiers marched in formation near it. We saw figures who must've been Jack and Jackie step out of the plane.
As we mark this 50th anniversary of JFK's presidency cut short, we might also pause and consider Caroline Kennedy as the six-year-old daughter and 11-year-old niece of gun violence victims.