Kennedy Assassination: 48 Years Later

I was, of course, not alive when President Kennedy was assassinated on this day back in 1963. Despite that fact, for some reason I glommed on to JKF’s assassination the same way I dove into things like Bigfoot and UFOs and the Bermuda Triangle. I’m sure it had to do with all the mystery and conspiracy theories surrounding President Kennedy’s death.

One of the earliest books I remember reading about the assassination was Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi. Although I didn’t put two and two together for may years, I had another one of Bugliosi’s books in my personal library for many years. Not only did Bugliosi write Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, but he was also the prosecutor on the Manson case.

Back to Four Days in November. I scoured every square inch of that book, from the blurry picture of the Umbrella Man to the giant, two-page spread of Kennedy’s head being opened in frame 313 of Zapruder’s famous home movie. Over the years I’ve collected and read many books regarding Kennedy’s assassination, but Four Days was one of the best. I can’t remember whether the copy I used to read belonged to my Mom or my Dad, but years ago at a used book store I picked up my own copy. The picture on the cover is different, but the pages within are the same.

In 2005, while visiting my friend Justin down in Dallas, we stopped off at Dealey Plaza. It was an odd experience, having deja vu at a place you’ve never been to before. All at once, the pictures I had studied for years came to life. There was the book depository! There was the window! There was the half-wall! There was the grassy knoll!

Like Bigfoot and UFOs, I eventually outgrew the Kennedy conspiracy theories. We’ll ever know 100% for sure what happened that day; once I realized that I kind of let it go.

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3 comments to Kennedy Assassination: 48 Years Later

  • I once roared through Jim Garrison’s “On The Trail Of The Assassins” in about a week, because I was curious as to what didn’t make it into the movie version (retitled simply “JFK”). What I quickly discovered was that Oliver Stone was being inordinately generous to Garrison with the movie. In the movie, Garrison comes across as a brilliant sleuth who’s all but got the bad guys cornered. In the book, in Garrison’s own words, he comes across as more than just slightly paranoid: everyone was out to get JFK, and since he was bringing a trial in the case, by extension, everyone was out to get him too.

    Like you say, we’ll never know. The number of people who were intimately connected to the assassination or the investigation, who are still in full possession of their faculties and/or memory, is getting pretty slim. I don’t think we’ll get any kind of bombshell revelation at 50 years out or even 100 years (by which point I’ll be 91, or dead, or both).

  • Kevin Moon

    I missed being alive for that particular event by eight years, but I do remember exactly where I was when Reagan was shot. It was afternoon 4th grade math class, and the announcement came over the intercom, and we got to go home early. I remember seeing the news that night and how they kept replaying the footage over and over. Not long after, SNL lampooned that event with their “Buckwheat Getting Shot” sketch, which took up the majority of the episode. It’s still funny to me this day because I have always understood the historical context. Oh, and as you know, Reagan made it through just fine.

  • I visited Dealy plaza back in the 1990’s and it was indeed a surreal experience. I wasn’t sure I was even there, it was so bizarre.

    I was three years old when Kennedy was assassinated. I have only one memory of those days: it was during the funeral procession and I asked my mom why everyone was crying.