The Kennedy Legacy

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry swears in Caroline Kennedy as U.S. Ambassador to Japan at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on November 12, 2013. Ambassador Kennedy is accompanied by her husband, Dr. Edwin Schlossberg, and son, John “Jack” Schlossberg. 

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Baby news: Matt and Kate Kennedy proud parents of new baby girl

Former congressman Joe Kennedy II is a grandpa! Joe’s son Matt and his wife, Kate, are the proud new parents of a baby girl, Lily Frances Kennedy. The newest member of the clan checked in at 9 pounds, 10 ounces on Monday. Mom and baby are doing great and, we’re told, Matt is learning to change diapers. A former White House staffer, Matt Kennedy recently started his own international business consulting firm in Boston.

 

(Source: bostonherald.com)

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The contact sheet from Jacque Lowe’s first shoot with John Kennedy at their home in Hyannis Port, Mass, 1958: ‘He was reserved but when my dad asked if Caroline and Jackie could be involved, he became more at ease, providing a more intimate shot.’ Thomasina Lowe is the daughter of the late Jacques Lowe, a photographer who met Kennedy in 1958. Lowe’s intimate access to the Kennedys created some of the most iconic images of JFK’s presidential and family life. Photograph: Estate of Jacques Lowe.

The contact sheet from Jacque Lowe’s first shoot with John Kennedy at their home in Hyannis Port, Mass, 1958: ‘He was reserved but when my dad asked if Caroline and Jackie could be involved, he became more at ease, providing a more intimate shot.’ Thomasina Lowe is the daughter of the late Jacques Lowe, a photographer who met Kennedy in 1958. Lowe’s intimate access to the Kennedys created some of the most iconic images of JFK’s presidential and family life. Photograph: Estate of Jacques Lowe.

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RFK Jr.’s Diaries Reveal Intense Family Drama After JFK Jr’s Death

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According to journal entries written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (retrieved by his wife, Mary, who committed suicide last year in the midst of their divorce), the days following the plane crash that took the life of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were marked with dramatic conflict between the two families, as the Kennedys did not feel Carolyn’s burial should be treated in the same manner as that of a Kennedy.

Robert writes that, three days after the crash, Kennedy family members told Carolyn’s mother, Anne Freeman, that, while John Jr. would be buried in the family plot in Brookline, Mass., they “could do with Carolyn as they pleased.” Ultimately, this ended as a moot point, as both John and Carolyn were cremated and buried at sea. But the diaries indicate that there were some very unpleasant interactions behind-the-scenes, particularly between Ed Schlossberg, Caroline Kennedy’s husband, and Anne, as he “bulled, bullied, bullied the shattered grieving mother,” according to the diaries. “She says she wants to start an ‘I hate Ed’ club.”

The diaries also reveal that Carolyn once confided to Mary that John Jr. and his sister Caroline had been quarreling about furniture in their Martha’s Vineyard estate which had belonged to their mother. Carolyn said John was “so depressed” about their fighting, and John told Robert “how hurt he was by Caroline’s actions.”

(Source: vanityfair.com)

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JFK 50th draws Camelot mania

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has unleashed Camelot mania.

While hearkening back to that grim day on Nov. 22, 1963, the appetite for all things Kennedy has been ratcheting up all season, and the media world is eager to feed the public’s interest with books (there are more than 100), as well as dozens of movies, documentaries, TV specials, and iPad apps.

The challenge for the Kennedy anniversary projects, according to those involved, is to be respectful when recalling a national tragedy, while at the same time finding ways to stand out in a super-saturated field. That’s led to some creative (and unusual) efforts to say something fresh about historical events that already have been dissected for five decades - for example, in perhaps the most extreme bid to find a new angle, there’s even a book imaging what would have happened had Kennedy lived.

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“The public just can’t get enough,” said Shana Capozza, the director of marketing and publicity at The Globe Pequot Press, which is promoting three new JFK books: “Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination,” “Kennedy and Reagan: Why Their Legacies Endure,” and “JFK in Ireland: Four Days that Changed a President.”

“When you think about how many different ways that story can be told — on an historical, personal, political, or cultural level — you recognize that the increased public interest in the Kennedys because of the looming 50th anniversary offers a plethora of opportunities for authors and publishers to engage with and fulfill the needs of readers on a number of different levels,” Capozza told POLITICO.

And plethora it is: “Parkland” hit theaters last month and tells the story of the assassination and its aftermath from the perspective of the medical staff Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where Kennedy was pronounced dead. Magazine racks are filled with special anniversary editions from Vanity Fair, The Atlantic and LIFE, which first brought the Zapruder film to the American public, and has a new book out featuring the complete Zapruder film.

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Traditional book publishers are leaping at the opportunity as well — perhaps more so than any other platform. A search for “JFK” on Amazon finds more than 100 books with a publication date between September and December. One examines the five days surrounding the assassination, another just the day of Nov. 22, 1963 and a third takes a look “minute by minute.” Other works examine the assassination in novel form. There’s even a spoof on the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series, dubbed “Lose your own adventure.” More seriously, another book takes a look at what might have happened if Kennedy hadn’t been shot.

“For a book publicist, there is no better time to be working on a book about JFK,” said Lorna Garano, the founder of Lorna Garano Book Publicity, which is promoting, “The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination” by Lamar Waldron. “If you have a credible book with new information or an original perspective, you’re almost guaranteed media interest.”

“There is an entirely new generation to be introduced to the Kennedys, and it may be through all of the exhibits, books and movies that will spring up,” said Jayne Sandman, principal at BrandLinkDC.

Aimed at that new generation is anniversary digital content. The NBC affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth, KXAS, has made an iPhone app, called “NBC 5 Remembers,” which “offers unique historical insight into events leading up to and surrounding that tragic day.” University of Virginia politics professor Larry Sabato’s new book, “The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy,” also has an app coming with audio of the Dallas police dispatch from the day of the shooting.

Hugh Morton, who has been trying to bring his “Who Killed JFK?” app to the market, says, “There’s plenty of room for everyone in many diverse media, old and new, provided they keep their projects grounded in fact and not get carried away with demeaning and confusing rumor and innuendo.”

For moviegoers who’ve may already have seen “Parkland,” Warner Bros. is re-releasing Oliver Stone’s 1991 film “JFK” in theaters and on Blu-Ray. The Smithsonian Associates will also screen Stone’s film at the National Museum of American History on Nov. 1, followed by a sold-out discussion with the director.

Just down the street at the Newseum, there will be a “JFK Remembrance Day” on Nov. 22 featuring a full lineup of discussions and the rebroadcasting, in real time, of CBS News’ live television coverage from that day. In New York, the International Center of Photography is offering its “JFK November 22, 1963: A Bystander’s View of History” exhibit.

It’s possible to ride the Kennedy anniversary wave without ever leaving home, just by flipping on the television: NBC is planning a special called “Where Were You?” (the two-hour documentary has a book companion, as well). The Military Channel will air “What If…? Armageddon 1962,” which explores the thwarted plot to assassinate Kennedy by a political fanatic named Richard Pavlick in Palm Beach, Fla., in 1960. PBS will air its four-hour, two-part special “JFK” beginning Nov. 11. And TLC is scheduled to air “Letters To Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy” on Nov. 17.

(Source: politico.com)

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Poll: John F. Kennedy tops presidential rating

As the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination approaches next month, polling released Tuesday as part of a new book about Kennedy’s legacy shows that he remains one of the most highly rated presidents of the past 50 years.

Asked to rate all the presidents from 1950 to 2000 on a scale of 0 to 10, Kennedy scored the highest, at 7.6. He was followed by Ronald Reagan, at 6.9, Dwight Eisenhower, at 6.8, and Bill Clinton, at 6.7. None of the other presidents scored above a 5.0.

Nevertheless, Kennedy would not be Americans’ first choice to bring back as the next president, if any former leader alive or dead could serve again. Asked who they would most want to bring back, 24 percent of adults chose Reagan, 21 percent chose Clinton and 13 percent chose Kennedy. Abraham Lincoln was next, at 9 percent.

The findings, from a survey of more than 2,000 adults conducted this summer, were released Tuesday to coincide with the release of a new book from University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, which takes on evidence of popular conspiracy theories about Kennedy’s assassination and analyzes his lasting legacy.

At a press conference unveiling his book at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Sabato said it was the findings on the impact Kennedy’s life has had that most struck him, not the findings about his death.

“The most important thing didn’t have anything to do with the assassination, it was the fact that even though John Kennedy had a terribly abbreviated tragic presidency, he’s actually lived for 50 years through nine successors,” Sabato afterward told a handful of reporters, which included press from the U.K., Germany and Korea.

The 624-page book, “The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy,” was the result of five years of research, and it examines the findings of the Warren Commission and House Select Committee on Intelligence on Kennedy’s death as well as the ways that Kennedy’s successors invoked him in their own presidencies.

Sabato said the other important takeaway from the book was debunking one of the most widely cited conclusions of a conspiracy in Kennedy’s death, the conclusion by the House committee that a police recording proves there were more gunshots than Lee Harvey Oswald could have fired.

“The second finding clearly is the assassination one, because there has been so much cynicism generated about the assassination and so many of the theories are just bogus, they’re just completely wrong. Now we haven’t eliminated all possibilities, but we certainly have taken one right off the table,” Sabato said.

In a preview of the book to POLITICO, Sabato unveiled Monday that a key piece of evidence used by the House committee investigating Kennedy’s assassination to support a conspiracy theory about his death was disproven by his research.

Sabato’s study found that an audio recording from a police officer’s motorcycle that purportedly captured the sound of four gunshots, none from the grassy knoll, was actually nothing of the sort. The police officer was more than two miles away from the motorcade where investigators had previously placed him, Sabato said, and the sounds on the recording are not gunshots at all.

The audio was part of a collection of recordings of all police dispatch communications in Dallas made the day of Kennedy’s assassination, and Sabato announced Tuesday that as part of the book project, the entire 30,000-word audio and transcript of those will be released as part of an app next week.

On Tuesday, Sabato said that his research also confirmed that the Warren Commission’s investigation into Kennedy’s death was inadequate, and a definitive explanation of the day’s events is likely lost forever. In rushing to release findings that confirmed what they wanted to believe, Sabato said, the Warren Commission’s actions have left us with as many questions than answers.

“The many inadequacies of the Warren Commission have condemned us as a nation to 50 years of unending suspicions and cynicism about the assassination,” Sabato said. While the American public was willing to pay whatever it took and wait as long as needed for the commission’s findings, “instead the Warren Commission’s shortcuts and hidden deceptions have led to a half century of second guessing and a cavernous credibility gap.”

Sabato said while he believes Oswald fired the shots that killed Kennedy, Americans will likely never know if he acted alone or was encouraged or supported in his actions by anyone else.

A key missing piece of the puzzle, Sabato said, are documents from the CIA and FBI that are sealed until October 2017, and he urged the public to do its part to ensure that release isn’t blocked, including asking all 2016 presidential candidates whether they will seek to prevent the release of any of the documents.

“No one can write the definitive book on this subject without examining those documents,” Sabato said.

The book and app are part of the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ larger Kennedy Legacy Project, which also includes an online course, a website and a forthcoming PBS documentary.

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Bill Eppridge died Oct. 3, 2013. In tribute to one of the 20th century’s greatest photojournalists, LIFE.com remembers Eppridge through perhaps the signature moment and picture of his extraordinary career: the assassination of Robert Kennedy in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel in June 1968.

How many times must we live through these throat-paralyzing sequences of days of gun play, grief and muffled drums?

That question, posed by LIFE magazine in its June 14, 1968, issue, is freighted with all of the emotions — sorrow, frustration, a kind of bewildered dread — unleashed by the events that unsettled the country in the first half of that schizoid year of 1968. The  assassination of Dr. King; the Tet Offensive, the My Lai massacre and the other horrors of the war in Vietnam; and, on June 5, the murder of Robert Kennedy by a Jerusalem-born Palestinian Christian, Sirhan Sirhan, in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

The photographs that Bill Eppridge made before, during and after RFK’s assassination don’t require that we forget all we’ve learned about the dark underside of American politics in order to appreciate the fear, rage and anguish sparked by Robert Kennedy’s death. On the contrary, the pictures in this gallery suggest that despite how ambitious and even cruel he could sometimes be, Bobby Kennedy obviously inspired, in countless people, the better angels of their nature.

(Source: TIME)

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