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JDPriestly

(57,936 posts)
3. Do you remember where you were when Kennedy was shot, Archae?
Wed Oct 9, 2013, 01:11 AM
Oct 2013

Last edited Wed Oct 9, 2013, 02:15 AM - Edit history (1)

Because many of those of us old enough to remember do not agree with you on a lot of points.

In 1960, we who were young (I was a freshman in college) in America were more excited at the prospect of replacing old Eisenhower with the youthful symbol of hope, Kennedy than the Obama youth were in 2008.

A lot of questions are unanswered when it comes to Kennedy's assassination. The news reports of the time presented information that was later never dealt with and simply swept under the rug.

The assassination involved so many coincidences, so much information, and the conclusions of the Warren Report were so conclusive that it is unlikely that the Report is accurate. Life just isn't that snugly tied together with a big bow. That is not how it works.

The Warren Report needs to be reviewed at this half-century mark. I'm hoping that some good historians working with forensic scientists who are capable of analyzing all the information with today's techniques and based on the knowledge about forensics acquired since 1963 will review all the evidence and reports and testimony and give us an updated report on that assassination. The errors in the Report may be many, may be few, but it needs recurring review.

And, Emperor Franz Josef (Woops! Wrong. Rereading this, I wrote and thought of the wrong name. It was Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria whose assassination in Sarajevo set off WWI), for example, was killed by one of a number of conspirators. So were many other leaders in the world including, very possibly, Abraham Lincoln.

Women's lib was just a faint hum on the breeze in 1960. A lot of women were going to college. We didn't all really want to be nurses, secretaries or teachers. Many of us were capable of joining professions that were at that time pretty much limited to men. We weren't yet clamoring for property rights, abortion rights, etc. Birth control pills were something new, revolutionary in the early 1960s. Attitudes about gender roles were pretty old-fashioned. The guy was in the driver's seat. High school boys, for example, were viewed as future world or community leaders. Girls were destined for the Junior League at the best.

The churches were always officially at least opposed to womanizing or pre-marital or extra-marital sex at least superficially. But the reality was that men were viewed as being free to do whatever they wanted. The Kennedys, like most men even those of my generation (I was obviously much younger than he was), were probably raised that way. Sex was something that boys could enjoy as they wished, but good girls were not supposed to even know much about it much less do it (Good heavens. Unmarried and pregnant??? How was that possible? We girls knew next to nothing or nothing about sex. You cannot imagine how it was if you live today.) Never mind that the reality was that teen pregnancy was pretty common and shotgun marriages routine in my high school. There was a double standard not just between what was allowed by boys and not allowed by girls, but also between what everybody pretended was happening and what really was happening.

Honesty was not a major value when it came to sex or politics in the early 1960s. That's just an unfortunate fact. The Nixon era woke Americans up. Suddenly we demanded honesty. Roosevelt was apparently fairly honest. Whether true or not, Truman had a reputation for being very, very straightforward. What you saw, we were encouraged to believe, was what you were getting. But lying was so common and finding things out so difficult that I don't know whether to trust the common belief of that time or not.

The Kennedys were sinful, but their personal lives would not have made the front pages of a newspaper back then. And Johnson was probably no better in his day (just not as goodlooking and therefore with fewer opportunities to philander), and Nixon????? Lucky to have a wife.

So sex would probably not have ended Kennedy's political career. Probably wouldn't even have caused a pause. Remember, Eisenhower is believed to have had a mistress while serving in the military (maybe true, maybe not) and Roosevelt most definitely did have a mistress. Yet they were two of our best presidents ever. So Kennedy's sex life is really a nonissue. It was kind of par for the course at that time.

So, no. I don't agree with your post. The Kennedy assassination continues to intrigue because too many of us have this sense that the mysteries have not yet been fully solved. I hope that all the files will be opened to the public and especially to historians this year. 50 years. It's been a long time. But everything changed when Kennedy was assassinated. It completely disillusioned my generation. The hippies were in part a big reaction to that assassination. So was the investigation into Watergate and the upheaval that resulted. Reagan was a counter-revolution, a reaction to the generation that had lived through the Kennedy assassination and become disillusioned by that event and the Nixon years and had, thus, given up on government. Add a little racism in Southern voters and you have a Reagan election.

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