An event happened once that changed everyone's life forever. Everybody older than about five at the time remembers, and always will, where they were at the time it happened. No, I'm not talking about 9/11. Forty-one years ago yesterday, President Kennedy was murdered in Dallas. Every year at this time we are reminded of it with coverage in the news and television shows about the assassination and the conpiracy theories that have been theorized since then. I wasn't alive at the time, but being a "fan" of history, I have studied and read about it quite a bit.
In 1991 Oliver Stone made a movie, JFK, which while cinematically impressive, was fiction. He took a lot of conjecture and made a motion picture, and now thirteen years later, there is a whole generation of people, my age and younger, who think that everything in the movie is fact. Am I saying that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone? I don't know. Am I saying that he was a patsy? I don't know that either. It sure looks like there are a lot of question to be answered, ones that probably never will be fully answered, if not in the lifetime of people alive then, and maybe not even in my lifetime.
There was a show a year ago, on the 40th anniversary, hosted by Peter Jennings, that refuted a lot of the half-truths in the Oliver Stone movie. I didn't get to see it last year, but they replayed it on History Channel the other day, and I caught some of it. One of the half-truths was about the so-called "magic bullet" which would have had to supposedly turn around in mid-air to be able to have hit Texas Gov. Connalley after hitting Kennedy in the manner that the lone gunman theory would have required. (You remember the dramatic courtroom scene in JFK, where Kevin Coster is theatrically demonstrating with a stick and the two guys sitting there how the bullet would have to spin in mid-air.) Well that can easily be refuted by demonstrating that Connalley was actually sitting a few inches left of directly in front of Kennedy, and also a few inches lower. Add in the fact that after the first shot, Connalley turned in reaction to his right, and the path that the bullet would have had to take now becomes a straight line.
It's liberties like that that Stone took with the truth, and we have a movie which ends with a dramatic speech that was never actually made by Jim Garrison, and now everyone thinks all that really happened.
There are people that think the Russians did it, that the CIA did it, that the Mafia did it, that LBJ did it, that J. Edgar Hoover did it, that Aristotle Onassis did it, and many others. I think maybe that there was some sort of conspiracy, and maybe many more than one faction or group entirely responsible, but it's never going to be tied up in a neat little package. There was a lot of people involved on many different levels, possibly, and many of them are dead and have taken their secret to the grave with them. Maybe "big oil" was behind it, becuase they wanted Kennedy out and LBJ in. Maybe the Mafia did it because the Kennedys were cracking down on organized crime. Maybe Ari Onassis and his connections in the European mafia had it dine or were somehow behind it, or at least financing some of it because he wanted Jackie. Apparently he flew into Washington and stayed in the White House the night of JFK's funeral.
It's all such a complex story that no one's going to know for sure who killed Kennedy.
Another show that was on during this JFK-blitz over the weekend was a show about Joseph Kennedy. He apparently got rich back in the 20's when he sold short in the stock market when everything fell at the beginning of the depression and everybody else went broke. FDR appointed him to a commission on making over Wall Street, and he started to have presidential aspirations of his own.
He was then appointed Ambassador to Great Britian (that's geo code 'UK', not 'FL') which for an Irish man was quite an honor. Mainly FDR sent him there to get him out of the way, so he wouldn't challenge for the next Democratic Presidental Nomination. Then the war started to really pick up, and Kennedy, who didn't want his sons killed in the war, was very pro-appeasement. He made some comments about Hitler and the Nazi not being so bad, so something like that, and the next thing you know the war was over, the good guys won, and his name was mud.
So he turned his attention towards his sons and their chances at political office. His oldest son, Joe Jr. was the great hope, but he was killed in the war -- so it fell to his next son, Jack...and the rest is history.