November 22, 2004, is the 41st anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The 35th President of the USA.
And after all these years, we’re still asking:
Were there two shooters opposed to one?
Who was on the Grassy Knoll?
Who was Oswald? And what was with Jack Ruby?
Was Kennedy the target of the Mafia?
Was he on Fidel Castro’s hit list?
Were the anti-Castro Cubans giving him payback?
Was killing Kennedy the fast track for LBJ’s entry to the Oval Office as Commander In Chief?
Or was the shooting of JFK the handiwork of an extreme Right Wing conspiracy?
Somebody probably knows. But not me.
What I do know, is that I was thirteen years old when our teachers sent us home from school that day, because the President was shot.
I also know that people all around me were in shock and tears that President Kennedy was murdered. And that the only thing people and the news spoke about was Kennedy. The greatest President anyone could remember in their recent history.
I HAVE A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT SPIN ON JFK:
Kennedy won the election, even though he lost the popular vote to Nixon.
He brought drugs and sex into the White House. And he screwed around on his wife; and by extension, on his family.
I have always believed that a man who would betray his wife, or a wife who would betray her husband would betray anyone.
Kennedy encouraged the anti-Castro Cubans to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro’s Communist regime. And then he got cold feet, leaving the invading Cubans to be captured, wounded and killed at the Bay of Pigs.
For all we know, there might be Cubans of that invasion still rotting in Castro’s prisons.
Kennedy didn’t stare-down the Russians in the Cuban Missile Crisis as we’re led to believe. Instead; Kennedy traded long range US missiles in Turkey, for the removal of the missiles the USSR was going to establish in Cuba.
Had it not been for Kennedy’s display of cowardice and treachery against the Cuban Freedom Fighters in the invasion of Cuba; it is extremely possible Castro would have been overthrown.
And there never would have been Soviet missiles just 80 miles off the shore of Florida.
Everyone hates Nixon and the republicans for the War in Vietnam. But it was Kennedy who committed the USA and American troops to Vietnam after the French pulled-out. And it was Nixon, who brought the American troops home.
People give JFK credit for the Civil Rights Bill. But that credit goes to LBJ.
Kennedy served less than 3 years in office. And in all that time, his most enduring legacy was that he created a myth of Utopia (Camelot) in and around the White House.
Kennedy was unique. He was a fresh good-looking face. An Irish Catholic. A father with young children. And a man who knew how to play to television: the new media.
But what did he accomplish?
Beside being assassinated on live television, and leaving more questions than answers, even 41 years after the fact; what did Kennedy, as America’s 35th President “Do For His Country”?