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Examiner
  • JFK: Memorial events, broadcasts

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  • Fifty years after his assassination, President John F. Kennedy is remembered with national memorial events, television broadcasts and documentaries, as well as a day of service.
    People alive at the time will remember the one shining moment that was Camelot — the admiring term that reflected many Americans’ wish to give the Kennedy presidency an air of royalty. Then, as now, it’s easy to gloss over the real-life achievements and be drawn to the allure. President Kennedy was young and handsome, his wife elegant and beautiful. There was much more.
    “What people should remember about JFK includes his successful tactics in pulling us from the very brink of all-out nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the moves toward peace he made in 1963,” said Rex Bradford, president of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, an online archive devoted to research on JFK’s assassination.
    Kennedy sought a phased withdrawal from Vietnam. He sent secret peace feelers toward Fidel Castro. He worked for and eventually signed a partial nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviet Union and installed the first direct hot line with the U.S.S.R.
    Here’s a roundup of how the nation will remember JFK:
    Oct. 25: Through Nov. 26, the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field in Dallas marks the anniversary with a visit by the only mock-up of the president’s Air Force One as it was configured during his fateful trip to Dallas. The 47-foot-long fuselage is created from an actual Boeing 707, similar to the Air Force One of 1963, and features a highly detailed cockpit, the president’s bedroom and the stateroom in which Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office. flightmuseum.com
    Nov. 8: The National Geographic Channel debuts a two-hour documentary titled “JFK: The Final Hours,” which delves into the final day of Kennedy’s life. Narrated by actor Bill Paxton, it features firsthand accounts of people who interacted with the president on Nov. 22, 1963, and restored footage shot by the White House. channel.nationalgeographic.com.
    Nov. 10: The National Geographic Channel premieres “Killing Kennedy,” starring Rob Lowe as JFK and Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald. Based on the best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly, “Killing Kennedy” explores the final years of both Kennedy and Oswald. channel.nationalgeographic.com.
    Nov. 11-12: PBS takes a fresh look at the Kennedy administration with a new “American Experience” program titled “JFK,” a four-hour documentary. pbs.org.
    Nov. 17: Kevin Spacey narrates “The Day Kennedy Died,” a two-hour documentary on the Smithsonian Channel that includes rare film, photos and eyewitness accounts for a minute-by-minute look at the assassination. smithsonianchannel.com.
    Nov. 22:
    • As the nation’s official memorial to President Kennedy, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library in Boston “plans to join all Americans and citizens of the world on Nov. 22, 2013, in observing the 50th anniversary of our nation’s tragic loss. Our observances will include a midday ceremony featuring music in the Library’s glass pavilion, and the opening of a special archival display that pays tribute to the memory of the president and to the people who mourned him. The display will include the flag that draped the president’s coffin, the saddle, sword and boots from Black Jack, the ‘riderless horse,’ as well as photographs of the state funeral and letters of condolence sent to Mrs. Kennedy,” said Rachel Flor, director of communications for the JFK Library. The ceremony will be professionally filmed and produced. www.jfklibrary.org
    Page 2 of 2 - • Dallas is planning a major public memorial ceremony in Dealey Plaza including a moment of silence at 12:25 p.m., the time the shots rang out. Only 5,000 tickets were made available for the event that will feature the historian David McCullough. Led by Dallas Mayor Michael S. Rawling, the event will be a serious, respectful and understated public ceremony. www.50thHonoringJohnFKennedy.com
    • The Newseum will host JFK Remembrance Day, a event featuring discussions with authors, journalists and filmmakers. The Washington, D.C., museum will rebroadcast the three hours of CBS News’ live television coverage, including the unforgettable moment when legendary anchorman Walter Cronkite reported to the nation that the president was dead. In addition to a 16-minute JFK documentary titled “A Thousand Days,” the Newseum has exhibits featuring the first United Press International bulletin on the assassination, the revolver carried by one of the president’s Secret Service agents and a collection of intimate photographs. www.newseum.org.
    Nov. 23: In his inauguration speech President Kennedy so famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” The citizen-led JFK Day of Service is meant to encourage people to volunteer at charitable organizations and be a part of Kennedy’s legacy of service. jfkday.com/wp.
    Ongoing:
    • Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., expects a larger crowd than average Nov. 22. The John F. Kennedy gravesite and the Eternal Flame underwent repairs that were completed in October. The cemetery receives 3 million visitors a year.
    • The film “Parkland” opened in October and recounts the chaotic events that occurred at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital on the day Kennedy was assassinated. The docudrama stars Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden and Billy Bob Thorton.
    • ReelzChannel will broadcast a second-gunman documentary called “JFK: The Smoking Gun,” which premieres Nov. 3. The two-hour show is based on a book of the same name by veteran police detective Colin McClaren. Other ReelzChannel programs include the miniseries “The Kennedys,” “JFK: Inside the Evidence hosted by Bill Kurtis,” JFK dramas “Bystander Theory” and “Frame of Mind,” as well as showing Oliver Stone’s “JFK” and “Killing JFK: 50 Questions Answered.”

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