If time were turned back 50 years, there would be no cell phones or home computers. Radio broadcasts and the newly developed television would be the key connectors to the events happening around the world. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy would be in office and his assassination would take place this Friday, Nov. 22 in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Tex.
Imagine experiencing the first U.S. president shown on television,as well as observing coverage of his assassination and funeral.
These memories form emotional standpoints in the generations who watched history unfold and has resulted in America remembering JFK’s image fondly.
“The assassination of JFK reminds me of how backwards people can be and the extremes to which people will go to exercise their hate, as well as the use of a martyr to a cause,” sophomore Daniel Hazeski said.
This Friday will be the 50th anniversary of the assassination of one of the most recognizable presidents in history, yet his presence is still as prominent as ever.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Killing Kennedy,” the movie adaption of Bill O’Reilly’s book, ranked in a total of 3.4 million viewers for the two-hour movie special.
“He was very influential and he left a lasting impact on the American people,” sophomore Chris Otmar said.
JFK has a reputation of glory and his aura is accentuated by descriptions of him to this day.
His efforts in the civil rights spectrum left him in a long-standing positive moral position. Kennedy had an essence that captured the hearts of millions of people.
Also, being the first televised White House family not only kept citizens up to date with the entire first family’s lives, but it created a bond with the American people.
The ability to watch the family grow and see the president give speeches formed a connection with the Kennedys. This was the first time the nation could connect with a president to such extent.
“It’s the emotional impact, the resonance of seeing him as the first television president,” said Ryan Medders, professor of communication at California Lutheran University.
To this day, people have a resonating image of JFK in their head, even for those who were not alive to witness the assassination. Words such as charismatic, youthful or talented speaker intermingle in the conversations about the former president.
These are also words that get paired with President Obama today. He may have sparked some of the feelings that many of the JFK generation associated with the former president, creating a hyper reality of reminiscence, especially during the 50th anniversary.
JFK’s presence is one that will remain prominent for years to come. Presidents who can create unison in the country are rare to come by. Whether the assassination was a conspiracy or fate, JFK connected the patriotic hearts of millions across the U.S.
“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” JFK said.
Though his term was short-lived, he created a connection, an everlasting bonding point for Americans to reflect on. This legacy is one that is irreplaceable. Jacqueline Kennedy perpetuated her uplifting message of the Kennedy administration in her interview with Life magazine directly after his death.
“There will be great presidents again,” Jacqueline Kennedy said. “But there will never be another Camelot.”
JFK only displayed charisma, but a sense of heroism is associated with his actions, leaving an immovable legacy in the hearts of countless Americans.
Published Nov. 20, 2013