On-Air Highlights

JFK's Assassination: 50th Anniversary

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Nov 5, 2013 9:43 AM

President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas in 1963 shocked the world, shattered a nation's hope, and dashed the dreams of many.  Join witf for a series of stories, interviews and more on FM and TV: 

witf FM:

  • Smart Talk - Monday Nov. 11 at 9:00am - Scott Lamar speaks with Mark Samels and Susan Bellows, producers of the film JFK: American Experience (airing on witf TV, see below) and Dr. G. Terry Madonna of Franklin and Marshall College, who taught classes on the Kennedy presidency.
  • Dallas correspondent Wade Goodwyn leads the coverage, reporting on how the assassination still lingers over Dallas, how the city commemorates November 22, and how time and changing demographics shape local residents' views of the assassination.
  • Morning Edition -- Brian Naylor reports on the evolution of presidential security, and Don Gonyea compares and contrast the styles of JFK and President Obama.
  • All Things Considered -  Arts correspondent Lynn Neary, reporting on how the anniversary spawned a publishing boom for Kennedy-related books (and exploring both the good and bad of a big anniversary for the writers (to air on ).
  • The CodeSwitch team weighs in, as Karen Grigsby Bates examines the legacy for Mexican-Americans of the Kennedy presidential campaign. Kennedy was the first presidential candidate to actively court Latino support.
  • Morning Edition broadcasts several interviews. Host Steve Inskeep speaks with two reporters who covered the assassination: Hugh Aynesworth and Sid Davis. Host David Greene talks to James Symington, an aide to Bobby Kennedy. The discussion showcases JFK's role in the civil rights movement.
  • In October All Things Considered host Melissa Block interviewed author Bill Minutaglio about his new book. The program will also rebroadcast a Walter Cronkite piece from the 40th anniversary.
  • Weekend Edition Sunday November 17 -  a report from Marcus Rosenbaum on the "conspiracy theories" -- especially after Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK captivated the public's imagination and raised anew doubts about the assassination of President Kennedy
  • Here and Now plans a series of segments to document JFK's influence and impact in Boston.
  • Diane Rehm Show for November 21: Diane will host a two-hour special on John F. Kennedy's presidency and the 50th anniversary of his death.In the first hour, Diane and her guests explore the gaps between public perceptions and the political realities of the era. In the second hour, Diane and her guests discuss ongoing questions about the assassination investigation.
  • On Point for November 22nd: First hour: The Week in the News roundtable will include Bill McKenzie from the Dallas Morning News. Second hour, 11am: Historian Robert Dallek, broadcast journalist Robert MacNeil and news analyst Jack Beatty.
  • Tell Me More is pursuing Congressman John Lewis for a discussion on JFK's civil rights legacy.
  • Weekend Edition Saturday November 23 -  host Scott Simon speaks with Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent in the Presidential motorcade who famously ran from the car he was riding in and jumped on the back of the Presidential limousine 

witf TV:

  • Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin's bullet, John F. Kennedy's presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This new portrait offers a fresh assessment of the man, his accomplishments and his unfulfilled promise. Produced and directed by Susan Bellows, JFK features interviews with Kennedy family members and historians including Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, and Evan Thomas. Beginning with Kennedy's childhood years as the privileged but sickly second son of one of the wealthiest men in America, the film explores his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his successful run for the U.S. Senate, and the game-changing presidential campaign that made him the youngest elected president in U.S. history.  Join us for JFK: American Experience Monday November 11 and Tuesday November 12 at 9:00pm.  This is a four hour documentary split over two days. 
  • NOVA: Cold Case - JFK  - See what science can tell us about the Kennedy assassination, and the investigations that followed. November 13 at 9:00pm. 
  • Secrets of the Dead: JFK - Review the story of the reporting from Dallas and the CBS Newsroom in NYC on the day Kennedy died.
  • Frontline - A two-hour reprise of its investigative biography of the man at the center of the political crime of the 20th century. At the heart of the assassination lies the puzzle of Lee Harvey Oswald: Was he the emotionally disturbed lone gunman of the 1964 Warren Commission report? Was he, as the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded, probably part of a conspiracy on that day in Dallas? Or was he an unwitting fall guy, the patsy, as Oswald himself claimed when he was arrested on November 22, 1963? Twenty years ago, in the most comprehensive attempt on American television to penetrate this enduring enigma, FRONTLINE's investigative team spent more than a year re-examining Oswald's life and sifting through the psychological, political and forensic evidence of his role in the assassination. Traveling to Japan, Russia, Europe, Mexico, Canada and across the United States, the team uncovered new witnesses, documents, photographs, video and audio recordings of Lee Oswald, many of which had never before been made public.  Frontline airs November 19 at 10:00pm.

In conjunction with the anniversary of the assassination, witf is asking where you were when you found out JFK was assassinated.

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