Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: What if JFK had lived; Did Oswald act alone?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 20, 2013 4:14 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, November 21, 2013:

Thumbnail image for Kennedy photo 300 x 170.jpg

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy. 

It is one of the few events in American history that are seared in the collective memory of the nation.  Everyone old enough to remember November 22, 1963 can describe where they were, what they were doing, and how they learned of the president's murder. 

In a nation that sometimes doesn't understand or appreciate its history, the Kennedy assassination was an event when almost everyone sensed a profound change immediately.  Maybe it was because of Kennedy's youth and public vitality or that he inspired Americans, but his death was a turning point in the 1960s.

Many Americans asked themselves, "What if JFK had lived?"  It's a question so many are repeating as the anniversary is contemplated.

JFK gravesite 400 x 250.jpg

Photo by Scott LaMar/witf

The crime itself is considered unsolved by millions.  How could a distraught loner without much going for him like Lee Harvey Oswald have killed the most powerful man in the world by himself?

Smart Talk addresses these questions on Thursday's program with Dr. Shirley Ann Warshaw, a presidential scholar and author at Gettysburg College and Dr. David Jackson, a Professor of Physics at Dickinson College.

Let us know what you think.  How would the U.S. be different if President Kennedy had lived?  Do you believe Oswald acted alone?  Where were you when you heard the president had been killed?

For the past month, in preparation for this anniversary, we've been asking you where you were when JFK was assassinated and what you think was his legacy. View some of your responses here.

Tagged under , , ,

back to top
  • realbutanonymous img 2013-11-21 09:26

    Dr. Warshaw, have you seen the Nova program on forensic gunnery analysis. It explains the objections quite well.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-21 09:31

    Flo in York emails:

    I was in 9th grade Latin class at East Juniata High School (Juniata County)
    when the asst. principal (my uncle) came into the room and told us of
    President Kennedy death - I think he went to each classroom
    and told everyone quietly.(there was no intercom announcement)

    Everyone in class including the teacher became very quiet and subdued.
    The next class was Band and I remember older kids being very upset and crying.

  • Robert D Colgan img 2013-11-21 09:31

    John Kennedy was ballsy.
    Had he lived he might well have pulled the US out of its direct military involvement in SE Asia, Vietnam. Kennedy's primary focus was always international affairs, and Kennedy knew well and wrote that war doesn't enhance international relations: He said that military preparedness was important, but war was not--war to Kennedy was a breakdown in the ability to find common ground.

    I thought Kennedy matured in his stance on civil rights. He might well have thrown his energy into enforcing civil rights, even though he was at first reluctant to do things not seen as politically safe. He came from privileged money, but his own suffering from all his physical ailments I think made him more sympathetic to the suffering of others.
    I doubt that he would have stayed out of the fray on pushing for full civil rights legislation and implementation.

    What died that November 22 wasn't just a man --it was the sense that America could achieve a greater sense of itself, that we could become a more caring and responsible people to the world.