Friday, November 22, 2013

November 22, 1963, Not-So-Golden Annversary

Chris Matthews, formerly of The San Francisco Examiner and currently host of MSNBC's Hardball, may be the closest thing remaining to the sort of old fashioned journalist I grew up wanting to be. As he has mentioned several times on his television show, he has written a book about John F. Kennedy. He avoids using the term "Camelot," but his memory of President Kennedy is certainly admiring. Matthews, in his youth, joined Kennedy's Peace Corps, as did others of my and Matthews' generation, many males of whom changed their hair styles to resemble that of Kennedy. Include Chris Matthews himself. Also Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich. Me, too. Sales of "greasy kid stuff" went the way of the buggy whip.

Matthews argues that Kennedy should be remembered for things other than his assassination on November 22, 1963. However, there are those of us who can never forget, because our world never looked the same to us again after Kennedy in Dallas, with Oswald and Ruby.

Chris Matthews nominates remembering Kennedy on his birthday or the anniversary of his civil rights speech in 1963. I could propose some other special dates: that of the Cuban Missle Crisis or the brutal murder of the South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem 20 days before Nov. 22, 1963.

You can see in the photo of JFK and his wife Jacqueline arriving in Ft. Worth on their way to Dallas. He wore a handsome smile. She wore a spotless pink suit.

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