Thread: John F Kennedy

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    South Wales
    Posts
    1,809

    Default John F Kennedy

    No less entwined in the history of our favourite programme is the sad assassination of John F Kennedy, the news of which dominated our television screens on 23rd November 1963, curtailing the start of Dr. Who by at least five minutes.
    The history books have much to say about the short tenure of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 25th President of The United States of America. His short term in office was marked in equal measure by triumph and tragedy, whether it be in failed invasions of Cuba (The Bay of Pigs fiasco) or in triumphant speeches in which he announced new frontiers and that man would set foot on the moon by the end of the 1960s, thereby inaugurating the space race between Russia and the USA.
    On 22nd November 1963 Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, the news of his death quickly spread across the world, due in part to the still new medium of television.
    But my question is this, right up until his death on that fateful day, Kennedy's influence was far reaching, no doubt the man was charismatic, people still talk about him today with affection, but what would have happened, what would Kennedy have achieved had his life not been cut down so tragically at a relatively young age?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bracknell, Berks
    Posts
    29,120

    Default

    It's a huge speculative question that one Stephen. Who knows he could have lead the USA on to greater heights or he could have been dogged by controversy like the other members of his family were in the years to come.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sittingbourne, Kent, UK
    Posts
    2,403

    Default

    A few minor nits:

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Morgan View Post
    No less entwined in the history of our favourite programme is the sad assassination of John F Kennedy, the news of which dominated our television screens on 23rd November 1963, curtailing the start of Dr. Who by at least five minutes.
    Doctor Who's first episode was transmitted only 80 seconds later than scheduled due to extended news coverage of Kennedy's assassination. The myth that it was repeated because of the assassination is also untrue: it was repeated because a number of power cuts across the country at the time meant many would have missed it and hence not been able to make much of episode 2.

    he announced new frontiers and that man would set foot on the moon by the end of the 1960s, thereby inaugurating the space race between Russia and the USA.
    The space race was on before Kennedy came to office. It pretty well started the moment the war ended, and was well underway by the time Sputnik was launched in 1957.

    But my question is this, right up until his death on that fateful day, Kennedy's influence was far reaching, no doubt the man was charismatic, people still talk about him today with affection, but what would have happened, what would Kennedy have achieved had his life not been cut down so tragically at a relatively young age?
    That's a difficult question to answer. He was indeed charismatic, but his presidency was a time of great upheaval, with the Vietnam war as well as Apollo showing the best and worst of human nature alongside each other. Whether he could have successfully navigated those trouble waters is something we'll never know.

    He is the man who delivered probably my favourite politcical speech of all time, at Rice University in 1962:

    "We choose to go to the Moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    17,646

    Default

    We tend to think of the 60's as an optimistic, carefree decade. But with the rise of the threat of nuclear war and the death of JFK, it must have felt pretty harrowing.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sittingbourne, Kent, UK
    Posts
    2,403

    Default

    Indeed it must. There was a telegram received by NASA after the Apollo 8 mission thst I think sums that up nicely. In 1968 there were riots, the Vietnam war was getting worse, Martin Luther King was assassinated, Robert Kennedy was assassinated, and heaven-only knows what else was going on.

    Then, Christmas day that year, the first men to fly to the Moon broadcast a live TV show from lunar orbit in which they read from the book of Genesis. Among the many telegrams from dignitaries and celebrities was one from a member of the public that simple said:

    'You saved 1968'.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Sawbridgeworth
    Posts
    25,126

    Default

    Put your hands on me...John F Kennedy. I can make you squeal baby... as long as you pay me.

    Si.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    4,971

    Default

    There's a good argument that JFK "stole" the 1960 election. There has been a lot written about the Kennedy family's Mafia connections, and that a couple of states were "stolen" by Democrats in power - notably Illinois and Texas. Whether or not this is true is a different matter.

    During his Presidency, there were a number of absolutely idiotic moments - the botched Cuba invasion that Stephen has already mentioned, then he brought the world the closest to nuclear war that it's EVER been ("two minutes to midnight"). Of course, he was the President that took the USA into the Vietnam War - which until Afghanistan, is considered to be one of the longest and toughest wars in military history.

    Then there were his well-publicised dalliances. It's well-speculated upon that he had an affair with Marilyn Monroe, amongst others. If he had survived the 1963 assassination, then his promiscuity may have caused a scandal that brought him down. As he once said to British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan: "I wonder how it is for you, Harold? If I don't have a woman for three days, I get terrible headaches."

    Finally, for the first two years of his Presidency, he stayed well out of the Civil Rights movement, for fear of losing the Southern Democrat vote (the South being predominantly Democrat at the time, the Democrats having been the party that supported the South's break away from the Union during the Civil War). It was only in 1963 that he started making moves to supporting Civil Rights - work that would eventually be completed by his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson - and that would turn the South Republican.

    So, was JFK a good President? I don't think he was a bad President, but I'm almost certain that if he hadn't been assassinated and served a full term (or maybe even two), he would not be seen as one of the greats as he is today.

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Walsall, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    4,631

    Default

    Some interesting discussion a short time ago on the Review show about Stephen King's new book 11/22/63 in which a time travelling teacher attempts to prevent the Kennedy assassination!

Similar Threads

  1. John Cater RIP
    By Stephen Morgan in forum General Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 5th Apr 2009, 2:20 PM
  2. John Mortimer RIP
    By Stuart Wallis in forum Books (Etc)
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 16th Jan 2009, 9:52 PM
  3. John Ringham RIP
    By Stephen Morgan in forum Adventures In Time and Space
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 8th Nov 2008, 10:45 PM