Today is the 48th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy – November 22, 1963. I’ve had a great interest in the Kennedy family over the years, but recently I’ve been quite obsessed. I have watched and re-watched The Kennedys 8-hour miniseries on tv, as well as The Women of Camelot , Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onasis, and Robert Kennedy and His Times miniseries. I have also been reading Ted Kennedy’s memoir True Compass. When I’m finished with Teddy’s memoir, I’m going to read Bobby’s and Jack’s biographies. Bobby Kennedy is the one with whom I am most interested.
I have a love and passion for history, especially post World War 2 American history. It is what I studied in college earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The Kennedys were a huge part of that post-WW2 American history that I adore so much. Also being an only child, I’ve always been fascinated with huge families. I thought it would have been great to be a Kennedy until I learned in Teddy’s memoir that each child was only allowed one napkin per week for dinner. I practically use one napkin per bite. No, I wouldn’t have made it as a Kennedy.
Of all the Kennedys, Jack has always gotten most of the publicity. I guess being President of the United States will do that, but it was his younger brother Bobby, Attorney General, who was behind most of Jack’s critical presidential decisions – including the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Civil Rights legislation. Jack was also interesting to the public because of his playful ways and playboy image, whereas Bobby was the more serious religious husband and father. Jack had Frank Sinatra, but Bobby had Bobby Darin – one of of my favorites! What I admire most about Bobby was his sense of right and wrong and speaking his mind no matter who he was talking to and no matter what it might have done to his political career. Bobby stood up for what was right, even when it wasn’t popular. And he loved dogs!
The world would have been a different place, a much better place, had both brothers not been assassinated within 5 years of each other. I truly believe the United States would not have endured all those horrible years in the Vietnam War had Jack and Bobby lived. Jack’s assassination in 1963 ended the seemingly carefree prosperous post-war era. Bobby’s assassination in 1968 ended America’s era of hope and, along with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr two months earlier, began an era of disillusionment and cynicism that is unfortunately still with us today.