Nov. 22 – President Kennedy is Dead!

Gay Lynn HillAmerican History(BR), Bell Ringers

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas.


Kennedy is one of four presidents who were assassinated in office. The man who shot him, Lee Harvey Oswald, was himself shot and killed two days later.

Much mystery has surrounded the assassination, and conspiracy theories continue to abound. Perhaps more interesting that this whodunit, however, is the question of “what if?”

(See: http://www.historyextra.com/article/premium/what-if-kennedy-had-lived)

While Kennedy’s time in office was important, his accidental successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, had a profound effect on the country. The assassination gave Democrats a large majority in Congress, allowing Johnson to escalate the war in Vietnam and successfully implement his Great Society program. Generally, second presidential terms are less change-oriented, and therefore much of what happened in the mid-decade may have been delayed, or moderated. But we will never know!

Questions:
  1. What difference do you think one president makes in history?
  2. Imagine if Stephen Douglas had been elected, instead of Lincoln. Or Hoover, instead of Roosevelt. Or McGovern, instead of Nixon. Do you think our country would have been very different?

Image Citation:

14, Nov. 2018, President John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald [Digital photographs].  Retrieved from <washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/11/02/tantalizing-mystery-of-missing-jfk-file-solved-23-years-ago/?utm_term=.3615d54852e1>.