Friday, November 22, 2013

Avoiding the circus

I've lived in Dallas suburbs for for over 22 years.  I've worked less than a mile from the spot where President John F. Kennedy was shot for 19 years.  I've never walked around Dealey Plaza and I've only been to the 6th Floor Museum at the old Texas School Book Repository once with a 6th grade field trip.

By the time this post goes live, I'll be home in bed, avoiding the circus surrounding today's 50th anniversary of the assassination of Kennedy.

I'm a history major and I love presidential cards so I can't explain the reason for my distancing from the anniversary.  It should be right up my alley, but I find the whole thing a bit gruesome.  CNN and other networks are repeatedly showing the assassination frame by frame right up to the point where Kennedy's head explodes and they leave that image up on the screen as if they just got video evidence of the existence of unicorns.  I think it's a bit much and since part of my job is to have the news on all the time, I've grown weary of the buildup to today.  I'll just be glad when it's over and the focus on Dallas won't be that this is where Kennedy was killed.  It flares up a little each year, but of course 50 is a nice round number so it's been even worse.

Sometimes I wonder if Kennedy would be remembered so fondly if he'd lived.  His womanizing and cheating on Jackie might have tarnished his image a bit more had he lived.  Alas, we'll never know.

It's a solemn day in Dallas and so I'll avoid any witty (in my head) cracks about Kennedy, the assassination and how this city will always be remembered for his death.


  1. I'm with you. I avoid downtown like it's the plague this time every year. However, I do believe they could have done a better job with the museum, I've always thought it was a little boring. Maybe I'm just cynical.

    And as far as how history would remember him had he not been shot, I'm with you there too. Beyond his infidelities, he was responsible for the Bay of Pigs and fumbled the Vietnam situation (he could have easily pulled the US out of that conflict)...but that's neither here nor there.

    (Sorry, my fist BA was in history, so I enjoy the good conversation)

  2. That's an interesting question about how Kennedy would be remembered if he had lived. I have often thought the same about Abraham Lincoln as well. Would Bill Clinton be remembered better if he had been assassinated in 1995? Probably. Do the good stuff first and be remembered before you inevitably screw up later, although I don't think the womanizing would have hurt Kennedy due to media restrictions at the time.

    The one thing that we might have avoided with Kennedy surviving was the Watergate scandal and the accompanying cynical attitude toward politics and politicians in general.

  3. About 6 years ago, I got to stay at the hotel in Fort Worth where he stayed that day. In the lobby, they had a picture of him from that fateful day, exiting the hotel. I thought it was pretty cool. (I don't really travel much.)

  4. i've been through dealey plaza once, but didn't stop. what struck me is how that area seemed stuck in time - i guess it will never be redeveloped or significantly altered which makes it tough for a city to move on.