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The New Kennedy Assassination Files

Kennedy Assassination ProQuest Research Topic

Kennedy Assassination ProQuest Research Topic

Tomorrow, November 22nd, marks the 54th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Late last month, scholars, amateur historians, and never-satisfied conspiracy junkies were poring over newly released files by the National Archives related to the assassination. The files have been released in accordance with the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act passed in 1992, which requires all materials related to the assassination be released within 25 years. However, to the chagrin of the conspiracy-minded hordes, several hundreds of files were blocked by President Trump at the behest of the CIA and FBI, who deemed some details within the withheld files would hurt U.S. national security or harm informants who are still alive today.

Educators can take this opportunity to teach students how to sift out fact from fiction with respect to this important moment in U.S. history with eLibrary’s significant content on Kennedy’s assassination and related topics.

Here is a sampling of the more interesting bits of information from eLibrary’s collection of newspaper articles reporting on the files released by the National Archives. Some information will perk the interest of conspiracy theorists:

Ruby Murders Oswald (Credit: Ira Jefferson "Jack" Beers Jr. (1910-2009) for The Dallas Morning News. Public Domain)

Ruby Murders Oswald (Credit: Ira Jefferson “Jack” Beers Jr. (1910-2009) for The Dallas Morning News. Public Domain)

  • The FBI warned Dallas Police that Lee Harvey Oswald’s life was in danger after he was taken into custody for Kennedy’s assassination.
  • Cambridge News, and a small daily British newspaper, received an anonymous tip of the assassination 25 minutes before the president was shot.
  • Russian-born Texas oilman, George de Mohrenschildt, met Lee Harvey Oswald at a social function in January 1963. de Mohrenschildt was George H.W. Bush’s prep school roommate’s uncle and was also a friend of first lady Jackie Kennedy’s parents.
  • Oswald visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City just weeks before the assassination.
  • The CIA knew Oswald was in Dallas days before Kennedy was assassinated.
  • Soviet defector Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Nosenko, who had been spying on Oswald while living in the Soviet Union, said the KGB did not try to recruit Oswald because they thought him to be unstable.
  • The Soviet Union feared that they would be blamed for Kennedy’s assassination and had suspicions that Vice President Lyndon Johnson was responsible.

Teachers can explore further into eLibrary’s store of information beginning with its Research Topics on the Kennedy Assassination, John F. Kennedy, and Lee Harvey Oswald. Researchers can also dig deeper with searches using eLibrary’s homepage and advanced search pages.

Check out these other Research Topics to further your students’ in-depth study of this issue:

 

Evaluating Resources
Writing a Research Paper

American Presidency
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Lyndon B. Johnson
ProQuest Research Topic Guide: Cold War
Robert F. Kennedy
Soviet Union

This Day in History: November 8

So, you think November 8 is not so special? Check out these events that happened on this day in the last few hundred years. Follow the links to great resources in eLibrary:

 

-1745: Charles Edward Stuart invades England

Charles Edward Stuart RT

Charles Edward Stuart Research Topic via ProQuest eLibrary

Catholic King James VII of Scotland (and II of England) had been removed in 1689 by the English Parliament in favor of the Protestant William of Orange, and over the decades there had been numerous attempts to bring James’ House of Stuart back into power. James’ grandson, Charles Edward Stuart, aka “The Pretender” and “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” led what became know as the Jacobite Rising of 1745. After having had success in raising an army and defeating government forces in a number of engagements in Scotland, an emboldened Charles crossed the border into England, where his forces besieged the city of Carlisle and marched unhindered into Manchester and Preston. Fearing defeat by several English armies, Charles’ advisers persuaded him not to attack Derby and to fall back into Scotland, where his rebellion was ended at the Battle of Culloden.

 

-1861: The Trent Affair occurs

Half a year into the Civil War, the USS San Jacinto intercepted a British ship and detained two Confederate diplomats on their way to Europe in an effort to gain diplomatic recognition from Britain and France. The British government protested, and for a couple of weeks there was the possibility of war with Britain. President Lincoln defused the situation by releasing the Confederates and issuing an apology.

 

-1923: The Beer Hall Putsch takes place in Munich, Germany

Beer Hall Putsch RT

Beer Hall Putsch Research Topic via ProQuest eLibrary

Inspired by Benito Mussolini’s successful takeover of Italy, Adolf Hitler attempted a coup against the Weimar Republic government. He and and group of armed Nazi Party associates surrounded a beer hall at which Gustav von Kahr, who along with Colonel Hans Ritter von Seisser and Reichswehr General Otto von Lossow were running Bavaria under emergency powers, was speaking. After gaining support of the crowd with a rousing speech, Hitler eventually talked the three into supporting his plan. After fights and chaos across Munich through the night and the next day, the putsch failed and Hitler was tried and convicted of treason. However, the incident gave him national exposure, and while in prison, Hitler wrote his manifesto Mein Kampf.

 

-1960: John F. Kennedy wins the presidency over Richard Nixon

1960 Presidential Election RT

U.S. Presidential Election, 1960 Research Topic via ProQuest eLibrary

After having led an effective campaign over a more-experienced opponent, Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy, barely into only his second term as a senator, defeated Republican Richard Nixon. The campaign and election were notable for a number of reasons, including the occurrence of the first televised presidential debate (famous for Nixon’s paleness and sweating), the extremely tight race (Kennedy won the popular vote by only about 113,000 votes nationwide and won in the Electoral College 303 to 219) and the election of the first Roman Catholic president.

 

-1966: Edward Brooke becomes the first African-American elected to the Senate by popular vote since Reconstruction

Brooke, a centrist Republican, defeated former governor Endicott Peabody in a landslide despite the fact that there were very few black people in Massachusetts. Brooke was a champion of civil rights for blacks, but said he did not want to be seen as “a national leader for the Negro people.”

 

-2013: Typhoon Haiyan strikes the Philippines and other parts of southeast Asia

The massive storm achieved wind speeds of up to 195 miles per hour, making it the most powerful tropical storm to make landfall. The storm devastated the Philippines, killing around 6,300 people and leaving thousands without permanent housing two years after the storm.

July 1964: 50 Years of the Civil Rights Act

July 2, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of a turning point in American civil rights history. It was on this day the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law. Many consider this law the toughest civil rights statute since Reconstruction and perhaps the most significant piece of legislation of the entire twentieth century. The Act prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It banned racial segregation in the workplace, schools and public facilities. It protected voter rights by barring unequal registration requirements for people of color, although it did not bar all voting discrimination.

While it was originally proposed by President Kennedy in 1963, he had reservations about passing civil rights legislation. Southern legislators who controlled the Senate were opposed to it, and President John Kennedy wanted to ensure his other legislative priorities would be given attention and passage. President Kennedy believed he would have a second term to enact civil rights legislation.  His assassination in November 1963 would be the catalyst for President Lyndon Johnson, a former senator from the South, to use his political skill in working with the Senate to achieve a law long overdue even risking his own political future.

President Lyndon Johnson shakes the hand of Dr. Martin Luther King at the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Beyond the surface of the Civil Rights Act, its impact was almost immediate and its legacy varied. Strides were quickly made in regard to desegregation in public accommodations and voting rights which helped spur the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  While there remained inequities among the races, division by race and class primarily, opportunities for African Americans, and in later years Latinos, Asians and Native Americans increased.  Rep. John Lewis, a notable veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, in recalling the days of discrimination and segregation, perhaps put the impact and legacy of the law best:  “Those signs are gone, the fear is gone.  America is a better nation and we are a better people because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

 

Fifty Years Later: The Kennedy Assassination

Where were you when…?  For this generation and the one before that question would end with September 11th.  For your parents’ and grandparents’ generations, that question would end with the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  Prior to September 11, 2001, besides December 7, 1941 (the attack on Pearl Harbor), no other date was as well-known as November 22, 1963.  On this date in Dallas, Texas, the United States lost its President.  Not just any President.  John F. Kennedy was the youngest at age 43 to be elected President and the first President born in the 20th century.  He was America’s first Catholic President.  He and his family — Jackie, Caroline and John Jr. — were America’s “royalty” in what came to be known the “Camelot Era.”

The Eternal Flame at President John F. Kennedy's Memorial at Arlington

eLibrary offers a wealth of information on President Kennedy — his life, his presidency and his assassination.  One interesting John Kennedy Jr. saluting his fatherplace to get a feel for the time is MPI Videos.  You will see footage of the day of the assassination and the president’s lying in state, his military funeral and the lighting of the eternal flame at his grave.  See historic photographs from Dallas and Washington.  Lyndon Johnson taking the presidential oath with Mrs. Kennedy at his side, Jack Ruby moving in to shoot alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and John F. Kennedy, Jr. saluting his father as the casket carrying his body passed are just a few of the iconic images of those mournful days.  Finally, get an illustration from a Reuters News graphic of how the assassination took place as the President’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas.

Warren Commission Report on the Kennedy AssassinationWhile Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with President Kennedy’s assassination, conspiracy theories have abounded as to whether he was the only assassin.  The Warren Commission in its 1964 report concluded Oswald acted alone.  Later, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations found the report flawed and concluded JFK’s killing was more than likely a conspiracy.  We may never know the whole truth.  Regardless, the assassination of President Kennedy will remain a turning point in American history.