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JFK's death

November 27, 2008

Re "The day Vietnam changed," Opinion, Nov. 22

Gordon M. Goldstein's Opinion piece raises some interesting questions about whether John F. Kennedy would have withdrawn U.S. forces from Vietnam if he had lived. Ultimately, that is unknowable.

However, to me, the most interesting comment made by Goldstein was that if Kennedy had lived, "he would not have had Johnson's grand liberal agenda of Great Society legislation to ram through Congress."

That's absolutely true. But we should remember that the most enduring legacies of Johnson's Great Society were the civil rights and voting rights bills that he "rammed" through Congress. Without Johnson's power over Congress, it's unlikely that we would now have a black president waiting for inauguration day. The assassin's bullet in Dealey Plaza changed our world forever -- not entirely in bad ways.

Dale Jennings

Boulevard, Calif.

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