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November 22, 2013 | By Joel Silberman, guest blogger
This week, Americans from across the political and cultural spectrum have paid tribute to Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy with nostalgia-tinged reverence, a longing for a time when strong, inspiring leaders could bring us together in unity and move our country forward . The irony is that while the memories of Kennedy and Lincoln now serve mostly to unify Americans, both men were exceptionally divisive in their own times -- and the...
November 22, 2013 | By David Horsey
I am one of those who can easily answer the most singular question of my generation: “Where were you when John F. Kennedy was assassinated?” On this day exactly 50 years ago, I was a seventh-grader at R.H. Thomson Junior High School in Seattle. I was walking from the band room to another class when I saw a boy running in my direction through the crowded hallway. He was shouting something like, “They got him! They shot that bastard Kennedy!”  I remember the kid's face was filled with a menacing glee.
November 22, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
DALLAS - It was, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, as if the sky were weeping too. On a cold and rainy day, thousands gathered in downtown Dallas' Dealey Plaza to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The weather reminded those who were in Dallas 50 years ago of that day, also a Friday, which had dawned overcast but cleared to gleaming sunshine in time for Kennedy's arrival. On Friday, the skies never cleared. Rawlings unveiled a monument honoring Kennedy, engraved with words taken from the speech he was to have delivered at the Trade Mart.
November 21, 2013 | By Annlee Ellingson
On the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, "JFK: A President Betrayed" doesn't revisit what happened on that fateful day in Dallas. Instead, Cory Taylor's documentary examines the 35th president's failures and successes on the Cold War front with a wistfulness for what might have been had Lee Harvey Oswald (whose name isn't even mentioned) never taken aim. The film, narrated by velvet-voiced Morgan Freeman, weaves a suspenseful narrative from eyewitnesses, including the English and Russian translators present at JFK's Vienna summit with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev; academic experts; and the children of key players, revealing an empathetic, humanist side to the president's navigation of the Communist threat.
November 21, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Three days after Lee Harvey Oswald's bullet inconsolably blackened the mood of America, Leonard Bernstein tried to lift the nation's spirits by focusing on a special legacy - one that is getting too little attention in the commentary around Friday's 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Instead of performing a requiem Mass for a slain Roman Catholic president, Bernstein led the New York Philharmonic in Mahler's Second Symphony, known as the "Resurrection. " JFK had, like no president before him, empowered artists, and that was expected to last.
November 21, 2013 | By Bob Pool
The U.S. Postal Service wanted to honor slain President John F. Kennedy, but first it needed Jackie Kennedy's stamp of approval. That's how a Los Angeles Times photo came to be chosen for the first commemorative postage stamp honoring the fallen president following his Nov. 22, 1963, assassination in Dallas. The 5-cent stamp issued on May 29, 1964, was based on a photo of then-Sen. Kennedy during a visit to the Santa Monica beachfront home of his brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford, by Times staff photographer William S. Murphy.
November 21, 2013 | By Michael Muskal, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Michael Skakel, whose conviction in the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley was vacated last month, was released from custody after a Connecticut judge granted the Kennedy relative bail at $1.2 million on Thursday. [UPDATED 11:29 a.m. PST, Nov. 21 ] Skakel, 53, is the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of slain Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. Skakel has spent more than 11 years in prison as part of a sentence of 20 years to life in the murder case, set in the affluent Connecticut enclave of Greenwich.
November 21, 2013 | By Richard Reeves
Twenty-five years ago, I asked Charles Bartlett, a syndicated columnist, to tell me about his old and close friend, John F. Kennedy. Bartlett's answer: "No one ever knew John Kennedy, not all of him. " Now, 50 years after Kennedy's assassination, that answer still seems relevant. Kennedy was a compartmentalized man with much to hide, comfortable with secrets and lies. He organized his White House as a wagon wheel, with himself as what he called "the vital center," the hub. All of his relations along the spokes were bilateral.
November 12, 2013 | By Yuriko Nagano
TOKYO -- In the late 1980s, when Katsumi Suzuki was 20, he was mesmerized when he heard a recording of John F. Kennedy's inaugural address. "I heard the words 'Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country' and those were the most inspiring words I've ever heard," said Suzuki, a 46-year-old office worker. "I have been a loyal Kennedy fan -- of JFK and his family -- ever since, for the last 26 years. " Suzuki is not alone. President Kennedy is still remembered fondly by many in Japan, which gives a built-in base of support to the new U.S. ambassador, Caroline Kennedy.
November 8, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Among a fleet of documentaries launched on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy comes "Killing Kennedy," a dramatic take with Rob Lowe as the president and Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald. Premiering Sunday on National Geographic Channel, it's based on a book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, one in a told-in-present-tense series that also includes "Killing Lincoln," already made into a National Geographic TV movie, and "Killing Jesus" - literary docudramas, if you will.
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