JFK Assassination 45 Years Later: Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ya

Today, November 22 is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Many readers weren’t born when this happened in 1963.

When talking to older people, several events stick out in their minds:

Hearing about Pearl Harbor
The assassination of JFK
The planes hitting the WTC and the Pentagon

Most people alive at the time and old enough to be aware of what was going on can tell you right where they were the moment they heard the news about JFK. Yet years later, 45 to be exact, conspiracy theories still run rampant and we aren’t really sure why he was killed.

Where were you when you heard the news? If you weren’t on the scene yet, where were your parents? Have you heard them and your grandparents discuss this tragic event?

Camelot and Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ya have both been associated with JRK. Camelot described the new era the first 3 years that JFK was in office. Johnny We Hardly Knew Ya was an Irish folk song. Why were these phrases associated with this political dynasty?

The Kennedys, while presenting the image of Camelot, have led tragic lives. Joe, the oldest, was killed in WWII. Rosemary the disabled daughter was given a lobotomy to cure her developmental delays. JFK severely injured during WWII and assassinated while in office. Bobby Kennedy assassinated while running for president. Teddy Kennedy involved in an automobile accident that dashed any chances of the presidency. Today he has an inoperable brain tumor. Jackie Kennedy had an early death from lymphoma. John Junior and his wife were killed in a private plane crash. Yet our image of Camelot lingers, albeit a bit tarnished and more grounded in reality.

Johnny We Hardly Knew Ya. How would things be different had you lived?

Museum of American History Reopens: Glimpse of VA History Emerges

The “whites only” lunch counter that helped to spark the civil rights movement is on display for the reopening of the National Museum of American History in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008. Smithsonian staff member Maverick Parker works in the background, preparing the museum for the public when the doors open on Friday, Nov. 21.

Source: Insidenova.com

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The National Museum of American History has reopened after a two-year, $85 million renovation.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell read President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on Friday morning to a crowd of at least 200 people who had gathered on the museum’s steps before the doors opened.

Costumed historic characters portraying George and Martha Washington, among others, are on hand for a three-day festival to celebrate the reopening.

Inside, visitors found favorite exhibits such as Kermit the Frog and a gallery devoted to the American presidency.

A line quickly formed outside the Star-Spangled Banner gallery. The museum opened with the firing of a cannon from that era.

A side note, tonight is the last night for the 4 story light show on the NMAH building. It will be projected from 5 -10 pm.

More Virginia History-

Back in the 50’s and 60’s, the lunch counters at Miller & Rhoads and Thalhimers department stores in Richmond both were scenes of protest because of segregated lunch counters. For those of you who missed the lunch counter era of huge department stores, just hearing about it might seem meaningless.

Virginia managed to survive massive resistance and school closings in 4 different localities. To my knowledge, Virginia was never associated with the violence one thinks of during the days of desegregation. Perhaps Virginia is for lover and handles change well. Did we not just turn Virgina blue?

Further reading on Virginia’s Civil Rights history is more important than ever. In 1989 Virginia elected its first black governor since Reconstruction and on November 4, 2008, not only voted Democratic for the first time since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but also voted Democratic for the first Black President of the United States.