If you turned on a television, accessed the Internet, looked at a newspaper or generally interacted with the outside world today, you probably noticed that there are a lot of things to read and watch about President John F. Kennedy.
The 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination has produced a torrent of stories, packages, recollections and remembrances. With all of this coverage, it could be easy to miss something really interesting or worthwhile. So here are some of the things you should definitely not miss today:
The Washington Post’s JFK coverage
You can see all of our articles, videos and galleries here. Make sure you check out Monica Hesse’s story about four shattering days, Michael Ruane on Abraham Zapruder and Joel Achenbach’s visit to Dealey Plaza.
“Angel is Airborne”
Washingtonian’s story focuses on what happened aboard Air Force One. Garrett M. Graff looked through dozens of memoirs and oral histories, hundreds of pages of documents and listened to the audio recording of Air Force One’s radio traffic with Andrews Air Force Base to pull together a story about the flight from Dallas to Washington — which saw the first hours of Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency. Part one is here and part two is here.
The Dallas Morning News has produced a yearlong series about the assassination. Highlights include a documentary about the event, a look at the impact on the city’s residents and this story about the Secret Service agent tasked with protecting the family of Lee Harvey Oswald.
“If, as they say, Americans of that generation remember exactly where they were when President Kennedy was shot, the former Marines remember exactly where the president’s remains were after he was shot.” Michael Winerip looks at the men who served as Marine body bearers or otherwise stood watch after JFK’s assassination. About half of the 60 men who did this are having a reunion today in a suburb of Dallas. Their recollections included time with JFK and his family in the months before he was killed as well as their work after his death.
Newspaper front pages
Some outlets have reproduced their front pages from the day of the assassination or the day.
New York Daily News
New York Post
The Washington Post
Listen to the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s audience get the news
A concert by the orchestra on Nov. 22, 1963, happened to be broadcast on the radio by WGBH. As a result, we have a recording letting us hear how the crowd reacts after BSO music director Erich Leinsdorf broke the news to the audience. What followed was a slow, mournful performance of the funeral march from Beethoven’s Third Symphony. Head to TIME for more.
Dealey Plaza remains a powerful draw for tourists, as this photo gallery from Al Jazeera America demonstrates.
This Twitter account, operated by the John F. Kennedy Library, has been tweeting updates from JFK’s days in office in real time (albeit five decades later). Followers watched as dispatches about arriving in Dallas gave way to reports from Walter Cronkite about the assassination.
Watch the CBS News report from 1963
Beginning at 1:38 p.m. today, CBSNews.com will stream the CBS News broadcast from the minutes, hours and days after JFK was killed. The stream, which will be available here, will last for four days. That will include Walter Cronkite’s famous initial report as well as broadcasts leading up to JFK’s funeral on Nov. 25, 1963.
How the AP and UPI covered the assassination
These may only be interesting to journalists, but since so much of our perspective on events comes from news reports, they could be useful to other people as well.
The Atlantic’s In Focus blog posted pages of Associated Press copy from Nov. 22, 1963, showing how the wire service’s story evolved as new information emerged.
Meanwhile, this American Journalism Review story from 1998 explains how Merriman Smith of United Press International covered the assassination, saying Smith’s work is considered by some “as the finest deadline reporting of the century.” [via]