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Memories

Reader comment on item: Memories of John F. Kennedy's Inauguration
in response to reader comment: How would things be different?

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Jan 26, 2011 at 18:46

Kennedy's line "ask not what your country can do for you..." inspired me, too, even though I was just an elementary school kid. But I have more vivid memories of his assassination. Our 5th grade teacher was called to the office, along with all other teachers, and we were left along to work on our assignments (such innocent times those were, when a classroom of healthy kids could be trusted!). He came back a few minutes later ashen face, reporting that the President had been shot. A little while later, the principal came on to announce that the President had died, and that school would be dismissed early. We left early, but not one of us was glad, including the few who dared to identify themselves as Republicans.

But would things have been different had Kennedy lived? My guess is that Kennedy is an inspiring figure simply because he died before the 1960's had soured. Had he lived, his political career would have been ruined by the Viet Nam War and the militancy of the later Civil Rights era, How he would have reacted to the 1967 Six-Day-War (assuming he won a second term in 1964) is anyone's guess. I suspect that after winning their foothold in the Caribbean and getting away with building the Berlin Wall on Kennedy's watch, the Soviets would have continued to prod and support subversion, and all the best intentions of Kennedy's short administration would have been thwarted by the intelligentsia of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (to say nothing of most of Europe) being intoxicated with Marxism.

I suspect that all the other forces that make and break history would have continued as they were.


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Reader comments (17) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
The image that won't go away [249 words]Chester AnthonyMar 12, 2011 07:47183341
My political awakening as well but [62 words]John WhiteFeb 25, 2011 18:24182972
Kennedy: bad president [80 words]abajo Fidel, abajo RaúlFeb 13, 2011 08:19182616
2JFK?? [61 words]Progressive EdJan 30, 2011 12:20182137
agree to disagree [47 words]Barbara BurrightFeb 3, 2011 18:12182137
Our Country is NOT Our Government [120 words]MikeFeb 17, 2011 04:24182137
Thank you [55 words]Jay1Jan 27, 2011 21:53182084
I too [107 words]Rick FergusonJan 25, 2011 22:05182047
1Long-lasting Kennedy Legacy [425 words]M. ToveyJan 26, 2011 19:29182047
JFK. [145 words]AlbertE.Jan 29, 2011 09:44182047
Kennedy Inauguration Speech [14 words]RCCAJan 24, 2011 22:24182025
How would things be different? [39 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Stu FaginJan 24, 2011 00:39181991
Memories [281 words]Peter HerzJan 26, 2011 18:46181991
Kennedy [22 words]Hessel MeilechJan 23, 2011 16:45181976
Tears for Kennedy [53 words]Alan TaikeffJan 23, 2011 16:10181971
John F. Kennedy's Inauguration [68 words]Phil DragooJan 23, 2011 15:32181968
Kennedy [30 words]Kieran GallagherJan 23, 2011 07:25181959

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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