Friday will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A special commemoration service will be held in Dallas, including a moment of silence at 12:30 p.m. — the actual time JFK was shot.
Over the next few days, there will be many TV movies, news broadcasts and newspaper stories recalling the tragic events of that day in Dealey Plaza. Included among these retrospectives will be the recollections of Americans who remember what they were doing and where they were when they learned Kennedy had been shot.
There will also be comments from analysts who will grade Kennedy on the success and failures of his short presidency and speculate on what might have been had the young president not died on Nov. 22, 1963.
And of course there is the question that has troubled some Americans for decades: Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?
Conspiracy theorists certainly don’t think so. They point to the famous Zapruder film (a 26-second home color movie shot by Abraham Zapruder of the president’s motorcade as it traveled through Dealey Plaza) as evidence that more than one shooter was involved in the assassination.
Count Hollywood film director Oliver Stone among those who think someone other than Oswald might have killed JFK. Stone has long been a very vocal critic of the single-bullet theory outlined in the Warren Commission’s official report on the assassination.
In his 1991 movie, “JFK,” Stone tells the (mostly) true story of former New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, who brought charges against a businessman whom he believed to have been part of an elaborate plan by some in the government to assassinate the president.
Stone is not alone in thinking the lone gunman theory doesn’t hold up to the facts. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC’s Tom Brokaw earlier this month that he has “serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.”
Kerry also said he felt Oswald was “inspired somewhere by something” to kill the president.
“I’m not sure if anybody else was involved, I don’t go down that road with respect to the grassy knoll theory and all of that,” he said in a NBC special report on the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. “But I have serious questions about whether they got to the bottom of Lee Harvey Oswald’s time and influence from Cuba and Russia.”
A week after making those comments, however, Kerry refused to elaborate on the matter in a second interview. He told NBC’s “Meet the Press” host David Gregory he didn’t want to “get into” the JFK assassination.
“It’s not something that I think needs to be commented on, and certainly not at this time,” Kerry said.
We want to hear from you. Do you think Oswald acted alone in the Kennedy assassination?
Send your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717 Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification. We will print your responses on the Opinion pages in the coming weeks.