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  • Originally published 01/09/2018

    The Other Terrifying Lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis

    George Perkovich

    Historians have focused on how John F. Kennedy’s wisdom narrowly averted a nuclear catastrophe. They’ve paid less attention to how little we knew about the Soviets’ true intentions.

  • Originally published 11/20/2017

    The JFK assassination files lead back to Seattle

    A University of Washington professor says that one of the doctors who worked on JFK’s body admitted that one shot was from the front not behind him. But that's not what the doctor told Gerald Posner.

  • Originally published 11/06/2017

    JFK files say rumors of CIA link to Oswald ‘unfounded’

    A 1975 CIA memo says a thorough search of agency records in and outside the United States was conducted to determine whether Oswald had been used by the agency or connected with it in "any conceivable way." The memo said the search came up empty.

  • Originally published 10/30/2017

    Scraping the bottom of the barrel

    Dale K. Myers

    The latest JFK assassination files leave the media scrambling for something - anything - newsworthy.

  • Originally published 10/30/2017

    The One Thing All Americans Agree On: JFK Conspiracy

    The latest numbers from Gallup, from a 2013 survey taken to mark the 50th anniversary of the event, showed 61% of Americans believed the assassination was a conspiracy, while 30% believed Oswald acted alone.

  • Originally published 10/27/2017

    The Cuban Missile Crisis at 55

    James G. Blight and Janet M. Lang

    “The bullshitter…does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.” —Harry G. Frankfurt, "On Bullshit"

  • Originally published 10/26/2017

    How to Read the JFK Assassination Files

    The government is releasing thousands of long-secret files on Kennedy’s murder. Here are some tips for making sense of all the code names, redactions and confusing jargon.

  • Originally published 10/23/2017

    What’s inside the secret JFK assassination files?

    Secret government documents to be released this week likely contain new details about what the CIA knew about Lee Harvey Oswald before he murdered President John F. Kennedy, assassination experts say.

  • Originally published 09/25/2017

    Before Trump vs. the NFL, there was Jackie Robinson vs. JFK

    Jackie Robinson, the hero who integrated Major League Baseball in 1947, spoke out loudly for civil rights and challenged President John F. Kennedy to stop dithering on black equality. Unlike Trump, JFK sought to understand Robinson’s complaints.

  • Originally published 06/05/2017

    JFK’s Russian Conspiracy

    Tim Naftali

    Kennedy had his own secret back channel with Moscow. It may have kept the superpowers from going to war.

  • Originally published 05/29/2017

    What John F. Kennedy teaches us today

    Robert Dallek

    Donald Trump would do well to ponder the lessons of John Kennedy’s presidency on the occasion of JFK’s centenary.

  • Originally published 02/28/2017

    JFK at 100

    Patrick Lacroix

    What’s his legacy 100 years after his birth?

  • Originally published 04/20/2016

    JFK. A Motorcade. A Rifle. But this Wasn’t Dallas.

    Stephen F. Knott

    Recently discovered evidence in the archives of the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston shows there was a serious breach of security in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis that could have altered the course of history.

  • Originally published 03/07/2016

    The Myth of Joe Kennedy’s Bootlegging

    Noah Rothbaum

    No matter how many trysts JFK had or how much he drank, his habits paled in comparison to his father Joe’s alleged activities during Prohibition.

  • Originally published 10/21/2015

    Kennedy Assassin Photo Verified

    By performing a 3-D stability analysis on the ‘Lee Harvey Oswald in the Backyard Photo’, the Dartmouth University scientists claim they have proven its legitimacy.

  • Originally published 09/16/2015

    President's Daily Briefs from Kennedy and Johnson Finally Released

    Today the National Security Archive is proud to post a compilation of our ongoing work to shed light on these important documents. The collection is comprised of dozens of records and the Ninth Circuit Court ruling, which paved the way for today's disclosure.

  • Originally published 11/22/2014

    A Rare Look At JFK's Off-Air Personality

    A rare glimpse of Kennedy’s off-air persona. In the clip, dug up by MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Kennedy can be heard speaking candidly about that first televised presidential debate,

  • Originally published 11/19/2014

    Obama’s JFK Problem

    Fredrik Logevall and Gordon M. Goldstein

    How the battle between the president and his joint chiefs chairman over Iraq recalls the early days of Vietnam.

  • Originally published 11/25/2013

    ‘November 22, 1963’

    Errol Morris

    Josiah “Tink” Thompson returns to what has haunted him for 50 years: Frame #313 of the Zapruder film.

  • Originally published 11/22/2013

    Kennedy's Legacy of Inspiration

    Robert Dallek

    Fifty years after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, he remains an object of almost universal admiration.

  • Originally published 11/20/2013

    JFK's Real Legacy

    Ivan Eland

    The unintended consequences of needless foreign meddling.

  • Originally published 11/18/2013

    Why Lee Harvey Oswald Pulled the Trigger

    Steven M. Gillon

    The Warren Commission painted him as a disaffected sociopath. But Oswald actually had a political reason to kill JFK: to impress Castro.

  • Originally published 11/13/2013

    The Kennedys and Martin Luther King

    Yohuru Williams

    King and the Kennedys remain important symbols of the power of hope and the promise of a just democracy.

  • Originally published 11/12/2013

    Lee Harvey Oswald Was My Friend

    Paul Gregory

    From nearly the moment I met Lee Harvey Oswald, it seemed that he felt the world had sized him up wrong.

  • Originally published 10/28/2013

    Rethinking the JFK Legacy

    Steven M. Gillon

    There is a wide gap between the way historians view JFK and how the public perceives him. Why?

  • Originally published 09/12/2013

    JFK vs. the Military

    Robert Dallek

    During the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy struggled as much with the Pentagon as he did with the Kremlin.

  • Originally published 07/25/2013

    Book: Jimmy Carter targeted by US and foreign assassins

    Potential assassins have threatened the life of Jimmy Carter multiple times since he left the White House in 1981, making the one-term Georgian the most threatened former president in history, according to a new book about John F. Kennedy and his assassination 50 years ago.In "The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy," Carter told author Larry J. Sabato that he has faced at least three home-grown assassination attempts since returning to Georgia and is constantly warned by the U.S. Secret Service of personal threats during his frequent overseas travel."I have had two or three threats to my life after I came home from the White House," Carter said in the highly-anticipated book due out October 22. "When I go on an overseas trip almost invariably, I get a report from the Secret Service that where I'm going is very dangerous," he added in the book provided in advance to Secrets....

  • Originally published 07/05/2013

    Can JFK's Pan Am Terminal be saved?

    If you saw that blessedly short-lived television series called Pan Am a couple of years ago, you probably think, as I do, that the best thing about it was the Pan Am terminal at J.F.K., a cheerful, round structure with a gigantic overhanging concrete roof that seemed to emerge out of the naïve notion that flying could be fun: airport as midcentury modern circus. The building was certainly more exuberant, not to say more convincing, than any character in the show.

  • Originally published 06/27/2013

    Indelible memory of Kennedy's speech in Berlin

    A pair of slippers awaits visitors at the entrance of a cozy two-room apartment in Berlin's Westend district -- the kind one might expect in one of Berlin's many old palaces and villas. But those looking for any valuable antiques here will be disappointed. Instead, every inch of wall space is covered with old photographs. The centerpiece of the collection is a black-and-white shot of John F. Kennedy waving from an open limousine.The day Werner Eckert took the snapshot is still vividly engrained in his mind. It was one of the most influential events of the 81 year old's life. On June 26, 1963, the 35th American president came to visit West Berlin in a demonstration of solidarity with the people living in the divided city."There was never anyone like Kennedy before," Eckert says, recalling the visit. "You had a feeling you could immediately become friends with him. He may have been the most powerful man in the world, but his charisma immediately made you lose any reservations."...

  • Originally published 06/26/2013

    Ted Widmer: Ich Bin Ein Berliner

    Ted Widmer is assistant to the president for special projects at Brown University. He recently edited “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy.”The last of John F. Kennedy’s extraordinary troika of speeches in June 1963 occurred on this day, 50 years ago.With each, he broke new ground. On June 10, at American University in Washington, he sketched a vision of coexistence with the Soviet Union, strikingly at odds with the more bellicose messages of 1961 and 1962. On June 11, in a televised address, he endorsed the civil rights movement and promised a bill, far in advance of what any president had done, and in advance of where he himself was a few months earlier.On June 26 he came to Berlin, on one of the most frenzied days in the history of the Cold War. A huge crowd — estimated at 1.1 million, or 58 percent of Berlin’s population — came out to see him.

  • Originally published 06/21/2013

    Jens F. Laurson and George Pieler: Trying To Make History In Berlin, Obama Fed The Germans Platitudes

    Jens F. Laurson and George Pieler are contributors to Forbes.He didn’t call himself a jelly doughnut (neither did JFK actually, but let’s ignore that), but President Obama fell right into the I-must-make-history trap in his Brandenburg Gate speech. The problem is that the relevant history already has been made, as the President pointed out himself. Mr. Obama rightly lauded the determination of Germans to achieve their human aspirations as the reason the Wall no longer stands, but he confused the lessons of the postwar German recovery and the Cold War itself.It is interesting that President Obama thought it important that he spoke from the eastern side of the plaza, and emphasized the efforts of East Germans to break through the wall. Well, yes, they were the ones confined by it. But all Germans were punished for the continuing western presence in Berlin through severe restrictions on movements east-west, and by forced separation of families, friends, and colleagues.

  • Originally published 06/13/2013

    Norman Birnbaum: JFK’s Presidential Courage—June 10, 1963

    Norman Birnbaum is professor emeritus at the Georgetown University Law Center. He was on the founding editorial board of New Left Review and is a member of the editorial board of The Nation. His most recent book is After Progress: American Social Reform and European Socialism in the Twentieth Century (Oxford).The Cold War did not end with the opening of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union. By the time of these events, it had already lost much of its earlier intensity. A skein of international agreements, some formal and explicit, others tacit and even denied, averted the dangers of unintended confrontations. More importantly, the populations on both sides of the Iron Curtain were disinclined to think that the risk of nuclear obliteration was worth incurring.

  • Originally published 06/11/2013

    Kennedy’s Finest Moment

    Peniel E. Joseph

    June 11, 1963, may not be a widely recognized date these days, but it might have been the single most important day in civil rights history.

  • Originally published 06/06/2013

    Brent Budowsky: JFK Then, Obama Now

    Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.On June 10, 1963, at American University, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech about the world that changed the world. On Nov. 22, 1963, America lost a historic man of presidential greatness in the first of three murders within five years that did incalculable damage to the world, the nation and the progressive ideal.In 1963 a world leader, for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, offered a vision and charted a course to save the world from nuclear extermination. Kennedy did not count the number of missiles or drones he would launch. He issued a call to action to the world on behalf of the water we all drink, the air we all breathe and the children we all love who will live or die because of what grown-ups do.

  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    JFK commemorations dot 2013 calendar

    Get ready for months of John F. Kennedy nostalgia.The calendar is dotted with 50th anniversary commemorations of events from JFK's crowded last year of life, ending with the saddest of anniversaries in November.In speeches, books, magazines, conferences, symposiums, news stories and television specials, admirers will pay tribute to the forever youthful president who inspired millions and was cut down in his prime in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963."He's frozen in people's minds at age 46," said Kennedy biographer Robert Dallek. "Kennedy still gives people a sense — to this day — of hope for the future."...

  • Originally published 05/19/2013

    Jonathan Zimmerman: This Graduation Season, Let's Remember the Twentieth Century

    Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history and education at New York University. He is the author of “Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory” (Yale University Press).Aim high. If you fall, pick yourself up. And, most of all, follow your dreams.Welcome, college graduate, to your 2013 commencement exercises. The speeches are all about you! You should find something that makes you passionate; you should pursue it, as far as you can....But education should help us get beyond ourselves, to transcend the narrow particulars of our interests and wishes and ambitions. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing your passions, of course. But the real question is how they’ll affect the people around you.

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Alan Brinkley: Fighting the Gun World

    Now, almost five months after the killing of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut, riveted the nation, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is talking about trying to resurrect his bill on gun background checks that was defeated in the Senate last month.

  • Originally published 01/25/2013

    Georgetown historian appraises pieces of JFK's life

    Georgetown — The estate of David Powers Sr., the former special assistant of President John F. Kennedy, is up for auction and a Georgetown historian is right in the middle of it. McInnis Auctions Gallery in Amesbury will host a "Presidential Auction" at their gallery on Sunday, Feb. 17, selling off a massive collection of items from the Kennedy years.... Daniel Meader of Georgetown, the in-house historian for McInnis Auctions, has spent about five months sorting the massive collection and organizing it into lots. The auction house heard from David Powers, Jr., the son of the late David Powers, who was looking for an auction house to handle an enormous amount of historical Kennedy items....

  • Originally published 11/14/2010

    Who Really Won the 1960 Election?

    David Stebenne

    November 8, 2010 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the presidential election of 1960, which still very much interests those who care about disputed elections.

  • Originally published 06/13/2010

    Will Obama and Cameron be as Close as Kennedy and Macmillan?

    Alanna O’Malley

    If Kennedy and Macmillan reinvigorated the Anglo-American relationship after Suez in order to bring it back to the closeness of the war years, Cameron and Clegg will face a different sort of challenge with Obama.

  • Originally published 07/09/2009

    The Trollope Ploy Myth Lives On: Robert McNamara and the Cuban Missile Crisis

    Sheldon M. Stern

    The death of Robert S. McNamara severs one of the last profoundly personal links to some of the most contentious events of the 1960s. McNamara, of course, is principally remembered for his role in the escalation of the American phase of the war in Vietnam. Not surprisingly, most people who viewed Errol Morris’s Academy Award winning (2003) documentary film, “The Fog of War,” have been principally interested in McNamara’s agonizing memories about Vietnam. However, McNamara’s account of his role in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, an event which was far more likely than Vietnam to lead to an all-out nuclear war, has received far less attention.

  • Originally published 07/27/2008

    The Reflections of JFK’s Closest Advisor, Ted Sorensen (Interview)

    Robin Lindley

    For the past four decades, Ted Sorensen has led a distinguished career in international law.  Despite his many achievements as an attorney, however, he is best known as the closest advisor to Pres. John F. Kennedy—and is seen by many commentators as the greatest American presidential speechwriter. 

  • Originally published 11/23/2007

    1963: 11 Seconds in Dallas

    Max Holland and Johann Rush

    Within hours of John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, the Kodak film exposed by Abraham Zapruder became the most important home movie ever made.

  • Originally published 05/27/2007

    The Kennedy Brothers and Civil Rights

    Sheldon M. Stern

    In The Bystander: John F. Kennedy and the Struggle for Black Equality, Basic Books, 2006, Nick Bryant concludes that JFK was too cautious and hesitant on civil rights.

  • Originally published 02/19/2004

    JFK Wanted Out of Vietnam

    Howard Jones

    Like many of my generation, I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the news arrived from Dallas that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

  • Originally published 11/04/2002

    Cuban Missile Crisis: Kennedy's Mistakes

    Peter Schweizer

    Forty years ago, President John F. Kennedy was locked in a test of wills with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev over missiles in Cuba.

  • Originally published 06/12/2018

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Another View

    Liberty and Power

    "To millions of Americans Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a sincere, warm human being who felt a deep love for the people. Roosevelt may have loved 'the people' in the abstract, but when one examines his heartless, disloyal and ultimately ruinous treatment of individuals he pretended to befriend, it makes one stop and wonder if he every did anything without considering his own political self-interest." Lyle W, Dorsett, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the City Bosses ​(Port Washington, N.Y. : Kennikat Press, 1977), 49.

  • Originally published 03/27/2018

    We Are Killing Ourselves

    Steve Hochstadt

    Since Europeans arrived in America, about one-third of plant and animal species in the Western hemisphere have become extinct. Another quarter are at risk of extinction.

  • Originally published 03/13/2018

    Promise and Flaw in Organized Religion

    Steve Hochstadt

    Last year was the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 1517 proclamation of objections to Catholic Church practices. Luther masterfully used the new technology of printing to spread his ideas. But the religious community he wished to create was welcoming only for those who followed his lead. Luther condemned in the strongest terms anyone who refused to give up their religion for his.

  • Originally published 02/04/2018

    Trump's War?

    There's No There There

    Democrats, once doggedly antiwar, are largely silent about a war against North Korea

  • Originally published 12/12/2017

    Keeping the Blacks Far Away

    Steve Hochstadt

    American cities used zoning laws to direct new construction and to control where people lived. Black people were harmed in the process.

  • Originally published 11/22/2017

    Samuel Untermyer: The Superlawyer Who Took on Hitler

    Gil Troy

    The cut-throat qualities that made Untermyer the first American lawyer to nab a one-million-dollar fee morphed into aesthetic impulses that made his multi-million bulb garden grow.

  • Originally published 11/22/2017

    This Tax Cut Is Not For You

    Steve Hochstadt

    The Republican tax cut is not about economic policy and is certainly not for the middle class. It is political legislation about economic issues: cut corporate taxes to satisfy Republican donors and try again to kill Obamacare.

  • Originally published 10/25/2017

    The Man Who Created Yankees’ Murderers’ Row

    Gil Troy

    Edward Barrow changed the face of modern sports, ushering in megastars like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, while also introducing the playing of the national anthem before games.

  • Originally published 10/09/2017

    The Teen Killer Who Radicalized the NRA

    Gil Troy

    Harlon Carter transformed the NRA from a rifle club into the take-no-prisoners anti-gun-control powerhouse. But he also had a very dark past.

  • Originally published 09/26/2017

    Loose Talk of Nuclear War

    There's No There There

    We should remember there is no real defense against nuclear war.

  • Originally published 09/05/2017

    Payng for Big Storms

    Steve Hochstadt

    Only an ideologically immovable force like the current Republican Party could ignore the mounting crises caused by our changing weather systems. In their refusal to acknowledge the basic facts of climate change, Republicans in Congress and the White House put Americans at risk of losing everything.

  • Originally published 08/23/2017

    I Am An Antifa

    Steve Hochstadt

    It was dangerous when my father and father-in-law and their whole generation went off to fight fascism on opposite sides of the globe. It was dangerous when young Americans volunteered to fight Jim Crow in the South in the 1960s. The defenders of American fascism and their fellow travelers want to make that dangerous now.

  • Originally published 07/18/2017

    On Buchanan's Intellectual History and MacLean's Missing Leviathan

    Liberty and Power

    Several defenders of Democracy in Chains have argued that the book's critics don't understand the methods and practices of "intellectual history." I argue here that the book fails as an intellectual history as well, because its author completely misses the central role that philosopher Thomas Hobbes played in Buchanan's body of scholarship.

  • Originally published 06/11/2017

    Life during Wartime 473

    Joshua Brown

    Republican portrait of the 45th president of the United States

  • Originally published 03/16/2017

    The Jew Who Changed Football Forever

    Gil Troy

    There would have been no Tom Brady or Johnny Unitas if it hadn’t been for one determined son of Orthodox Jews from Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Originally published 03/14/2017

    On Obama's Failure to Reshape US Foreign Policy

    There's No There There

    I wrote this in early 2010 for The American Conservative, an anti-neocon  magazine. Trump is simply awful but before Obama starts writing his memoirs, I want to remember him as I saw him then and continue seeing him as a failure in reshaping the way we conduct foreign affairs and continue our endless, pointless wars.

  • Originally published 02/16/2017

    It's Time for a Shadow Cabinet

    Jim Loewen

    The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries have Shadow Cabinets. We need one. Now.

  • Originally published 12/15/2016

    We Need Help Fighting the Banks

    Steve Hochstadt

    Dodd-Frank makes it less possible for the big banks to push us into tilted arbitration when the banks act like Wells Fargo. It’s an equalizer for the little consumer dealing with the big banks. Without it, we’re at their mercy.

  • Originally published 08/15/2016

    How General Motors Saved Rosa Parks

    Gil Troy

    In 1994 Civil Rights legend Rosa Parks had her house broken into and robbed. Then, without any publicity, the car giant stepped in to help.

  • Originally published 12/08/2015

    The American Reaction to Refugees Since 1924

    Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards

    The reactions we see today to the prospect of admitting refugees from Syria and elsewhere have a long history in this country. 

  • Originally published 09/02/2015

    Science, Averages and Hokum

    Steve Hochstadt

    When you take the claims of global warming deniers, such as the so-called pause in warming, or the number of scientists who are skeptics, or the lack of consensus of the world’s scientists, and investigate the footnotes or check the math, you see that they are not doing science. Their work cannot stand peer review, so it is published on the internet, where they get maximum readership with minimal credibility.

  • Originally published 08/26/2015

    How Do We See the Poor?

    Steve Hochstadt

    It doesn’t do Democrats any good to advocate for the poor. They don’t make the giant political contributions that keep the Republican machine going. They don’t vote as often as the people who make those contributions. They don’t staff the offices of lobbyists in Washington. They don’t hobnob with candidates at fancy dinners. There is no quid pro quo for helping “the most vulnerable”, except the feeling that it’s the right thing to do.

  • Originally published 06/16/2015

    It's Ok to Celebrate Magna Carta

    Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards

    It's still OK to celebrate Magna Carta. After all, we're all talking about a birthday here.