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A Presidency of a Thousand Days

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

"They've killed my husband! ... I have his brains in my hands!"
-- First Lady Jackie Kennedy as she crawls across the trunk of the limousine. [1]

President John F. Kennedy is shot this year in Dallas, Texas as his open-top limousine passes by a book depository and "a grassy knoll", but before we get into that, let's review these 1,030 days: In his inaugural speech he said, "ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." He wasn't the first to say that, but he said it best. Kennedy initiated small and targeted welfare programs that worked, and if a little is good a lot must be better! But that is for the future. Kennedy stepped up the US involvement in Vietnam to stop the communists, and he tapped Martin Luther King's telephones because the Reverend had a communist on his staff. (There was one, but not the one accused.) Kennedy declared that we should "go to the moon" and "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner.... not a jelly doughnut. That is an urban legend, but a funny one.) He failed at the Bay of Pigs and brought us to the brink of nuclear annihilation. He is a war hero with his own movie playing in theaters right now: PT 109. He has a storybook marriage, and he is a crass womanizer. As with every President, he is a mixed bag of the good and the bad. And now his brains are splattered across the trunk of his limousine as his wife struggles to gather the pieces of her husband's life and her own. Who did this? A man is caught 80 minutes later, and then he is shot. The conspiracy theories will never end. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I cried that day. I cried for a week. I watched the funeral procession with Jack Jr. saluting as his father's coffin passed in review. He was a good boy. People wanted to make JFK into a saint, but he was far from that. He was a conservative, however. I laughed when President Clinton called JFK his hero. (If only he had listened to his hero.) The man arrested for the shooting was a communist named Lee Harvey Oswald. Did he do it? I think so. But wasn't there a second shooter on a grassy knoll somewhere? A single shooter fits the evidence. If there was a second shooter he must be 80 years old by now. Let it go. The nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot Oswald while he was being transferred to a more secure location. (Gee, thanks!) This is why controversial prisoners are transported in a bullet proof vest today. As I recall, I wasn't broken up about Oswald's death. I am more of a rule-of-law guy today. I think I'm better off. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

On Fire for Freedom of Faith

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

Between May and November, Buddhists in South Vietnam protested their oppression by the minority Catholic government, headed by President Ngô Đình Diệm. On May 8th, 9 unarmed civilians were shot by police and army security forces while protesting the ban of the display of Buddhist flags during the celebration of the birthday Gautama Buddha.[14] On June 11th, the Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức, with the help of 2 fellow monks, light himself on fire and burnt to death in front of the Cambodian embassy in Saigon. This was in response to the oppression of the Buddhist faith by the Catholic government.[15] The oppression of the Buddhist faith ended with the coup and assassination of President Diệm on November 2nd.

My Take by Southpaw Ben
"If you are willing to set yourself on fire for your cause, you can probably do more for that cause alive because of your commitment to that cause." A podcaster I listened to said this years ago, but unfortunately I don't remember who. I feel like that is largely the case, however sometimes the act can bring the issue into the public eye, as was the case here, with a picture of the monk spreading around the world like wild fire (pardon the pun), and burning western sympathies for President Diệm with it. In regards to President Diệm's, it took place after the coup, while he was in custody and being transported to a prison. When the generals leading the coup heard that President Diệm had been killed, many of them openly wept, as they had respected him as a leader, despite overthrowing him from power.

Note: While I (Southpaw Ben) am not a Catholic (I am a Mennonite), I choose to attend Mass every week at school and some of my closest friends are outspoken Catholics, and I tend to agree with many Catholic teachings
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I have a family friend who is a Vietnamese Catholic currently studying to be a priest. Please note that Catholics were being murdered by those so-called peace-loving Buddhists. No doubt they felt justified. It was tough times for everyone.

A Shocking Experiment in Psychology

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

This is an experiment in obedience. How far can you be pushed until you refuse to obey? An authority figure (a psychologist) picks two volunteers. One is the "learner" and the other is the "teacher." The "learner" is strapped to a chair where he will be administered painful and increasingly dangerous electric shocks for each wrong answer. The "teacher" will administer the shocks. They are in separate rooms, so they cannot see each other. Soon, the pain is so terrible that the "learner" is beating on the wall, screaming that he has a heart condition, but the "teacher" presses on... and then, silence. But don't worry. The electric shock is a noise device, and the "learner" is an actor. Yet the "teacher" believes it is all real, and through cajoling, and bulling the authority figure is able to push the "teacher" into killing the "learner" as long as the teacher is assured that he won't be held responsible. "I was just following orders." Apparently, it is human nature.

"It was one of the most frightening events I have ever experienced in the classroom."
-- Ron Jones, California high school teacher, 1969.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Ron Jones showed his students how the German people could be talked into murdering millions of innocent people during World War 2. He established a set of rules. He rewarded students NOT for the right answer, but for obedience. Showing respect for authority was more important than homework. The students called themselves "The Wave." They scared the living snot out of everyone, and it was all too easy to make it happen. Apparently, it is human nature, and apparently, Ron Jones is no longer a school teacher. [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

Notable Births

  • Rand Paul: US Senator (R), presidential hopeful, and son of Ron Paul. [21]
  • Joe Scarborough: US Representative (R) and co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC. (I suspect Joe's ratings are less than the downloads for TSP.--alexshrugged)[21]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- In Sports: Bobby Bonilla, Karl Malone, Michael Jordon, and Charles Barkley. [21]
  • -- Terry Farrell: Jadzia Dax, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (FYI, she played a Trill, science officer and eventually the wife of Worf.--alexshrugged) [21]
  • -- Vanessa Williams: First black Miss America, singer and actress. [21]
  • -- Whitney Houston (died 2012, age 48): Singer, actress. Drowned during drug blackout. [21]
  • -- George Michael (died 2016, age 53): Singer/songwriter. Died in his sleep on Xmas Day. [21] [22]
  • And a list of actors and actresses too numerous to mention: [21]

This Year in Film

  • The Great Escape: Famous World War 2 escape from a prison camp. (Exciting.--alexshrugged) [23]
  • Lilies of the Field: A black Baptist agrees to build a chapel for German Catholic nuns. (An amazing film--alexshrugged) [23]
  • PT 109: The story of John F. Kennedy saving his men after a collision with a Japanese destroyer. (Entertaining propaganda.--alexshrugged) [23]

This Year in Music

  • She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah): The Beatles. [24]
  • It's My Party (and I'll cry if I want to): Lesley Gore. [24]
  • Surfin' U.S.A.: The Beach Boys. [24]

In Other News

  • The SAGE Radar/Computer linked defense system is now complete: And obsolete. "The Big Board" is often portrayed in movies such as Dr. Strangelove and War Games. [25] [26]
  • Bull Connor (D) hoses down black demonstrators and arrests Rev. Martin Luther King: King writes his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." [25] [27] [28]
  • Rev. Martin Luther King delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech: It is under strict copyright control until 2038, so don't inspire people with his speech without prior written permission. (All rights reserved.--alexshrugged) [25] [29] [30]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1963, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. O'Reilly, Bill. Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot. ISBN 9780805096668. “
    "Oh, no, no, no. Oh, my God. They have shot my husband. I love you, Jack," Jackie Kennedy cries. The First Lady will not remember what she does in the seconds after her husband is shot. She is in shock. In the future, she will watch videos of herself and feel as if she is watching some other woman. Her children will protect her by tearing the assassination images out of books before she can see them.
    "They've killed my husband," Jackie says to no one and everyone. Up front, driver Bill Greer and Special Agent Roy Kellerman are radioing that the president has been hit. Governor Connally is still conscious, but fading fast. His wife, Nellie, has thrown her body over his. This leaves Jackie alone in the backseat, the president's lifeless body leaning against hers.
    "I have his brains in my hand," she yells.
    And then Jackie is up and out of the seat. She's on a mission.”
  2. Inaugural Address, 20 January 1961 - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum (20 January 1961). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “'ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.'”
  3. We choose to go to the Moon - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “The 'Address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Effort', or better known simply as the 'We choose to go to the moon' speech, was delivered by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in front of a large crowd gathered at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas on September 12, 1962. It was one of Kennedy's earlier speeches meant to persuade the American people to support the national effort to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth.”
  4. "Revealed: Marilyn Monroe called Jackie Kennedy to confess to affair with 'drug addict' JFK and was told 'that’s great, I’ll move out and you have all the problems' - The Independent", 5 August 2013. Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “Marilyn Monroe telephoned Jackie Kennedy to confess to having an affair with her husband, only to be told: 'that’s great, I’ll move out and you have all the problems'.” 
  5. The Real Meaning of Ich Bin ein Berliner - The Atlantic. theatlantic.com (2017). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “At their summit meeting in Vienna in the spring of 1961, Khrushchev warned Kennedy that he would sign a treaty with East Germany restricting Western access to West Berlin. In response, Kennedy announced a major military buildup. In a television address to the nation on July 25, 1961, he described the embattled city as 'the great testing place of Western courage and will' and declared that any attack on West Berlin would be viewed as an attack on the United States.”
  6. Ich bin ein Berliner — Die Urban Legend um JFK und seine Pfannkuchen - STADTKIND (2017). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “
    Wie so oft scheinen hier Sprachwissenschaftler die Sprache besser zu kennen, als Muttersprachler oder in Berlin Aufgewachsene.
    Diese Urban Legend ist schon alleine weil Berliner »Pfannkuchen« zu eben dieser süßen Speise sagen ziemlicher Unsinn und höchstens gut, um ein amerikanisches Sommerloch zu füllen.
    Ich war natürlich bei der Rede selbst nicht dabei, aber Zweifler sollten sich einmal die Rede anhören, in der statt Gelächter jubelndern Beifall zu hören ist.
    Google Translate:
    As is often the case, language scientists seem to know the language better than native speakers or in Berlin.
    This Urban Legend is already alone because Berlin "pancakes" to this sweet food are quite nonsense and at most good to fill an American summer hole.
    I was, of course, not in the speech, but doubters should listen to the speech, in which applause is heard instead of laughter.”
  7. Brad Meltzer. History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time. Workman Publishing Company, Inc.. ISBN 9780761178651. “Within 80 minutes of the assassination, an arrest had been made: Lee Harvey Oswald, a young 24-year-old high school dropout who worked at the book depository.” 
  8. Branch, Taylor. "Chapter Eighteen: To Birmingham", Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781416558682. “FBI wiretappers intercepted these emotional exchanges over Levison's office lines in New York and forwarded transcripts to headquarters, where Levison's defense of O'Dell doubtless made perfect sense as one Communist vouching for another. The internal strife at the SCLC also was ample proof that the Bureau's first active blow against King had landed with telling effect. FBI agents had planted the unsigned New Orleans article, along with virtually identical ones in four other newspapers scattered from St. Louis to Long Island.” 
  9. 8 Things You May Not Know About Lee Harvey Oswald - Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? - FRONTLINE - PBS. pbs.org (November 19, 2013). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “In 1959, Oswald travelled to Moscow in hopes of becoming a Soviet citizen. 'I want citizenship because I am a communist and a worker,' he wrote in his request for citizenship. 'I have lived in a decadent capitalist society where the workers are slaves.'”
  10. Yes, Oswald Alone Killed Kennedy - Commentary Magazine (June 1, 1992). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “Even the strongest supporters of JFK, Oliver Stone’s notorious film on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, concede that it is deceptive: fabricated footage gussied up as documentary fact; fictional characters and scenes offered as proof of perfidy; paranoid insinuations about the conscious involvement of the highest officials in the land; outright lies. Yet to an extraordinary number of often intelligent people, these characterizations seem utterly beside the point.”
  11. Jack Ruby kills Lee Harvey Oswald - Nov 24, 1963 - HISTORY.com. history.com (2017). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “On November 24, Oswald was brought to the basement of the Dallas police headquarters on his way to a more secure county jail. A crowd of police and press with live television cameras rolling gathered to witness his departure. As Oswald came into the room, Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd and fatally wounded him with a single shot from a concealed .38 revolver. Ruby, who was immediately detained, claimed that rage at Kennedy’s murder was the motive for his action.”
  12. John F. Kennedy conspiracy theories debunked: Why the magic bullet and grassy knoll don’t make sense.. slate.com (November 14, 2013). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “Then, one day, I looked up the footnotes in those books, most of them leading me to the multivolume hearings of the Warren Commission. I was shocked. The authors had taken witnesses’ statements out of context, distorted them beyond recognition, and in some cases cherry-picked passages that seemed to back their theories while ignoring testimony that didn’t. It was my first brush with intellectual dishonesty.”
  13. Oliver Stone: There's nothing in 'JFK' I would go back on - CNN.com (November 22, 2013). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “'There's nothing in the movie that I would go back on,' he said. Alternatively, he dismisses works such as Gerald Posner's 'Case Closed,' which he said was discredited.”
  14. Buddhist crisis. Retrieved on 6 March 2017.
  15. Thích Quảng Đức. Retrieved on 6 March 2017.
  16. Ghostbusters (1984) - IMDb. Retrieved on 7 March 2017. “Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.”
  17. Ghostbusters Shock Scene - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 7 March 2017.
  18. Strasser, Todd. Wave, The, The wave, Dell Laurel-Leaf. ISBN 071009005501. “The Wave is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969. For three years afterward, according to the teacher, Ron Jones, no one talked about it. "It was," he said, "one of the most frightening events I have ever experienced in the classroom."” 
  19. Hoffer, Eric. True Believer:Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, The. Time-Life Books. ISBN 0809436027. 
  20. Ron Jones (teacher) - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 7 March 2017. “He is internationally known for the adaptation of the classroom experience he started, called The Third Wave. In 1981, The Third Wave was made into a TV film The Wave, including a famous novelization by Todd Strasser, and a theatrical film in 2008, for which he won the Emmy and Peabody Awards. His books The Acorn People and B-Ball have also been made into TV dramas. Jones lives in San Francisco, California where he performs regularly as a storyteller.”
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 21.7 1963 Births - Wikipedia (2017).
  22. George Michael - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 3 March 2017. “Fawaz described, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, finding the performer on Christmas morning, 'I went round there to wake him up and he was just gone, lying peacefully in bed. We don’t know what happened yet. Everything had been very complicated recently, but George was looking forward to Christmas, and so was I.' On 29 December 2016 a post-mortem was undertaken to determine the exact cause of death, but was inconclusive.”
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 1963 in film - Wikipedia (2017).
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 1963 in music - Wikipedia (2017).
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 1963 - Wikipedia (2017).
  26. Semi-Automatic Ground Environment - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “Also in 1963, radar stations were renumbered (e.g., Cambria AFS was redesignated from P-2 to Z-2 on July 31) and the vacuum-tube SAGE System was completed (and obsolete).”
  27. Bull Connor - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “The next day, even more students joined the marches. Connor ordered the use of fire hoses and attack dogs against them. This did not stop the demonstrators, but generated bad publicity for Connor through the news media. The use of fire hoses continued, and by May 7, Connor and the police department had jailed more than 3,000 demonstrators.”
  28. Letter from Birmingham Jail - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “The Letter from Birmingham Jail, also known as the Letter from Birmingham City Jail and The Negro Is Your Brother, is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. It says that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. Responding to being referred to as an 'outsider,' King writes, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere'.”
  29. I Have a Dream - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “'I Have a Dream' is a public speech delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he calls for an end to racism in the United States and called for civil and economic rights. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.”
  30. I Have a Dream - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 March 2017. “Because King's speech was broadcast to a large radio and television audience, there was controversy about its copyright status. If the performance of the speech constituted 'general publication', it would have entered the public domain due to King's failure to register the speech with the Register of Copyrights. However, if the performance only constituted 'limited publication', King retained common law copyright. This led to a lawsuit, Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. v. CBS, Inc., which established that the King estate does hold copyright over the speech and had standing to sue; the parties then settled. Unlicensed use of the speech or a part of it can still be lawful in some circumstances, especially in jurisdictions under doctrines such as fair use or fair dealing. Under the applicable copyright laws, the speech will remain under copyright in the United States until 70 years after King's death, therefore until 2038.”

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