It has been almost 50 years since John F. Kennedy was assassinated but his legacy still lives on.
“In the nearly 50 years since the assassination of JFK much has been written about conspiracy theories surrounding his death, his sexual appetites and his life, and his lasting political legacy,” Ari Melber said Thursday on The Cycle.
The charismatic president was not truly as calm and collected as he appeared to be in public. “He believed military commanders might stage a coup against him if the conditions were just right,” author of JFK’s Last Hundred Days Thurston Clarke said on msnbc.
JFK took on a sense of paranoia after reading the book Seven Days in May which told a fictional story in which a coup in the United States ousted the president. Kennedy believed that if he made three mistakes, a military coup would overthrow him. He supposedly turned to his friend after reading the book and said, “You know, it could happen to me.”
President Kennedy also struggled with the death of his newborn son Patrick, who would have been 50 years old Friday. “JFK spent 36 hours with his son and was holding his hand when he died. He burst into tears afterwards,” Clarke said. It was the death of John and Jackie’s son that brought their marriage back together – a marriage whose authenticity is widely questioned due to JFK’s pattern of adultery.
“You know Jackie,” the president reportedly said to his wife after the death of Patrick. “We must not create an atmosphere of sadness in the White House. It wouldn’t be good for the country or for the work we have to do together.” Clarke explained that this call for unity in the marriage caught Jackie’s attention.
Only three months later would the Kennedy family lose another loved one – the president, himself. Many of his dreams, both political and personal, would never be realized.
“Kennedy was proposing a joint moon mission,” Clarke said. “Who knows if he’d lived, Yuri Gagarin could have been holding hands with Neil Armstrong on the moon five years later.”
The country will never know the course that history would have taken had the president survived, though he remains in the hearts of Americans to this day.
The Cycle’s Facebook follower Robert Smith said, “JFK was a great visionary…proud to be from Massachusetts!!”