JFK documentary and information specials explore JFK anniversary
JFK documentary and information specials are among the crop of TV commemorations pegged to this half-century mark of a weekend when, as viewers will be reminded again and again, everything changed.
By Frazier Moore, Associated Press / November 8, 2013
Caroline Kennedy gets a piggy-back ride from her father, Sen. John F. Kennedy, in Hyannis Port, Mass, Nov. 1960. It was the first chance in weeks Kennedy has had to relax with his daughter during his presidential campaign.
"Don't let it be forgot," goes the ...view middle of the document...
m. EST) boasts firsthand accounts of Kennedy's trip to Dallas, narrated by actor Bill Paxton, a native Texan who as a child was on hand to see Kennedy and is captured in a photo of a crowd watching the president speak.
— "'Secrets of the Dead': JFK: One PM Central Standard Time" (PBS, Nov. 13 at 10 p.m. EST) is one of the odder specials on tap. It's no less a valentine to CBS anchor Walter Cronkite than to Kennedy, as it tries to draw parallels between the two men while portraying Cronkite, and how he led CBS' coverage, as the journalist-in-chief of the American press corps.
— "As It Happened: John F. Kennedy 50 Years" (CBS, Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. EST) is anchored by Bob Schieffer, who covered the story in Dallas that weekend.
— "The Day Kennedy Died" (Smithsonian Channel, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. EST).
— "JFK: The Lost Tapes" (Discovery, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. EST) supplements the tragic sequence of events with newly released audio recordings from Air Force One and remastered on-the-scene audio from the Dallas Police Department and other sources.
— "Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live" (History, Nov. 22 at 10 p.m. EST).
— "Capturing Oswald" (Military Channel, Nov. 12 at 10 p.m. EST) pays methodical tribute to Dallas police for their swift arrest of Oswald, arguably glossing over Oswald's murder two days later while in the department's custody. This special is co-produced by Kate Griendling, the granddaughter of Jim Leavelle, who was the white-hatted detective handcuffed to Oswald when Jack Ruby shot him.
Another category of JFK coverage inevitably dwells on the questions that persist surrounding the assassination:
— "JFK: The Smoking Gun" (Reelz, repeating throughout November) is based on the work of retired Australian police Detective Colin McLaren and the book "Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK" by Bonar Menninger. It proposes that a Secret Service agent in the motorcade accidentally fired one of the bullets that struck Kennedy.
— "Fox News Reporting: 50 Years of Questions: The JFK Assassination" (Fox News Channel, Saturday at 9 p.m. EST), anchored by Bill Hemmer, takes a look at the controversy still haunting the FBI investigation, the autopsy report and the Warren Commission's findings.
— "NOVA: Cold Case" (PBS, Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. EST) applies modern forensics to the lingering mysteries of the assassination.
— "The Assassination of JFK (1963)" (CNN, Nov. 14 at 9 p.m. EST) is part of "The Sixties," an upcoming 10-part documentary series co-produced with Tom Hanks. This first edition will explore the key conclusions of the Warren Commission.
Further investigations into the Kennedy presidency are offered by these programs:
— "JFK: A President Betrayed" (available on DirecTV on Demand starting Nov. 14) reveals how Kennedy halted a proposed pre-emptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union that had been planned for 1963.
— "Kennedy's Suicide Bomber" (Smithsonian Channel, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. EST) tells the story of a...