JFK’s Legacy 50 Years After Assassination

    October 26, 2013

John F. Kennedy, the president with the iconic Hollywood smile, has a legacy that lives on nearly fifty years after his assassination. The navy hero had a wide-spread political career before the tragic end to his life. Congressman by the age of twenty-nine and a senator by the age of thirty-five; there is no surprise that JFK would ultimately be placed in the Oval Office.

According to historian Robert Caro, “He had a gift for rallying the country to its best, most humane and idealistic impulses.”

John F. Kennedy has remained at the forefront of the public’s attention. Many have speculated on the reason behind the continued fascination and intrigue for the historical figure while other figures from history have not maintained the same level of active attention.

Biographer Robert Dallek, who wrote Camelot’s Court said, “He’s become more and more of an iconic figure as the years have passed. I think it’s partly, of course, because of the assassination. But that doesn’t really account for why he has this phenomenal hold on the public.”

Part of the hold behind JFK relates to his personal life as much as to his public and political persona. Salacious rumors have also surrounded JFK, and the public continues to want to delve into his personal life.

David O’Donnell is involved in a 90 minute “Kennedy Tour” in the Boston area due to his affiliation with the city’s visitor’s bureau, and explained the repeat questions he hears.

“Someone will ask, ‘Did Jack Kennedy have an affair with Marilyn Monroe?’ With this woman? That woman? It’s something people, in an odd way, just accept,” O’Donnell said.

John F. Kennedy spoke about a nation’s intrinsic value arising from how members of society remember those who are no longer with us. Now, as the anniversary of his assassination approaches, it is time for the country to remember the thought-provoking speeches of President John F Kennedy as well as the man, himself.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]