JFK Special Programming

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death, WHYY pays tribute to President John F. Kennedy with special programming on radio and television.


Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane

Aired November 6 on WHYY-FM

Presidential historian Robert Dallek discusses the political clashes, rivalries and personalities within the inner circle of President John F. Kennedy’s cabinet in his new book, “Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House.”


American Experience: JFK

Aired Monday and Tuesday, November 11 and 12 on WHYY-TV

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This new portrait offers a fresh assessment of the man, his accomplishments and his unfulfilled promise. Produced and directed by Susan Bellows, JFK features interviews with Kennedy family members and historians including Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, and Evan Thomas. Beginning with Kennedy’s childhood years as the privileged but sickly second son of one of the wealthiest men in America, the film explores his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his successful run for the U.S. Senate, and the game-changing presidential campaign that made him the youngest elected president in U.S. history.


NOVA: Cold Case JFK

Aired Wednesday, November 13 on WHYY-TV

Fifty years later, what can science tell us about the Kennedy assassination — and the investigations that fol¬lowed? The 1963 murder, in broad daylight in front of hundreds of witnesses, was a homicide investigator’s best-case scenario. Yet somehow the JFK assassination became a forensic nightmare, plagued by mishandled evidence, a controversial autopsy and, incredibly, a prime suspect murdered while in police custody before he could be tried — all of it captured on film. Now, NOVA follows a group of experts trying to unravel the lingering mysteries of the assassination: private investigator Josiah Thompson; gunshot wound authority Larry Sturdivan; laser scanning specialist Tony Grissim; medical examiner and forensic neuropathologist Peter Cummings; and firearms experts Lucien and Mike Haag.


Secrets of the Dead: JFK: One PM Central Standard Time

Aired Wednesday, November 13, 2013 on WHYY-TV

JFK’s assassination is chronicled minute-by-minute as it was revealed in the CBS newsroom – from the moment the President was shot until Walter Cronkite’s emotional pronouncement of his death, one hour and eight minutes later.


FRONTLINE: Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 10:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. on WHYY-TV

FRONTLINE marks the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination with a two-hour reprise of its investigative biography of the man at the center of the political crime of the 20th century. At the heart of the assassination lies the puzzle of Lee Harvey Oswald: Was he the emotionally disturbed lone gunman of the 1964 Warren Commission report? Was he, as the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded, probably part of a conspiracy on that day in Dallas? Or was he an unwitting fall guy, the patsy, as Oswald himself claimed when he was arrested on November 22, 1963? Twenty years ago, in the most comprehensive attempt on American television to penetrate this enduring enigma, FRONTLINE’s investigative team spent more than a year re-examining Oswald’s life and sifting through the psychological, political and forensic evidence of his role in the assassination. Traveling to Japan, Russia, Europe, Mexico, Canada and across the United States, the team uncovered new witnesses, documents, photographs, video and audio recordings of Lee Oswald, many of which had never before been made public.


We Knew JFK

Friday, November 22 at 10 p.m. on WHYY-FM

Hosted by legendary journalist Robert MacNeil this special features never-before-broadcast memories from JFK’s confidantes recorded just after the assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Listeners will hear from JFK colleagues who were with him during his first political race in 1946, until his last days in office. Famous names and voices wrestle with grief and memory; they provide intimate details on JFK the man, the president and father.


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