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Unpublished JFK Tapes Released 50 Years After Assassination

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: John F Kennedy, recordings, tape, National Geographic, Kennedy Archives, We Knew JFK, 50 years ago, friends of Kennedy )

- 1674 days ago -
For the first time in the 50 years since their making, recordings of John F. Kennedy's friends talking about him after his death have been published in a public radio show called "We Knew JFK: Unheard Stories From the Kennedy Archives."

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Kit B (276)
Friday November 22, 2013, 9:34 am

Fascinating article I hope the audio works because I plan to listen. I remember JFK it was for me the political awakening that may not have come. I was young when he was murdered, like many others a day I will not, can not forget. It seems appropriate that today is cold and rainy. The many hawkers selling their cheap goods today around Dealey Plaza may not have the turn out hoped for.

It no longer matters to me if there was a conspiracy or if as history now writes Oswald was the lone shooter. I do believe that history and politics changed that day. Every thing from back then has a golden glow not because JFK was the greatest president ever, that we will never know. The golden glow lingers because he did something unique, he challenged us to be the best, not to talk about doing things but do them. Take on those seemingly impossible challenges and make something happen.

I rarely cry on this day, I shed tears not for the man as much as for the ideals and promise taken. When he took the White House he was far from the man that was murdered. He grew into the presidency, he grew into new ways of thinking and behaving. As many of us loved him, almost an equal number hated him, and in Dallas on that day, while so many us cried the tears of pain, others were literally dancing in the streets.

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."
-- John F. Kennedy

"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came."
-- John F. Kennedy

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
--- John F. Kennedy

Fare thee well, O Captain! My Captain!

Sheryl G (360)
Friday November 22, 2013, 11:26 am
Very nicely said Kit. I was able to access the audio I hope you were able to do so as well.

Dolores Speer (41)
Friday November 22, 2013, 11:40 am
I just wonder if we will ever know the truth in our life time. We will never forget John F. Kennedy


Charlene Rush (79)
Friday November 22, 2013, 12:06 pm
He may have been an unfaithful scoundrel, but he definitely made his mark in history. Of course, as we all know, the members of this club are numerous.
His impressive good looks (which matters in most societies), enabled him to reach people, who would otherwise, not pay attention.

On a personal note, one sunny afternoon I was driving through a suburb of Pittsburgh, Mt. Lebanon, when I was asked by the police, to pull over off the road, because President Kennedy was arriving soon. Never having seen such an important person, before, I gladly did as asked and waited.
When he finally came past in an open convertible, sitting high on the back seat, I couldn't take my eyes off of him. The charisma, about which I had heard, could not be denied. He was striking in appearance.
It was a fleeting moment that I shall never forget.

Terrie W (798)
Friday November 22, 2013, 12:09 pm
The truth will be revealed....long after all of us are dust. There was more than one shooter no matter how they wish to psy-op'd us all. My father was called back to 'special duty' not 5 minutes after he was shot. He never talked about it except to say....there is more than can be told and so drop it. So, I dropped it. He knew the truth and could never open his mouth about it. He took it to his grave.

Birgit W (160)
Friday November 22, 2013, 12:33 pm
Very interesting. Thank you Dandelion. I still remember seeing J.F. Kennedy in Germany.

Aurea Aurea Walker (226)
Friday November 22, 2013, 1:01 pm
Memorable day, fifty years ago and the news still resonates within me. One moment an innocent, naive 13 year old walking across the school yard to gym class, the next moment everything was too bright, too hot, too painful to believe. A loud gasp of pain was collectively heard throughout our junior high school. Teachers, students, cafeteria staff started to cry with such great pain an no one was quite the same afterward! "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country" have taken those words to heart and demand a better, more just America.

Pat B (356)
Friday November 22, 2013, 1:15 pm
My father had taken our family to go stand at one of the boulevards to view the motorcade when JFK (and Jackie) were campaigning in Abingon, Pennsylvania at the time, autumn 1960 or so. I remember waving to him, and Mrs. Kennedy, and both smiled, and waved back. I was thrilled as a youngster.!! I believe that most people remember exactly where they were on November 22nd, 1963, and what they were doing. I remember this sad day very well from 50 years ago. I will bit and piece the JFK tapes, I've bookmarked it. Thank you so much for this piece of History and sharing with us, Sheryl.

Sheryl G (360)
Friday November 22, 2013, 1:35 pm
You are welcome Pat and thanks everyone for sharing their personal stories on this thread. I was born raised and lived most of my life in Massachusetts. The Kennedy family felt like our family and as the Country did cry we realized we were certainly part of a larger family. I say that from the perspective of a 10 year old the day he was shot.

I remember the time leading up to his election, was all that was on the lips of everyone. Pa, as my Mother had referred to him, was 100% Irish and my Grandfather. I had two Uncles and many cousins that lived in Southie or the Irish section of Boston. It was thrilling for us all, that someone, like family, even if we would never sit at their table, was running for President. But their family was always around, at the events, big and smaller so it wasn't uncommon to see a Kennedy, although I never had the pleasure of seeing JFK himself.

Angelika R (143)
Friday November 22, 2013, 1:44 pm
No, I will not here and now add my "ich bin ein Berliner" experience, though of course i, too was right there in the crowd at Schöneberg townhall square when he made his famous speech there. Nor will I attempt to even try with whatever poor comment to compete with Kit's outstanding words- she speaks for all of us, thank you Kit and thank you Sheryl for this beautiful contribution. I'll listen in later on, for sure!

SuSanne P (193)
Friday November 22, 2013, 1:45 pm
Thank you dearly Dandelion. Thank you dearly for your eloquent and heartfelt post Kit. Yes, the video works just fine and I was unaware of all the 'first' part completely. I listened to all parts in it's entirety and have a much stronger feeling of who he was and what he believe in. I was young when this happened too, but it is something that I will always remember. I learned just exactly what Kit shared, that he was a kind, compassionate man who grew into a great Hero in my opinion. Yes, his ideas and compassion for humankind should cross all political should bridge the great divide between all humankind. Truly in mourning as it is raining and cold here too!

Angelika R (143)
Friday November 22, 2013, 2:29 pm
I confess that on the way to those recordings I stumbled upon that artist's website, Brandt Hardin. Among the artful and other things on that site I also found a video of this JFK speech I had never heard before and, as Hardin says, "JFK's words still ring hauntingly relevant today..." Please listen to that as well, even if you've heard it before! :

Now heading on to the other one linked here, but even reading the history of the making and publishing the material for broadcast was fascinating!


Sheryl G (360)
Friday November 22, 2013, 3:15 pm
An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it was mentioned in the speech that you left the hotlink to, for those that get my personal messages, that is also the photo quote I had left on the page. I agree with you certainly worth listening to even if one had already heard it before. In fact I find myself listening to that same speech at least a few times each year.

Alice C (1797)
Friday November 22, 2013, 3:43 pm
Watch "The Assassination of President Kennedy" on CNN TV Friday, November 22 at 10 p.m. ET.
Dallas (CNN) -- Five decades after it served as the backdrop for a nation's grief and disbelief, Dallas' Dealey Plaza took center stage once again Friday as Americans commemorated the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
"A new era dawned and another waned a half century ago when hope and hatred collided right here in Dallas," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in his remarks commemorating Kennedy's death.
Rawlings then read the final words of the speech Kennedy was to deliver that day. That was followed by a moment of silence at 12:30 p.m., the time Kennedy was shot a few feet from where Rawlings spoke.
Bells tolled, and after a brief pause, cadets from the Naval Academy sang "America the Beautiful." Historian David McCullough read excerpts from famous Kennedy speeches.
Some 5,000 invited guests were expected to attend the commemorative events, which was bookended by bagpipers -- a JFK favorite -- playing under a spitting gray sky.
The tightly choreographed and secured event was the culmination of a series of commemorations Friday, including wreath-laying events in Kennedy's home town of Boston and at his Arlington National Cemetery gravesite.
Dallas ceremony marks JFK assassination
In Washington, where flags flew at half-staff over the Capitol and White House, Kennedy's last living sibling, Jean Kennedy Smith, participated in the Arlington wreath-laying. Earlier, Attorney General Eric Holder visited the gravesite.
Iconic pink suit shrouded in mystery
And in the House of Representatives, where Kennedy served from 1947 to 1953, the Rev. John Robert Skeldon of Fort Worth, Texas, reminded lawmakers in his opening prayers that "in commemorating such a one whose life and presidency were cut short, we do so not to sow in tears, as the psalmist says, but rather to reap with shouts of joy."
"Help us, Lord God, to make the late President's inaugural vision our own so that together as fellow Americans we may 'ask not what our country can do for us, but rather what we can do for our country,'" Skeldon prayed, invoking Kennedy's famous words.
The Dallas event was designed to be a delicate balancing act of honoring Kennedy's memory without sensationalizing his murder, and to help the city throw off its reputation as "the city that killed Kennedy."
It opened with a video from an organizer speaking of that goal, and continued in Rawlings remarks, which keyed off Kennedy's call for the United States to embrace and conquer a "New Frontier" of challenges
The mayor spoke of a Dallas that took up the mantle of Kennedy's challenge of American betterment and transformed itself with a "sense of industry born of tragedy" into a city that he hopes would make the president proud.
"He and our city will forever be linked, in tragedy, yes," Rawlings said. "But out of that tragedy, an opportunity was granted to us: the chance to learn how to face the future when it's the darkest and most uncertain, how to hold high the torch even when the flame flickers and threatens to go out."
Boy who witnessed JFK assassination recalls the day
JFK assassination a collective memory for American children
A new JFK monument also was unveiled, in the infamous section of land known as the "grassy knoll." The inscription on the monument is the final paragraph of the speech JFK intended to deliver at the Dallas Trade Mart on November 22, 1963:
"We in this country, in this generation, are --- by destiny rather than choice --- the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of "peace on earth, good will toward men." That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago, "except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

Mike M (40)
Friday November 22, 2013, 3:44 pm
It was a sad day for America. No way to foretell what might have come after November,22 1963 if had lived. It did change America though and unfortunately it seems to have moved the the dark side where the elites and their minions what there own country and are taking it from the poor and middle class without any opposition

S J (130)
Friday November 22, 2013, 4:16 pm
Read and will listen later. Remember JFK, so he shall live.
Thanks so much Dandelion.

Barbara P (1069)
Friday November 22, 2013, 5:50 pm
Noted... Thank you for sharing!

LaurenBackSoon K (173)
Friday November 22, 2013, 5:59 pm
Noted & Shared. Thanks for posting Dandelion.

JL A (281)
Friday November 22, 2013, 8:08 pm
As records from later years became declassified and released to the public, primarily for the two who followed him thus far, it seems noteworthy that JFK said "no" to plans and recommendations from the CIA and military and no such a "no" was revealed for LBJ or Nixon...and I wonder whether any will for those that followed. Some of his sense of responsibility for peace in words he spoke also feels different than the views I've felt for those that followed. He was the first nominee without conventional party backing and that seemed to give him more freedom to be his own person--in a way we haven't seen much of with money's influence in politics for quite some time. These are elements valued in addition to his capacity to paint of vision of where we needed to go united.

Katie & Bill D (107)
Friday November 22, 2013, 8:36 pm
We also have to remember the Repubs were different back then too! JFK could work with them
Things have changed in 50 years. We all wonder how different it would have been if he had lived.
Everyone was working and life was better back then. He was a Great one.
Thank You

Laurie H (817)
Friday November 22, 2013, 10:07 pm
Much appreciate this great posting Sheryl & outstanding comments Kit. I too was young at the time & recall in my school, the horror that quickly overtook the building,after the loudspeakers were turned on. Students and teachers in tears---a very shocking & sad day for sure. We'll NEVER FORGET~~~~~~

Rose Becke (141)
Friday November 22, 2013, 10:51 pm
What a man

Animae C (514)
Friday November 22, 2013, 11:40 pm
i was 5 years old & i cried my heart out in front of the TV
even now a pic or a vid & it's tears for JFK

Jonathan Harper (0)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 3:04 am

Arild Gone for now (174)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 3:28 am
I often wonder what direction USA would have taken if JFK would have been in office for two full terms?He was a remarkable man and will always be remembered for a lot of reasons,but for me he was one of the best Presidents in the history of the USA.
Thanks for sharing these áudio-tapes and to Kit for her contribution.

Cynthia Davis (340)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 5:10 am
thank you...very interesting

Patricia E G (54)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 8:51 am
I will never forget the day the President was killed. I was 10 years old, taking a math lesson in a crowded
fifth grade classroom when a staff teacher bursted in shouted "the President has been shot!". My teacher
immediately abandoned her class to seek further information. We had assumed Albert Shanker, the head
of the Board of Education was the President of which she spoke of. The school was let out early that day.
When I arrived at home, my mom had the TV set on and I realized our countries President had been assassinated.

Patricia E G (54)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 9:09 am
President Kennedy may have been a very good president or not. He may or not been a hero to some.
I have lived through his Presidency and his womanizing days. I have seen a nation mourn a President.
There is very little I don't know about him. There is very little I further want to know about him..
I have always admired his wife and her courage, commitment, dedication and parenting skills.
John Jr. and Carolyn have grown to be fine individuals despite an awkward childhood.
Thank you Dee for posting this for those who are celebrating the Anniversary of JFK.

Ondine J (134)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 9:32 am
Noted, thanks for posting Dandelion

Mandi T (367)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 11:00 am
Thanks Cheryl, this was great. I'll never forget where I was when we lost him.:(
I watched the Oswald special last night. Interesting history, and will we ever know,

Saturday November 23, 2013, 11:01 am
JFK was assassinated the year I was born. This story was very touching. Sadly I am not able to see the video. TY for posting. 😊🐩

June Bostock (50)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 11:42 am
Noted. Thanks.

Roger G (154)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 12:39 pm
noted, thanks

Joanne Dixon (38)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 1:46 pm
The only reason it would matter if it were a conspiracy would be if some of the conspirators are still alive and still powerful.

Colorado Public Radio has an audio clip of the announcement Erich Leinsdorf made at the concert ofthe Boston Symphony Orchestra which was in progress when it happened, and the gasps of shock and pain from the audience. I did shed tears, because it transported me back to that time.

A little off topic, I might throw out that those leaders (including FDR and Eisenhower) who have not been faithful were able to have affairs BECAUSE they were attractive. Who on earth would have wanted to have an affair with Nixon? It really has nothing to do with whether or not they were good leaders.

Marija M (29)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 2:35 pm
Noted, thank you for posting

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 3:58 pm
Wasn't born yet, but he is my favorite president. Grew up reading, seeing, and listening about him, even here on Care2!! he's everywhere and we won't forget him, (they better not let us!!) thanks Dandelion for not letting us forget.

MmAway M (507)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 5:01 pm
This is truly important to me dear Sheryl...While I did NOT take a peek I knew you or another friend would post this....I will return to DIVE into this. Now I can only Note it as well as the other news you put up. You keep me on my lippy toes! xx

MmAway M (507)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 5:10 pm
Ok Reading through these comments, while I am now Conservative, when I was in high school I so wanted Bobby Kennedy in office, cried my eyes out. JFK I met him here in San Diego on Park Blvd when he was in his convertible (not personally met but up to shake his hand when I was young) I was not old enough, but when the Pastor took all of the class out to the flag and said the PRESIDENT was Assassinated, I do remember it and I will never ever forget....Going to let this fly off Sheryl since this is heart hurting to me and don't have my right glasses on to proof~ TUzz

Edith B (146)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 9:08 pm
Thanks, Sheryl. I have bookmarked the link to the audio tapes so I can listen to them fully. The whole world was affected by JFK's assassination. I cannot help but believe it would be a better place, had he lived. I, like millions of others, remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that dreadful day and those following. A dismal day in history.

Susanne R (235)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 10:44 pm
I received a copy of Chris Matthews book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero" last Christmas, and it was a great read. I think Mr. Matthews' words say it all:

“I found a fighting prince never free of pain, never far from trouble, never accepting the world he found, never wanting to be his father’s son. He was a far greater hero than he ever wished us to know.”

I realize there are varying opinions about JFK --some of them probably due to his having been born into a life of wealth and privilege-- and that his womanizing was well-known, but he still had tremendous compassion for the underprivileged and no tolerance for racism. If you read Chris Matthews' book, you'll find that he suffered greatly during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He wanted to avoid war at all costs. JFK had a strained relationship with his mother. She was a very cold, strict and religious woman who would go away for months at a time to shop in Paris, leaving her children with nannies. He was a very sickly child who had several long hospitalizations. She didn't bother to visit him in the hospital or show any interest or concern regarding his health. He claimed that she never once told him that she loved him. Maybe that's why he took comfort in other women. Or perhaps that was his way of thumbing his nose at her strict religious rules. Who knows?

We lost a good man 50 years ago. I think this world would be a better place had we not lost him so soon.

Shirley S (187)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 10:49 pm
Thanks for sharing. I will listen to the tapes later. JFK was assassinated on my dear eldest sister's birthday & so I remember BOTH on the day.

Krish Away (43)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 3:12 am
Thx Dandelion for posting & thx Ani for the fwd..
Noted NatGeo page as read-it-later

Rhonda B (99)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 7:52 am
Thank You!

Angelika R (143)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 8:16 am
I find Susanne's comment particularly interesting. while I never heard/read much about Rose Kennedy (think that was her name, right?) I have read a bit and seeing her picture alone fits in perfectly with what is stated above!
As for the audios, I listened to some, not all,though. The voice of MacNeal is wonderfully clear but I had issues understanding many of the others's who were recorded.

SusanAWAY Allen (219)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 11:02 am
I definitely remember the day he was shot. I was 8 years old in the 3rd grade and I can still remember the hush that fell over the classroom when we were told what had happened. I remember watching everything unfold on TV. I do so wish that he had lived and that the US could have had the benefit of his leadership for 8 years.

Thank you so much for sharing this Sheryl and thanks to others for some great comments as well as other links. I haven't had a chance to look at and listen to it all, but plan on doing it today hopefully.

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 2:16 pm
I remember very well the day he was shot I was living in Nairobi It stunned the world and no one whose is alive today will forget where they were on that day whatever nationality you are We have been having JFK programs on for the last week Now they are saying it may have been a dreadful accident but dont think we will ever really know

Julian Robert Gonzalez (112)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 6:39 pm
TY Dandelion. I have not listened to the tapes but I intend to do so. I feel though that I don't believe all records will be released. When I am up to it, I intend to start a petition to out make conspiracy theories obsolete, by making all evidence in any major issue to be investigated by government and independent agencies and all news corporate and alternative news groups with access to all information known and discovered immediately. No making tapes, videos, and physical evidence be made secret and info released 50 years later. All should be available immediately. That is events like Kennedy bros assassinations, Martin Luther King assassination info be released immediately, all 911 videos confiscated minutes after 911 by FBI released. Show all interviews and evidence and not be destroyed until all parties agree on conclusion. Quit hiding and destroying the truth. Back to JFK remember he warned us about Illuminati (ie secret societies) and was killed for it.

Julian Robert Gonzalez (112)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 6:41 pm
sorry out s/b outlawed

Julian Robert Gonzalez (112)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 6:45 pm
link to full JFK secret society speech.

Vallee R (280)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 8:00 pm
Thanks Dandelion - Julian great to see you here -

P. L. Neola (21)
Monday November 25, 2013, 3:09 am
Thank you!

Margaret K (11)
Monday November 25, 2013, 6:49 am
Thank you!

. (0)
Monday November 25, 2013, 9:34 am
Ty Dandelion. Like many othres I recall that fatefull and horrifying day. I do believe he was the last of our great presidents ( morals aside). Who knows what direction this country might have taken had he not been assassinated/ As for all pertinent information being released-don't hold your breath. TY Julian for the link

lee e (114)
Monday November 25, 2013, 10:08 am
I wasn't as young as most of you might have been - I was a junior in high school - and being in Boston it was early afternoon - when I heard the news rehearsing a play in the auditorium - I had strayed from my parents' rigid republicanism - my father hated Kennedy - and it was nearly a divorce when my mother defected to give him her vote - he was a divisive influence in my family - oddly all my brothers have turned years later to agree with the progressive "socialist" democrats haven that Kennedy paved the way for! A more progressive president has never taken office since - Clinton comes the closest and yet, comparatively was a "rich moderate" - perhaps Warren would be the closest to the old-time Massachusetts democrat.
Kennedy represented an educated man from a wealthy family - whose Bostonian accent was for most of us too Harvardian in character - never representing Boston - and don't forget this was a war hero at a time when wars were legitimately waged - although the US was far from entering WWII soon enough!
Thanks for the share Sheryl

Irene S (69)
Tuesday November 26, 2013, 2:52 am
Thank you for posting, Dandelion! We too had a lot of JFK on the radio these days.

Melania Padilla (122)
Tuesday December 3, 2013, 9:01 am
I think we will never find out who did it

Sheryl G (360)
Tuesday December 3, 2013, 11:13 am
I had heard Melania, way back when I was young, that there was a lot of information that was sealed, not to be opened until everyone that was alive when he was assassinated is deceased. We who were alive may never know of this, but perhaps those who were born after 1963 may learn of the truth one day.

Gina Caracci (219)
Saturday December 21, 2013, 8:22 pm
bookmarked to get into later, but wanted to note and comment.

I believe he was murdered by opponents, but i wasnt even thought of When they are TOO good, they must be taken down otherwise evil plots wont succeed...just my opinion

TY Dandelion!

Sheryl G (360)
Sunday December 22, 2013, 3:40 pm
I agree with you Gina.

Nancy C (806)
Saturday January 18, 2014, 2:46 pm
saving...thanx...the road toward health, liberty, and truth is paved with crime...
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