In 1963

What a senior KGB insider said about Lee Harvey Oswald

Nikolai Leonov

Insider: Fidel Castro, Nikolai Leonov, and Nikita Khrushchev

Nikolai S. Leonov has an interesting perspective on the story of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Leonov joined the KGB in 1958 and retired in 1991 with the rank of Lieutenant General. In the spring of 1963, his fluency in Spanish gained him the job as the Russian interpreter for Cuba president Fidel Castro during his first visit to the USSR in the spring of 1963, In the photo above he is the man standing between and behind Castro and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Read more

Move over, Adele—JFK is actually the fastest-selling artist ever

“This week, 52 years ago, John Fitzgerald Kennedy: A Memorial Album sold an astonishing 4 million copies in its first six days of availability, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. …It cost 99 cents a copy.”

Move Over, Adele—JFK’s Actually the Fastest-Selling Artist Ever – The Daily Beast

Dec 6 1963: Life magazine addresses JFK “rumors” with bad reporting

The national media, much less diverse and fragmented in 1963 than today, joined the campaign to assuage doubts and dispel “rumors” about JFK’s assassination. Pollsters were already finding that a majority of Americans suspected conspiracy. Life Magazine’s Dec. 6 issue was devoted primarily to photo coverage of the Kennedy funeral, but also included a piece by Paul Mandel entitled “End to Nagging Rumors: The Six Critical Seconds.”

Life Magazine

The article began with a quote from Dallas DA Henry Wade: “I would say without any doubt that he is the killer”, and referred to Oswald as “the assassin.”

Life Magazine had earlier purchased rights to Abraham Zapruder’s famous home movie of the murder in Dealey Plaza, and in a November 29 issue had shown frames from that film in black-and-white. Now the Mandel article tried to reconcile the film with Oswald’s guilt.
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‘Concerning the Facts and Consequences of the Tragic Death of President John F. Kennedy’

What Cuba leader Fidel Castro said about JFK’s  assassination on November 23, 1963. He was judicious. Read more

Silence like a cancer grows

Did you know that Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” was a response to JFK’s assassination? I didn’t.

Another gambit on ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’

Devil's ChessboardThe headline of the Washington Decoded review,  Who Needs Soviet Propaganda? gives fair warning to the faint-hearted reader that a polemical bog lies ahead. Beyond this billboard, you will find a review enshrouded with disdain, intent on score-settling, and (per the headline) determined to wage Cold War. This is ancient turf haunted by huffy men, Proceed with caution.

[But first, buy “The Devil’s Chessboard,” by David Talbot.]

Reviewer David Barrett is perturbed that David Talbot’s new book, “The Devil’s Chessboard,” portrays CIA director Allen Dulles as a freewheeling power broker, devil-may-care administrator, ruthless philanderer, occasional liar, and amoral covert operator whose actions destroyed lives and democracies.
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‘Concerning the Facts and Consequences of the Tragic Death of President John F. Kennedy’

What Fidel Castro said about JFK’s  assassination on November 23, 1963. He was judicious. Read more

‘Concerning the Facts and Consequences of the Tragic Death of President John F. Kennedy’

What Fidel Castro said on November 23, 1963: Read more

Roger Hilsman on JFK’s Vietnam plans

“At the end, Ngu Dinh Diem was talking to nobody but his brother Nu. Read more

June 11, 1963: Kennedy emerges on civil rights

President Kennedy’s growth as a leader in June 1963 is a key to understanding his life and death.

As Arms Control Today documented last year, JFK’s June 10 speech at American University would influence the arms control vision all of the U.S. presidents who followed him. And as this New York Times column notes, his often-overlooked nationally televised address on June 11, 1963, signaled his evolution as a civil rights leader.

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June 10, 1963: A profile in courage with lethal consequences


President Kennedy’s speech to the graduating class of American University in Washington DC 51 years ago today represented the high point of his efforts to wind down the Cold War. His vigorous style and clear mind never had a more important goal — or more powerful enemies.

April 10, 1963: Oswald tries to shoot General. Walker

Ron Capshaw, a writer in Midlothian, Virginia, argued here two years ago that Lee Oswald had fired a rifle shot at former U.S. Army General Edwin Walker on April 10, 1963. Walker, cashiered for proselytizing troops with his right-wing, white supremacist politics, was a harsh critic of JFK.

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That awkward moment

… when you are told you have been charged with killing the president of the United States of America.

Putting aside ‘American exceptionalism,’ JFK proposed cooperation in space

In response to my question on Wednesday, a reader sent this video.  (H/T David)

Did JFK propose a joint U.S.-Soviet flight to the moon?

JFK speaks to the UN on Sept. 20, 1963. (UN photo credit, Teddy Chen.)

 

Yes. It happened on September 20, 1963, according to History.com. It is one of the lesser known but more important events in the last months of President Kennedy’s life and presidency.

In the fall of 1963, JFK was on a political roll. His approval ratings had climbed. He had overcome the grumbling of the Pentagon and all but secured Senate ratification of the popular Limited Test Ban Treaty, banning nuclear explosions in space. Then he went to New York to say something daring.

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