The impact of JFK’s assassination endures because of the cover-up continues

Even a half century after the fact, Americans believe the murder of the 35th president was one of the four most important events in the nation’s history, according to a new Pew Survey. This despite the fact that more than two-thirds of all Americans were born after November 22, 1963.

JFK secrecy

The enduring impact of JFK secrecy

Why does JFK’s death endure in the American imagination, even among young people?

One reason, of course, is JFK’s unique political appeal which combined conventional Cold War stance with a visionary “strategy of peace” that probably saved the world from nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban missile crisis. The beauty and strength of his wife and widow, Jackie Kennedy, is surely another reason.

But the continuing failure of the U.S. government to provide a plausible account of the crime is no small reason why Americans attach great importance to his violent removal from office.

Like the other three events cited by most respondents (Sept 11 attacks, Obama’s election, and the tech revolution), JFK’s murder had effects that are still visible today, notably the shroud of secrecy that still surrounds thousands of JFK documents that have never been seen by the American people.

Will President-elect Trump continue the JFK cover-up? No one knows but the Pew survey indicates that tens of millions of Americans will want to know the answer.

Source: What Events Most Shaped America in Your Lifetime? A Pew Survey Tries to Answer – The New York Times


  1. Bogman says:

    Off topic from this fhread, but I realized the other day I’ve never read a biography on the life of JFK.

    Anyone got a recommendation for a good one? I’d love one that captures how his Irish heritage informed his outlook and personality.

  2. Will says:

    The article above is misleading by claiming the two thirds of Americans born after JFK was assassinated, rank that event as an important historical event. Unfortunately, the assassination of JFK did not rank in the top 10 of Millennials or Gen Xers. It didn’t even make their list….

    The Pew study was broken down by: age, race, region, religion, income, education, political party, and more. Those surveyed were primarily bound by their generation. Meaning they chose historical events that happened in their lifetimes. This is common amongst Millennials, Gen Xers, Boomers, and the Silent Generation.

    This study does show the important work that needs to be done “Before History Dies.” The young people today do not relate the events of Nov 22nd as important to their lives.

    When they do this study in 20 years, sadly I think JFK’s death will rank outside the top 10.

    Always read the Primary Sources People!

    Pew Study

    • ed connor says:

      If you read the Pew Study, you will see that those surveyed were asked to rate the significance of events that happened DURING THEIR LIFETIMES.
      Obviously the Millennials and Gen Xers were not alive in 1963.
      Always read the survey parameters, people!

      • will says:

        “Americans believe the murder of the 35th president was one of the four most important events in the nation’s history, according to a new Pew Survey. This despite the fact that more than two-thirds of all Americans were born after November 22, 1963.”

        This implies, to the reader, that even though 2/3 of Americans were born after JFK was assassinated they (the 2/3 born after he was assassinated) still care.

      • will says:

        “Why does JFK’s death endure in the American imagination, even among young people?”

        Um… It doesnt. Misleading.

    • Paul Oryshak says:

      There is a reason why some groups did not include JFK’s assassination: the question asked about events in “your lifetime.” So, millennials or Gen X would not include this among the most important events, not because they don’t regard the JFK murder as significant, but because of the way the question was phrased.

      However, your point about JFK’s murder slipping away from the historical consciousness of the American people is worthwhile. Having sites like JFKFacts and writers like Jeff who have an abiding interest in the case will help – if it can reach younger people. Many of us are in our 40s or older.

    • lysias says:

      On the other hand, if Trump reveals to the American people the real facts about what happened on Nov. 22, 1963, I think he will capture the attention of all Americans, young and old. And he will have his chance to get even with the CIA for what they have been doing.

      • Bogman says:

        ‘Get even’ with the CIA? For what? Doing their jobs?

        That’s some dangerous Trumpian unreality seaping into the American conversation already.

        • lysias says:

          Anybody who thinks the CIA tells the truth is going to have difficulty understanding the JFK assassination.

        • Antonio D'Antonio says:

          Does “doing their jobs” mean sticking to the CIA’s primary mission?
          According to their website, that is “to collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence to assist the President and senior US government policymakers in making decisions relating to national security”
          Is that what you mean by “doing their jobs” and is that basically the only thing the CIA has been involved in since they were created?

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