Nov. 18, 2013
U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas Nov. 22, 1963
A mellinial generation member weighs in on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
by Kristen Pulkstenis
I turned to my younger sister. “Hey, Lauren?”
“What do you know about JFK’s assassination?”
“How did he die?”
She thought a moment. “He was shot.”
“Who did it?”
“Lee Harvey Oswald.”
“Where was Kennedy?”
“Outside? I think it was outside.”
“What city, what state?”
“I think it was DC, right?”
“Where was Oswald?”
“He was outside too … was it some kind of parade? There were a lot of people there.”
“A motorcade. In Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.”
“So I was kind of right. And nobody really is sure about what Oswald did?”
“Yeah, pretty much.”
This is a conversation I had with my 18-year-old sister as she watched me draft this article. I am 20. Our parents were’t even born when President John F. Kennedy was gunned down. Lauren and I, and our peers, are two generations removed from that tragic day.
The assassination of John F. Kennedy was one of the most significant events of the 20th century. Documents pertaining to the assassination and its ensuing investigations number in the tens of millions. The physical evidence – bullet casings, the infamous Mannlicher-Carcano rifle Oswald owned and the paper bag in which it was allegedly carried, fingerprints, autopsy photos and notes, the President’s vehicle, diaries, and much more – has been reviewed and argued over for decades. Many assassination-related items have been lost or destroyed.
Despite the Warren Commission finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, surveys conducted between 1966 and 2003 showed that 80 percent of Americans believed that more than one person was involved in the Preisent’s assassination. In 2013, the Associated Press found that 59 percent of U.S. citizens still believe that to be true. And yet today, it seems the millennial generation is aware of nothing more than, “He was shot.”