JFK Assassination: 50th Anniversary


Idén lesz 50 éve, hogy novemeber 22-én meggyilkolták John F. Kennedyt. Olvassuk el és hallgassuk meg, mit kell tudni az egykori elnökről és az ellene elkövetett merényletről.

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts in a wealthy and powerful political family. He was second of nine brothers and sisters, educated at the best schools and graduated from Harvard in 1940 wealthy. Jack was a very intelligent and popular student. John’s father had the dream that one of his sons would become President and expected his oldest son, Joe Jr., to fulfil this dream one day.

Both Kennedy brothers served in World War II and Joe, a pilot died in action. After the war Jack Kennedy worked as a journalist for a short period and decided to enter politics in 1946. With his father’s help he managed to get elected to the U.S. Congress in 1947. John served as a Democrat congressman for six years and then became a U.S. Senator in 1953.

The same year he married 24-year-old Jacqueline (Jackie) Lee Bouvier, a beautiful and cultured young woman who would become one of the most famous First Ladies in history. Only two of their four children, Caroline and John Fitzgerald Jr. survived infancy. However, JFK’s affairs with various women continued, the most famous of whom was Marilyn Monroe. Later biographies of the mentally unstable actress suggest that she committed suicide because the President refused to carry on a relationship with her after a weekend spent together in Palm Springs.

Kennedy ran for President in 1960 against current Vice President Richard Nixon. He won in one of the closest elections in history and served as President between 1961-63. Throughout his presidency, JFK managed to create a public image immensely attractive to much of America. He was the first "television President;" with his charm and good looks he took full advantage of that medium. However, the President also had many worries. One of the things he worried about most was the possibility of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. He knew that if there was a war, millions of people would die.

Jackie Kennedy’s first major project as First Lady was to restore and preserve the White House. She enlisted the aid of many experts and gathered outstanding examples of American art and furniture from around the United States. On the other hand, she was a thoughtful mother and wanted a real home for her family. She turned the sun porch on the third floor into a kindergarten school for Caroline and 12 to 15 other children, who came every morning at 9:30. There was also a swimming pool, a swing set, and a tree house on the White House lawn for the children.

Kennedy’s assassination cut short a brilliant career. During the 21 hours that the president’s body lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda, about 250,000 people filed by to pay their respects. The ceremony was partly modelled on the funeral of Abraham Lincoln at the request of Jackie Kennedy. JFK was laid to rest on November 25th in Arlington National Cemetery. More than 100 countries were represented and millions of people watched on television. Afterward, at the grave site, Mrs. Kennedy and her husband’s brothers, Robert and Edward, lit an eternal flame.

JFK’s Last Day

In the autumn of 1963, President John F. Kennedy and his political advisers were already preparing for the next presidential campaign. He hoped to be re-elected in 1964 and the main themes for his campaign were the importance of education, national security, world peace, natural resources and conservation efforts. JFK thought that winning in Florida and Texas was essential for his re-election so he and the First Lady started the two-day, five-city tour of Texas on November 21st .

November 22nd – Morning in Fort Worth

A light rain was falling, but a crowd of several thousand people waited for the President in the parking lot outside the Texas Hotel to hear him speak.

"There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth," he began, "and I appreciate your being here this morning. Mrs. Kennedy is organizing herself. It takes longer, but, of course, she looks better than we do when she does it." He emphasised the importance of Americans being "second to none" in defence and in space, and promised growth in the economy. He praised "the willingness of citizens of the United States to assume the burdens of leadership." The audience’s response was very positive and the president reached out to shake hands amidst a sea of smiling faces.

On to Dallas

The presidential party left the hotel and went by motorcade to Carswell Air Force Base for the thirteen-minute flight to Dallas, where Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie, were already waiting for them, sitting in the front passenger seats of the open limousine. The procession left the airport and travelled along a ten-mile route through downtown Dallas. The destination was the Trade Mart where the President was scheduled to speak.

The Assassination

Crowds of excited people were waiting for the Kennedys all along the route. Around 12:30 p.m. the car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza. The gunfire started while it was passing the Texas School Book Depository. The President was hit in the neck and head and the governor took a hit in the chest. Unfortunately, there was nothing to be done for JFK, although the car took him to the nearby Parkland Memorial Hospital in a couple of minutes. He received the last rites from a Catholic priest, and at 1:00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead. Despite his serious wound, Governor Connally would recover.

At 1:50 police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a recently hired employee at the Texas School Book Depository, after finding his rifle and three cartridge cases on the 6th floor of the building. Shortly afterwards, the president’s body was transported to the airport and placed on Air Force One, the President’s private plane. Before take-off, at 2:38 p.m. Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office in a brief ceremony in the compartment of the plane.

wealthy – vagyonos
to expect – számítani valamire
to serve – szolgálni (katonaként)
to survive – túlélni
infancy kisgyerekkor
affair – viszony
mentally unstable – mentálisan instabil
to commit – elkövetni
suicide öngyilkosság
to refuse – elutasítani, visszautasítani
current – érvényes, jelenlegi (itt akkori)
public image – közvéleményben kialakult kép
attractive – vonzó
charm – sárm
to take advantage of – kihasználni
aid – segítség, sagely
expert – szakértő
outstanding – kiemelkedő
porch – veranda
assassination – meggyilkolás
to lie in state – ravatalon feküdni
to pay respects – tiszteletet leróni
funeral – temetés
request               – kérés
to be laid to rest – örök nyugalomra helyezni
to be represented – képviselteti magát
eternal flame örökmécses
adviser – tanácsadó
to re-elect – újraválasztani
national security – nemzetbiztonság
natural resources – természeti kincsek
conservation – természetvédelem
essential – alapvető
faint – (itt) gyenge
to appreciate – értékelni
to praise – dicsérni
to assume – feltételezni
burden – teher
motorcade – gépkocsi kíséret
procession – felvonulás
route – útvonal
last rites – utolsó kenet
to pronounce – kinyilvánítani, kimondani
despite – valami ellenére
recently – nemrégiben
rifle – puska
cartridge case – töltényhüvely
oath of office – hivatali eskü
compartment fülke

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