The JFK Assassination

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The JFK Assassination

Post by EternalOptimist » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:07 pm

For those interested, today CBS news is showing streaming video of the original 4-day reporting.

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/jfk-assassination/
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by yatesd » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:29 pm

I also found this historical perspective from Kiplinger's interesting:

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/busine ... efore.html

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by nisiprius » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:36 pm

The New York Times had an interesting video piece this morning:

The Umbrella Man.

Makes a really good point about conspiracy theories. Although it was beautiful clear day, movies and stills show a man standing, mysteriously, with an open umbrella on the sidewalk near the assassination site. In this case, the real and non-conspiratorial explanation happens to be known. The point is that if you don't know it, there is virtually no possibility that you would guess it. And if you don't know it, the temptation to find a conspiratorial explanation is almost irresistible.

So, before peeking... what explanation can you come up, unconnected with the assassination, as to why a man would be standing on the parade route with an open umbrella on a clear day?
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Levett » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:39 pm

Go to the NPR site as well.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by EternalOptimist » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:41 pm

nisiprius wrote:The New York Times had an interesting video piece this morning:

The Umbrella Man.

Makes a really good point about conspiracy theories. Although it was beautiful clear day, movies and stills show a man standing, mysteriously, with an open umbrella on the sidewalk near the assassination site. In this case, the real and non-conspiratorial explanation happens to be known. The point is that if you don't know it, there is no virtually no possibility that you would guess it. And if you don't know it, the temptation to find a conspiratorial explanation is almost irresistible.

So, before peeking... what explanation can you come up, unconnected with the assassination, as to why a man would be standing on the parade route with an open umbrella on a clear day?
Last edited by EternalOptimist on Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by chaz » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:43 pm

A very sad episode in our history.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by EternalOptimist » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:49 pm

chaz wrote:A very sad episode in our history.



Very sad. I actually once visited the school book depository, very moving.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:59 pm

This thread is now in the Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community (event). Let's call this an event which affects all (US) Bogleheads and is on-topic.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:08 pm

I imagine almost everyone who was alive then remembers where (s)he was when (s)he heard the news. I was a senior in college and was taking a short nap between classes. When I got up I turned on the radio while getting ready for the next class and heard the news. I went to class and unlike most of the time when it was pretty boisterous before the professor arrived, it was almost silent. The professor never did arrive. This was on a Friday. The college cancelled classes the next Monday, the day of the funeral profession, and maybe Tuesday too. I don't remember. Most of the students went home, but a few of us stayed on campus and spent most of our time watching the news coverage on the dorm TVs. In addition to watching the funeral procession, I was also watching when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. It happened so fast we didn't realize what had happened until the announcer told us and they replayed it several times.

Anyone else care to share their memories?

edit: I might also add that before transferring to this college I spent more than two years at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and marched in Kennedy's inaugural parade. I confess I sneaked a peek when we did eyes right while passing the President's stand.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:09 pm

nisiprius wrote:The New York Times had an interesting video piece this morning:

The Umbrella Man.

Makes a really good point about conspiracy theories. Although it was beautiful clear day, movies and stills show a man standing, mysteriously, with an open umbrella on the sidewalk near the assassination site. In this case, the real and non-conspiratorial explanation happens to be known. The point is that if you don't know it, there is no virtually no possibility that you would guess it. And if you don't know it, the temptation to find a conspiratorial explanation is almost irresistible.

So, before peeking... what explanation can you come up, unconnected with the assassination, as to why a man would be standing on the parade route with an open umbrella on a clear day?

Thank you for pointing this out.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Allan » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:12 pm

I saw President Kennedy in person less than 24 hours before he was assassinated.

On November 21th I had come home from school and my Mom said “we’re going to see the President”. We drove to Houston’s only airport (now Hobby), parked and walked to Broadway St and waited for the President’s motorcade. I managed to squeeze my way to the front of the crowd, people were spilling into the street. It was surreal with the crowd cheering when JFK and Jackie passed by, it seemed like solid people on both sides of the street as far as I could see. As their car slowly passed I couldn’t have been more than 6-8ft from them in their open air limousine, I think I could have reached out and touched their car. My biggest impression was how tanned he was and how young they both looked. The next day as I shared the experience with my 7th grade school friends, it was about 1pm when our Principal interrupted classes to tell us the tragic news. It was truly one of those moments you never forget.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by four7s » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:12 pm

I was home from Jr. High School sick that day and watched the 'breaking news' story as it unfolded. To this day "THIS IS BREAKING NEWS" coming from the TV gives me a flashback to that terrible moment on that Friday afternoon. I've always felt LHO was involved and was a shooter but also that he was a patsy and fall guy for other shooter(s)who shot from behind the fence on the grassy knoll. The Umbrella Man way well have given the signal to shoot. My best guess is that the mob with some Cuban/CIA assistance pulled it off successfully. Biographers of LBJ say he put a lid on the Warren Commission digging too deeply by lobbying WC member Sen. Russell to the effect that if they found a Russian link it might mean war and that the country needed to move on. My hope is that if/when I get to 'the other side' and meet St. Peter he will satisfy my curiosity and lead me to the place where all the mysteries of life are explained. I think the JFK explanation will have a long line waiting to hear what really happened.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Ged » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:35 pm

I was 13 years old when this happened. I was on the school bus getting ready to go home when one of the other students who was listening to a transistor radio told us what happened.

When I got home I turned on the TV and every station was carrying the story. My mother, who was a stay at home mom hadn't heard the news so I called her to the TV. She was very quiet and crying while she watched the story.

Later I was watching when Oswald was shot. Talk about reality TV.

My father was a fan of Kennedy's. They were about the same age. One of the things that made Kennedy so popular with people of his age was that he was the first president of that generation, a generation that had gone through several great struggles. My father had a record that was very popular at the time of some comedy routines that made fun of Kennedy and his accent that he played a lot. He never played it after the assassination.

My father's cousin was a big supporter of Kennedy and very active in the Massachusetts Democratic party. She was invited to one of Kennedy's inaugural balls as a reward for her service. She kept the dress she wore to that ball for the rest of her life. I think she cherished it as much as her wedding dress.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Calm Man » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:38 pm

This may sound cruel. While I was jogging today and I was desperately searching for a talk radio station not discussing this, I thought back and remembered (and confirmed it by counting years and grades) that I was in the 6th grade. By this time, I simply don't care anymore.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by EternalOptimist » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:46 pm

I was 13 and sent home from school. It was a very sad day. The memorial events felt like they went on forever.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Raymond » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:06 pm

nisiprius wrote:The New York Times had an interesting video piece this morning:

The Umbrella Man.

Makes a really good point about conspiracy theories. Although it was beautiful clear day, movies and stills show a man standing, mysteriously, with an open umbrella on the sidewalk near the assassination site. In this case, the real and non-conspiratorial explanation happens to be known. The point is that if you don't know it, there is virtually no possibility that you would guess it. And if you don't know it, the temptation to find a conspiratorial explanation is almost irresistible.

So, before peeking... what explanation can you come up, unconnected with the assassination, as to why a man would be standing on the parade route with an open umbrella on a clear day?


Highlight for possible answer (I wrote this before viewing the video):

- The person was either an albino or suffers from a photosensitive dermatosis such as porphyria or xeroderma pigmentosum. Disclaimer: I am a physician assistant with a dermatology background.
- Alternatively, the person was from a culture which idealizes fair complexions (Asian?) [Color formatting removed by admin LadyGeek]

I was born several years after the assassination. My moment was hearing of the Challenger disaster :(

[Edit] I was completely wrong :P
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by pinecrest » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:59 pm

Raymond wrote:
Highlight for possible answer (I wrote this before viewing the video):

- The person was either an albino or suffers from a photosensitive dermatosis such as porphyria or xeroderma pigmentosum. Disclaimer: I am a physician assistant with a dermatology background.
- Alternatively, the person was from a culture which idealizes fair complexions (Asian?) [Color formatting removed by admin LadyGeek]


You beat me to it. Though I was just going to say (highlight to read): He just wanted to avoid premature aging from exposure to the sun. :D [Color formatting removed by admin LadyGeek]

Actually, I just posted this to see if the "hiding" worded. That's clever.

(Did it work? I have customized colors in my browser and can't really tell.)

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:15 pm

As a reminder, conspiracy theories are off-topic. See: Forum Policy
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Retread » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:17 pm

Calm Man wrote:This may sound cruel. While I was jogging today and I was desperately searching for a talk radio station not discussing this, I thought back and remembered (and confirmed it by counting years and grades) that I was in the 6th grade. By this time, I simply don't care anymore.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by four7s » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:11 pm

A great JFK story that Tip O'Neil once told: Tip attended JFK's inauguration and as a young Congressman from Mass. had a good seat but not a great seat on the podium. He noticed that a fellow known as a powerful Democratic insider (can't remember what Tip said the guys name was so I'll refer to him as John Smith) had scored seats directly behind Joe and Rose Kennedy, the Presidents parents. Tip said he couldn't figure out 'how the heck John Smith had talked his way into the best seat in the house.' Later, Tip spoke to JFK at the Inaugural Ball and asked him 'what did it feel like to wait to take the same oath and speak the same words George Washington and Abe Lincoln had sworn to. Tip said that JFK responded, " I was a little bit distracted because I kept wondering 'how the heck did John Smith get such a great seat."

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Kalo » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:45 pm

I was 3 years old at the time and don't remember it. But a few years later my mom told me that two of our past presidents had been shot, one at a play, and one in a car. And she told me that their names were Lincoln and Kennedy. I tried to remember that because it seemed like good information. I think I got it mixed up for a while and thought that it was Lincoln who was shot in his car and Kennedy who was shot at the theater.

By the time Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were killed I was old enough to be aware of it and to discuss it with my friends. We knew it was a bad thing but did not really know what to make of it, why it might have happened, or even who these men were.

I still think the video of JFK Jr saluting during the funeral procession in that little coat is about the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Sunny Sarkar » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:06 pm

I live in Dallas. All the coverage of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination here brought to my attention part of its history that I did not know about. Having grown up all the way on the other side of the globe in the "city of joy", I am amazed to learn that my adopted city used to be known as the "city of hate".
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Eric » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:25 am

Sunny Sarkar wrote:I am amazed to learn that my adopted city used to be known as the "city of hate".


To be fair, one could describe many cities of that era that way. The Los Angeles of RFK's assassination had deep wounds of its own, as reflected in the Watts riots and other tensions.

Ultimately, though, neither assassination had much to do with either city. Oswald was motivated by Marxist ideology, which was not the norm in 1960s Dallas. Likewise, Sirhan Sirhan was an anti-Israeli militant, and I don't think those views were embraced by 1960s Los Angeles.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by 2comma » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:21 am

I must have been in 2nd or 3rd grade. We had moved to a room with a screen and a projector to watch some sort of an educational film. Our principal came in and asked our teacher to stop the projector, she had an announcement to make. I remember thinking that she didn't look normal. I think we immediately left and went back to our home room after that.

It just so happened that we were going to drive from Virginia to Boston to visit relatives several days later. I remember watching the tv from a motel room as events unfolded. We stopped at Arlington Cemetery and I remember seeing a line of people, as we watched from a hill to the west of the grave site, several people wide and hundreds of yards long waiting to pass by the grave. I think the enormity of the event finally began to sink into my young mind while we were witnessing that sight.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by bertilak » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:41 am

Sunny Sarkar wrote:I live in Dallas. All the coverage of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination here brought to my attention part of its history that I did not know about. Having grown up all the way on the other side of the globe in the "city of joy", I am amazed to learn that my adopted city used to be known as the "city of hate".

Three things to think about:
    Known by whom?
    Oswald was not from Dallas.
    Being an avowed Communist, Oswald was not part of the right-wing (i.e. anti-JFK) culture of Dallas (or elsewhere).

EDIT: Oswald was certainly anti-JFK, but from he left (unhappy with Bay of Pigs, etc.).
Last edited by bertilak on Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:36 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Dave76 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:22 am

It was a very sad day indeed. However, I wonder what would have happened had JFK not been assassinated. [OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by ScottW » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:36 am

nisiprius wrote:The New York Times had an interesting video piece this morning: <snip> So, before peeking... what explanation can you come up, unconnected with the assassination, as to why a man would be standing on the parade route with an open umbrella on a clear day?


I assumed it was for the same reason people use umbrellas at the beach--to stay out of the sun. I've seen people do that before when they go for walks during the summer. I always thought it was a bit weird, but I suspect people who attend political events tend to be a little strange anyway.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by cheese_breath » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:39 am

Dave76 wrote:It was a very sad day indeed. However, I wonder what would have happened had JFK not been assassinated. [OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]

Or [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] Who knows? Pure political speculation, and probably against the rules of this forum. [Yes, it is. --admin LadyGeek]
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by dm200 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:32 pm

I was in college at the time - certainly will always remember where I was when the news hit.

Looking back 50 years, one thing that jumps out at me is how quickly all of the various arrangements we made and completed. The President was shot about noon, pronounced dead about 2 hours later, the body packed and flown back to Washington, DC that afternoon/evening, autopsy/preparation done that evening/night - and the body moved to the East Room of the White House in the early hours of Saturday morning. Saturday in the White House, Sunday at the Capitol, and the funeral/burial on Monday. It is amazing how so much was done in such a short time. For various reasons, I suspect the same tragic situation would be stretched out over several more days.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:35 am

bertilak wrote:
Sunny Sarkar wrote:I live in Dallas. All the coverage of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination here brought to my attention part of its history that I did not know about. Having grown up all the way on the other side of the globe in the "city of joy", I am amazed to learn that my adopted city used to be known as the "city of hate".

Three things to think about:
    Known by whom?
    Oswald was not from Dallas.
    Being an avowed Communist, Oswald was not part of the right-wing (i.e. anti-JFK) culture of Dallas (or elsewhere).

EDIT: Oswald was certainly anti-JFK, but from he left (unhappy with Bay of Pigs, etc.).



http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/20 ... efore.html

There is the poster that was circulating in Dallas at the time-- calling for the assassination of President John F Kennedy. It was circulated by a right wing group headed by General Edwin Walker, who had been sacked from the military for circulating right wing John F Birch society literature to his troops. According to the Slate article LHO may have attempted to assassinate Walker.

is an example of the sort of poster that was going around Dallas when JFK was in the City.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-22/j ... on/5094466

Dallas had earned its reputation as the 'City of Hate' long before John F Kennedy’s assassination – and LBJ knew that only too well.

Three years earlier, Lyndon Johnson had been campaigning in Dallas during the 1960 presidential election - when he and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson - were confronted by protesters as they crossed a street.
Audio: Bob Huffaker reports from Parkland Memorial Hospital (ABC News)

"They were pretty rough on LBJ and his wife," recalls Bob Huffaker, a former reporter with the local CBS affiliate in Dallas.

"They were heckled and spat upon by the followers of the only Republican congressman in Texas."

That congressman, Bruce Alger, was there too - holding a sign that said: "LBJ Sold Out to Yankee Socialists".

It all sounds pretty benign with half a century of hindsight, but in 1960 it was a display of aggression and disrespect to a vice-presidential candidate that shocked the nation.

And it highlighted the paranoid, anti-communist, and racist elements in Dallas society at the time.



http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/j ... z2lZMlnVv0


Finding that took me about 10 seconds on Google. The depth of right wing paranoia in Dallas at the time was well known. Acts of violence towards UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson and towards Vice President Lyndon B Johnson (a Texan) support that. The city (or rather an extremist minority within the city) had earned its epithet.

Lee Harvey Oswald had been living in Dallas for some months.

The question is this? Was LHO motivated by Marxist propaganda, or was he simply mentally ill, and the general atmosphere of incitement to violence and hatred of JFK was something that he had picked up upon? He had lived in the Soviet Union, but left, disaffected. And he had flirted with the Cubans, but not really got anywhere with them.

We know that the fantasies of the mentally ill shift with the times. Schizophrenics from the 19th century did not fantasize about UFOs nor the Mafia- -they fantasized about angels and devils. Run the tape to the 1950s, and the fantasies were about UFOs, the Mafia and the Reds.

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A time of prejudice.

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:54 am

Bogleheads:

I was age 37 at the time of Kennedy's inauguration and a regular church-goer. Our minister joined many other Protestant ministers in the Miami area urging members from their pulpits and by mail not to vote for Jack Kennedy who, if elected, would be the first U.S. Roman Catholic president.

Pat and I left our church.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:07 am

Taylor & Pat (n): A class act for fifty years and more.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Allan » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:15 am

Taylor

I am curious if you believe Oswald acted alone or had help from others. The thing that always made me think others were involved is because Ruby, who had ties with the Mafia, killed Oswald. I really don't think he did this in an attempt to be a good citizen.

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Re: A time of prejudice.

Post by EternalOptimist » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:18 am

Taylor Larimore wrote:Bogleheads:

I was age 37 at the time of Kennedy's inauguration and a regular church-goer. Our minister joined many other Protestant ministers in the Miami area urging members from their pulpits and by mail not to vote for Jack Kennedy who, if elected, would be the first U.S. Roman Catholic president.

Pat and I left our church.

Best wishes
Taylor


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Re: A time of prejudice.

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:22 am

EternalOptimist wrote:If only the world had more Taylors.


The Bogleheads Forum carries Taylor's genes.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by bertilak » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:54 am

Valuethinker wrote:lots of stuff...

I agree with all of that, but there were (and are) radicals/crazies on both ends of the spectrum. Mostly, impressions ("city of hate") are formed by the news stories and editorials that the media choose to promote. Today, the Internet lets us see a wider variety of ideas ("spins"?) but, as was in the past, the audience of all those ideas is largely self-selected even if today there is more to select from.

That's what I meant by "known by whom?" It's all a matter of focus: who is doing the focusing and who is following along.
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by madbrain » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:46 am

nisiprius wrote:So, before peeking... what explanation can you come up, unconnected with the assassination, as to why a man would be standing on the parade route with an open umbrella on a clear day?


Someone with sensitive skin who is saving money on sunblock ?
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:54 am

madbrain wrote:
nisiprius wrote:So, before peeking... what explanation can you come up, unconnected with the assassination, as to why a man would be standing on the parade route with an open umbrella on a clear day?


Someone with sensitive skin who is saving money on sunblock ?
One might even call that a boglehead, if there was such a thing back then.


Use an umbrella to poison a political opponent?

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by madbrain » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:06 am



This makes more sense that the fléchette-throwing umbrella. Reality can certainly be stranger than fiction.
Maybe the KGB got the inspiration for this method from the JFK "umbrella man" coverage/book.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:13 am

madbrain wrote:


This makes more sense that the fléchette-throwing umbrella. Reality can certainly be stranger than fiction.
Maybe the KGB got the inspiration for this method from the JFK "umbrella man" coverage/book.


I thought that the KGB was influenced by Les Parapluies de Cherbourg and wanted to show that they also could use umbrellas creatively.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by fishndoc » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:33 am

If one believes in destiny, then you have to believe Kennedy's "calling" was to lead us thru the Cuban Missle Crisis without stumbling into WWIII - I doubt any other political leader of that time could have accomplished that.

I have always believed that like Lincoln, once his mission was accomplished, he was allowed to move on...
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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by Kenkat » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:56 am

I was enjoying some quality womb time. My mom was 7+ months pregnant and I remember her telling me later on as I was growing up that she felt at the time that the world she was bringing a child into changed that day.

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Re: The JFK Assassination

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:15 pm

It's now a few days after the anniversary and we're still discussing conspiracy theories (as is the nature of this topic). I don't see any reason to continue. This thread has run its course and is locked. See: Forum Policy

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