For the past week or two there has been an increasing media focus on President Kennedy, culminating on Friday the 22nd with the 50th anniversary of his assassination. I’ve seen no short supply of articles, videos, slideshows, and TV and radio spots leading up to this day of remembrance. Of course, it’s no surprise that many of these pieces have focused on the events that took place in Dallas in 1963. Kennedy’s death remains a somber, poignant moment half a century after it occurred.
Since the assassination is such a huge and emotional moment in American history, it has the potential to overshadow Kennedy’s political legacy. All of the mystery and perceived conspiracy surrounding his death is understandably captivating. But Kennedy’s three years in office came during an especially pivotal time in the 20th century. It would be a pity to miss the opportunity to discuss his policies and political maneuvers with students.
The story of the Cuban missile crisis provides an excellent opportunity to examine the 35th president—not only in action, but also while dealing with one of the most frightening moments in modern history. What led up to the crisis? How did Kennedy and other powerful players deal with it while it was happening? How was disaster averted (and how narrowly)? And what impact does the Cuban missile crisis still have on the world today? Check out this new Capstone title for an in-depth look at one of John F. Kennedy’s most interesting legacies:
-Adrian Vigliano, Editor