Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
San Antonio’s Transgender Community Shows its Pride

San Antonio’s Transgender Community Shows its Pride

The Pride Issue: Despite the common belief that it was transgender activist Sylvia Rivera who sparked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement by flinging her high... By Jade Esteban Estrada 7/2/2014
Cityscrapes: Local history pays the price for Briscoe deal

Cityscrapes: Local history pays the price for Briscoe deal

News: The annual City budget is a dense and often arcane thing, filled with “mandates,” “restricted funds,” and “special funds.” It isn’t the lightest reading... By Heywood Sanders 9/17/2014
Daniela Riojas’ Photographic Studies in Self-discovery

Daniela Riojas’ Photographic Studies in Self-discovery

Arts & Culture: Daniela Riojas explores ideas of the figure in art, Latin American rituals, letting go of the past, and Jungian archetypes in... By Tom Turner 9/17/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Screens

‘The Day Kennedy Died’ is a Chilling Account of JFK’s Last 24 Hours

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo


“Oh, Jack, what have they done?” screamed First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the presidential limousine, her bloodied husband collapsing after getting hit by two rifle shots. “I’m holding your brains in my hand!”

The 92-minute documentary The Day Kennedy Died, written and directed by Emmy-nominated Leslie Woodhead (Children of Beslan) is not your usual Kennedy assassination rehash. Conspiracy theories and alleged killer Lee Harvey Oswald’s USSR past are mentioned only in passing. Instead, what this chilling historical doc concentrates on is the 24 hours leading to Kennedy’s death and its immediate aftermath, all done with a sober tone and the pacing of a top-notch thriller. The Smithsonian Channel will premier the film in recognition of this month marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination.

Using rare or never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews of key survivors (including Jackie Kennedy’s personal bodyguard at the scene, the medical team that treated the President and the co-worker who drove Oswald to the book depository—who at one point was wrongly accused of being a co-conspirator himself), the movie presents the importance of Kennedy’s Texas visit—for all his immense popularity, his re-election would have been hard unless he could carry the Lone Star state. To make matters worse, heading into Dallas, and amid the euphoric displays of affection by his thousands of supporters, the right-wing’s hostile sentiments could be felt. “Wanted for Treason” read a flyer by those who accused Kennedy of being “soft on Communism,” a message echoed by a full-page newspaper ad published that day in the Dallas Morning News.

Even those who didn’t like Kennedy had trouble hating Jackie, and that’s part of the reason the president insisted on having the limousine’s top down—he wanted people to see her. The First Lady, coming out of a severe depression after having lost a baby months earlier, decided to join her husband on the visit in order to help him win the reelection. She was at her cheerful, classy best and, when tragedy unfolded, she was a rock, the personification of dignity who stoically never left her dead husband’s body for a second.

A little over a month before Kennedy’s death, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson had been attacked in Dallas, after which he had expressed concerns for the president’s safety during his upcoming visit. Still, no extra precautions were taken in spite of the tense atmosphere.

“We’re heading into nut country today,” President Kennedy told Jackie on the way to Dallas. “Last night in Fort Worth would’ve been a hell of a night to assassinate a president.”

The Day Kennedy Died
(narrated by Kevin Spacey)

9pm Sun, Nov 17 (repeated at midnight)
10pm Mon, Nov 18
The Smithsonian Channel
smithsonianchannel.com
DVD out Nov 19
$14.98

Recently in Screens & Tech
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus