Marking His Assassination, Americans Still Fascinated by Kennedy


Those were years filled with political murders, protests against the Viet Nam war, civil rights struggle. Parents of baby boomers had experienced World War II, fought outside the United States, but them had to face socio-political turmoil at home. Therefore, the death of President Kennedy became the myth of an entire era.

On the 50th anniversary of his death, the kennedymania can be felt everywhere: dozens of books, exhibitions with previously unpublished images, the house where his alleged murdered, Lee Harvey Oswald, slept the night prior to JFK’s death has even been converted into a museum… and, of course, the political use of the event: “50 years later, we find out that Kennedy was not a liberal,” we could read in an op-ed published in the conservative The Wall Street Journal.

But the passion for this totemic figure transcends politics. One-third of all Vanity Fair magazine issues since 2003 contains a report on Kennedy, written by a Kennedy or that talks about the Kennedy at least seven times, according to The New Republic.

Time magazine recently published an anti-mainstream report called “Five Reasons People Under 50 Are Already Tired of JFK Nostalgia“. For starters, perhaps JFK’s death was not “the moment that changed everything,” as it has been referred to. It is difficult to know whether Viet Nam war or the struggle for civil rights would both had finished before. It is not true that United States, which had fought the World War II, saw his innocence “shattered” because of Kennedy’s assassination.

Fans of JFK administration, known as Camelot, will have a good serving these days: more than 100 new books will be published in the coming months, including historical fictions imagining how the world would have been with Kennedy, new movies as Parkland, which tell the story of the hospital in Dallas where the dying President was transferred and, of course, some phone and iPad apps to interact with the icon.

About the Author

Ana Fuentes
Columnist for El País and a contributor to SER (Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión), was the first editor-in-chief of The Corner. Currently based in Madrid, she has been a correspondent in New York, Beijing and Paris for several international media outlets such as Prisa Radio, Radio Netherlands or CNN en español. Ana holds a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University in Madrid and the Sorbonne University in Paris, and a Master's in Journalism from Spanish newspaper El País.

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